Although there have been a number of identified limitations to this study it can be considered to achieve its main aim of identifying “how the key change management factors affect the outcome of an ITO change implementation”.
This chapter provides a summary on the principle features of the dissertation. The main findings are reviewed as well as the key concepts and theories that were identified in the literature, followed by recommendations for future research.
6.1 Summary for Principal Features:
It was shown in the introduction that the concept of IT outsourcing is not a new phenomenon. As the use of IT became extensive outsourcing was considered as a necessity rather than a unique competitive advantage. Managers became more interested in the outcome of their investment in IT and its impact on the organisation’s efficiency and overall growth. They became less involved in the technological details of the IT infrastructure. The concept of outsourcing IT activities began to expand and there came a remarkable advancement in this field. The first major outsourcing initiative to receive worldwide publicity came in 1989 when Eastman Kodak hired outsiders to buy, operate and maintain its information processing systems.
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Therefore, outsourcing was viewed as a move to transfer responsibility for the entire IT department to a third party. But in recent years, as experience and knowledge has deepened, outsourcing has become an option to be applied selectively or comprehensively to the different spheres of IT sector. The implementation of ITO involves therefore not only structural but also cultural changes in the company. Consequently, the success of a change implementation within ITO sector should heavily rely on the willingness of company to accept change and especially on the people that are involve in the change process. Moreover, people are not likely to change the way they have been successfully working. Resistance to change is therefore the natural reaction. According to Kotter (1995) the source of resistance is mostly fear of the unknown and uncertainty. Uncertainty however can reduce productivity of a whole organisation. Changing a culture, structures or processes is therefore risky and often not successful, which is proved by many studies.
In order to address this aspect the literature review in chapter two a single case study was carried out and it has shown that researchers and practitioners alike are proposing the utilisation of Organisational Change Management that aims to provide friendly ITO implementation environment. Organisational Change Management, which deals with the emotional reaction to change, provides different concepts, tools and methods like early communication and early participation to gain acceptance for change.
Chapter three has explained the methodology that was used to answer the research question about 'The Impact of Organisational Change Management on the Success of an ITO Implementation'. Based on literature research a questionnaire has been developed in order to find out:
- Users experience with the induction process.
- The level of user involvement during the implementation and their feedback on the ‘success’ of the whole process.
- If the role of the Change Manger affecting the ITO implementation.
- What Change Management concepts and tools are utilised to avoid resistance.
- The implications of the ITO implementation on culture, structure and processes.
Moreover, the questionnaire has been sent to the employees of the Facility Management of an Airline company that outsourced all its IT functions to an expert third party vendor to handle all its IT services.
6.2 Major Findings:
The dissertation has pointed out that many researchers emphasise that the reason for failure of new concepts is very often due to a poor implementation rather than to the concept itself. The literature review in chapter two has explained that not addressing people related issues like resistance is named in most cases for implementation failure.
Accordingly, as a result of the case study there is strong evidence showing a clear relationship between the variables of communication and user involvement in relation to the user’s understanding of the change situation which as stated by Baronas and Louis (1988) will increase the user’s perceived level of control therefore reducing likely resistance. Those users that had received induction sessions were clear about the aim and working practices involved where those that we not in receipt of this information were evidently unclear of the situation and left to draw their own assessments (Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979) which may prove to result in “commitment gaps arising” (Senge and Kaeufer, 2000:4).
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The case study found that there was a lack of effective leadership. Kotter (1996) emphasises the role leadership has to play in driving change and the analysis suggests there was no clear leadership as the change agent role which reduces the probability of a successful outcome (Markus and Benjamin, 1996).
It is accepted that resistance is a natural process when people are asked to participate in uncertain situations (Baronas and Louis, 1988). As a result of conducting the literature review it is apparent that various experts consider differing factors to be the key is to a successful outcome.
Relating it to the change management models presented in the literature review by Lewin (1950) and also Schein (1996) series of pre planned stages model, as it appears from the users responses and findings that the approach adopted by the change manager was that of the top down approach, as the planned approach focuses on change that the organisation decides to implement considering taking the organisation, or the change subject, from one fixed state to the next state using a series of pre planned stages such as starting with induction and ending with training sessions. However, this has clearly noticed not been the case. As well as many of the users feeling that their concerns were ignored and also the fact that not all users had been provided with an induction or training, the model adopted, looks to be that change being ‘forced’ onto employees by senior management due to the nature of the top down approach as introduced by Clarke (1994). Furthermore, Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) and Baronas and Louis (1988) emphasised that forcing change upon individuals results in reduced predictability, uncertainty, stress, ultimately resulting in resistance.
The discussion has shown that the research results support the key concepts of the literature that the implementation of the ITO has to be viewed as a change process that impacts organisational culture and processes. Although, there is no one approach, theory or model that fits all situations but the secret is to possess the appropriate knowledge to be able to assess the context and adopt the appropriate role, or maybe alternate between, as required.
6.3 Recommendations for further research:
This study was exploratory and represents only a first step in planning the change implication of outsourcing. Further research will be needed to determine in respects to change management, how to improved the overall effectiveness of IT outsourcing. It is apparent from the findings and analysis of the case study that there are several recommendations that can be offered to further investigate the following:
Resistance from a cultural perspective (i.e. the subject of identifying cultural differences in perception)
To strength the analysis a multiple case study approach could be adopted.
The study could be conducted not only from the perspective employee it could be forming other perspectives such as; the outsourcer and the service provider.
To assist in the final results, personal observation and interview methods could be adopted.
Again, due to the limitations of word count, as well as timescale and the fact that the subject of culture is again a vast subject the author felt that although it has been mentioned within this study to give an in-depth analysis would justify a separate dissertation.