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Immutable Technology and the Breakdown of Organizational Change.


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Immutable Technology and the Breakdown of Organizational Change. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Published in: Technology
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Immutable Technology and the Breakdown of Organizational Change.

  1. 1. 1 Immutable Technology Matthew Weber Rutgers University @docmattweber Jeffrey Treem University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. 2 Background
  3. 3. $5 $4M $4bn Technology Costs Starting cost per user; corporate implementations can be millions Knight Foundation Amount invested for a new newspaper commenting system Kaiser Permanente Created a new electronic health records system for 9 million users 3
  4. 4. Goal orientation, organizational context, and perceived usefulness are key AST Individual perceptions of what can be done with a technology drive use TAM Forces of GoodTechnological Adaptation Social influence & individual evaluations of technology are key to use Diffusion 4
  5. 5. Change is constrained by cognitive, regulative, and normative structures Institutional Environmental pressures and interactions with other organizations constrain action Industry Systems The Dark SideBarriers in the Ecosystem Organizational routines and inertia restrict the ability to adapt & evolve Ecological 5
  6. 6. Individuals & Teams Market Influences Opposing forces? 6 Technology?
  7. 7. 7 Study
  8. 8. 8 Case 1: Midwest News
  9. 9. 9 Case 2: Beta Corp.
  10. 10. 10 So what?
  11. 11. 11 Technology “After I complete this Excel sheet… I have to go into [the sales interface] and change [the information] there. Then I have to notify two different manager groups with two different email formats. And all the information on the sheet they could’ve gotten from the system. So I need to update the [shared spreadsheet], then go to [the sales interface] and update that. “ Beta Corp. “There’s a real disconnect between our content streams so we have one CMS for stories that go through our print process and then we have blogs that are on a separate platform. There's no connection.” Midwest News Restricts the ability to adapt routines
  12. 12. 12 Technology “Theoretically the new sales tool should work, but how these things work it is only as good as the things people put in, and we are humans and people are lazy“ Beta Corp. “[when we purchased the system], there were no good content management systems and they had to be self-built. What you could actually do to content on the web was extremely primitive” Midwest News Hinders future adaptation
  13. 13. 13 Technology “We are now in an environment where workers are more distributed and people are in different places than they were before. We have tools to support communication and right now people are capable, but not comfortable using the tools.” Beta Corp. “We’ve gone from totally self- contained to having dotted lines all over the place and right now, for the most part, I’ve got dotted lines to everything.” Midwest News Disrupts the organizational structure
  14. 14. 14 Immutable TechnologyBarriers to communication and change When organizations are in periods of stability When prior technology required significant capital investment Technological standards have changed significantly
  15. 15. 15 Immutable Technology Matthew Weber Rutgers University @docmattweber Jeffrey Treem University of Texas at Austin
  16. 16. 16 Beta & Midwest: Site Locations