The impact of managers participation in organizational technological change

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1.0 BACKGROUND

This dissertation proposal sheds light on the chosen topic for the study. This proposal aims to examine the strong effect managers' involvement and participation has on the success of the change initiative in organizations. The proposal aims to analyze the roles managers played in an organization's ERP implementation and intends to use food companies as a case study. It also pinpoints the degree of job satisfaction, performance/productivity and resistance to the organization's policies.

Over the past 20 years, businesses worldwide have embraced information technology as a source of increased efficiency and productivity. The use of IT systems relates to and can induce changes in business processes within firms as well as inter-organizational project processes between firms. (Hansen K.L., Gann D.M., Groak S., 1998)

The adoption of this technology has significant implications for the redesign of organizational structures, business processes and employee hierarchies. These organizations set up business architecture and IT architecture, based on an objective, qualitative and quantitative investigation into the current use of information technology (Koot W.J.D. and Van der Zee, 1989). Experience shows that employees, who recognize why they execute certain functions and how the functions add to the organizations objectives, are more talented and creative on the job (Weiss, 2006).

This is a very important decision for the top management i.e. to identify or recruit the right people for the job. According to May (1998), he acknowledged that most organizations are calling for management to give more attention to the core business activities. A change is mostly supported by the Top Management when it has a tactical advantage to the organization. According to Green (1995), he agreed that the top management will apply a greater support to the change anticipated to yield greater assistance to the firm. More CEO dedication means that more resources are accessible in developing and implementing the necessary change (Zhuang & Lederer, 2004).

As a result of this; we view managers as employees in management and eventually we intend to analyze the current situation in the information technology industry and propose recommendations based on reason and/or logic. This research intends to discuss in details the role managers played in the evolvement of change in their organizations

The findings from the study will or may provide crucial information to stakeholders in the information technology industry, as it is expected to show the importance of managers' participation in decision making, its effects on job completion, performance/productivity and its relationship to the success of changes in their respective organizations.

2.0 Statement of Problem

Most organizations have been subjected to changes in recent times due to the ever growing trend of technology in the world. Some have been successful and others have failed in their change process. These can be attributed to various factors and issues. One of the main issues is the role of the Top management or managers as the case may be.. Managers are saddled with the responsibility of making crucial decisions as regards changes in their organizations and this makes the success of the changes their responsibilities. One problem managers could face is the support they would get from other stakeholders while making their decisions. Change is generally accepted as top-down and induced by management, and those managed would resist changing, imposing an imperative for managers to conquer the resistance before the initiative is initiated (Mindy Man Min Chew, 2006). Participative Decision Making (PDM) refers to the participation of subordinates in decisions that are normally the right or duty of a manager (Hespe & Wall, 1976). This is however important, because the organizations stands the risk of workers resisting the organization's policies and change initiative if not well communicated to. In general, leaders have an authoritative source of control on employees' work ethics (Yukl, 2002).

3.0 Aims and Objectives

3.1.0 Aims

This study aims to dissect the impact of managerial participation on change in an information technology organization and how their roles determine the success of a change initiative in an organization. Specifically the study seeks to achieve the following

* To examine the effects of managers involvement in decision making on job performance.

* To examine the effects of the decision they make and how they affect the change implementation in an organization.

* To offer useful advice and recommendations on the importance of managers participation in decision making in organizations.

* To analyze the failure of previous information technology change projects in relation to the roles managers played in such projects.

3.2.0 Objectives

The objectives of this research is stated below

· Investigate past and recent literatures that address the problems and challenges of ERP implementation.

· Examine the roles of managers in an ERP change implementation case.

· Collect data through the use of document analysis, interviews from several parties in the organization putting emphasis on managers as well as spending time in the organization to observe the roles they play in such implementation processes.

· Scrutinize the collected data, literature and interviews and observations made

· Provide recommendations as to what role the managers should play during this process.

4.0 Research Questions

The above objectives will be discussed by responding to the following questions. It is expedient to know that various questions would come up in the course of this research, but the main focus would be on the questions stated below.

* Does Managers involvement in decisions regarding change have a positive effect on achieving organizational goals and objectives?

* Has organizational change failures been attributed to manager's involvement alone or every level of organization?

5.0 Methodology

Various researches have been conducted in the past using two main approaches namely the qualitative and the quantitative approach. The qualitative research is a type of scientific research which aims at seeking answers to questions. Qualitative Research is employed to recognize people's attitude, culture, behaviors, lifestyles and motivations. (Oates, 2006). It uses a set of procedures to answer questions, collect evidences, produces findings that were not gritty and produces answers that are appropriate beyond the instantaneous limits of the study. The strength of a qualitative research is its capability to provide difficult images of how individuals understand a given research issue. It details the "human" perception of an issue i.e. the frequently contradictory behaviors, ideas, opinions, emotions and relationships of individuals. They are also helpful in identifying subtle factors such as socioeconomic status, gender roles, religion, social norms and ethnicity, whose function in the research subject may not be readily obvious. There are three main methods of qualitative research which are participant observation which is suitable for acquiring data on natural behaviors in their usual contexts, in depth interviews which are most favorable for getting data on individuals' private histories, experiences and views particularly on crucial topics being explored and focus groups which is favorable when getting data on the cultural ways of a group and in generating broad overviews of issues of importance to the group or sub group. However, quantitative research is a research method that focuses less on observations, interviews, small numbers of questionnaires, focus groups, subjective reports and case studies but is much more focused on acquiring and analyzing numerical data and statistics. In other words, it is used to determine how individuals think, perform using techniques like survey, hypothesis and testing. (Oates, 2006). These two methods of research differ in various ways notably the type of questions they ask, the form of data they acquire, their analytical aims, the type of instruments they use and the degree of flexibility they build around the study design.

5.1.0 Comparison between quantitative and qualitative methods

Both research methods differ in their approach of acquiring data. Stated below is an brief comparison of both methods

Quantitative

Qualitative

Framework

Ø Seeks to verify hypotheses about phenomena

Ø Use highly prepared methods such as surveys, highly prepared observations and questionnaires

Ø Seeks to explore phenomena

Ø Use semi- structured methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups and participant observation.

Question Format

Ø Close ended

Ø Open ended

Data Format

Ø Numerical

Ø Textual

Flexibility of study

Ø Study design is stable from the start to the end

Ø Participants' answers do not determine the nest question.

Ø Study design is determined on statistical assumptions.

Ø Some aspects are constant e.g. the interview questions.

Ø Participants' responses determine the next series of questions.

Ø Study design is iterative i.e. data collection are conformed to what is being learned.

According to the table above, we can see that qualitative research method has its own advantages over quantitative research methods notably is its flexibility which allows greater naturalness and version of the relationship between the researcher and the study partaker. Qualitative research is common with asking open ended questions. These types of questions allows the partakers to respond in their own words and these answers are often more compound than a simple "yes" or "no". In other words the participants are not compelled to choose from a set of fixed questions but they would rather answer such questions in their own words explaining in a more precise way and in greater detail and this is usually not the case in a quantitative research approach. Another advantage qualitative research has over quantitative research is the fact that the researcher has an opportunity to probe the participants' initial responses i.e. to ask why or how. It is however expedient that the researcher show pays attention to what the participant is saying so that they can engage them in a conversation according to their personalities and styles and employ probes to give them confidence to detail their answers.

This research would be conducted using the sampling method which is a subset of the data of a whole population that would have been taken. We intend using a quota sampling method which is a type of purposive sampling. It involves designing the study to conform to the researcher's standards. The research would be conducted using two (2) organizations as a case study and this is as a result of purposive sampling method with a selected quota. Benbasat et al. (1987) quoted that "A case study examines a phenomenon in its natural setting, employing multiple methods of data collection to gather information from one or a few entities". We intend using the following quota:

* The Organizations must have a reputation for quality and good corporate image.

* The Organization must be an ongoing organization

* Minimum of fifteen (15) years exposure and business experience

* The Organization must be a profit oriented organization.

* The Organization must have a functional Information Technology department.

* The Organization must be a respected food or conglomerate company.

As a result of limited time available and financial restriction on the part of the researcher, it would therefore be an enormous task for the researcher to study all the organizations that operate in the food and conglomerate Industry. Thus, it would be economical and logical to take the findings from a selected sample in order to take a broad view of the entire populace of organizations within the food and conglomerate industry.

5.1.1 Data Collection Method

The research would be carried out using both primary and secondary sources of data. The primary sources included the use of questionnaires, interviews and close observations.

* Interviews: The interview to be conducted is semi-structured. The respondent would be interviewed for a short time (Yin, 1984). This will be conducted with managers, system developers and employees of the organization. It is expedient to know that only a sample of these individuals would be available for the conduct of the interviews as getting to interview a whole organization would not be logical and could delay the completion of the research in the time appropriated for it. The main focus of these interviews would however be focused on the Mid/Lower level employees notably the system developers, and a few top Managers.

* Questionnaires: this provides appropriate methods for getting the opinions of a large number of individuals about a meticulous topic. (Stroh, 2000).This would run simultaneously with the interviews and would serve as a backup for the interviews provided concrete information was not obtained from the interviews conducted. It would be designed to capture basic information from the groups targeted (i.e. managers, supervisors, lower level employees e.t.c.) in the selected organizations. The questionnaire would consist mainly of multiple choice question to enable the employees answer them easily and accurately. The questionnaires are expected to target the parties involved and this would be conducted on every member of the organizations selected.

* Observations: This is an essential method for the researcher during his/her visit to the selected organizations. This is to enable the bird eye observation of the attitude the various parties put into their work, how motivated they are, their performance, productivity e.t.c. This can also be done while conducting interviews too.

Secondary data will be sourced from published materials like company literatures, websites, advertisements, annual reports, text books, newspapers, journals, online sources e.t.c.

6.0 Scope and Limitations

This research would cover impact of managers' involvement in making decisions in relation to the level of job satisfaction, performance/productivity and resistance to the organization's policies and changes in the Food and Conglomerate industry. The study will also highlight the extent to which managerial decisions have affected how successful organizational changes would go. The study would also draw attention to the degree to which management by objectives is being used and to propose useful suggestions for making things better.

It is expedient to know that this research could be derailed by the following problems:

* It might be difficult to have access to the management staff without prior information and arranging interviews might have to be schedules as such the allocated time might not be reached. It is therefore wise to give room for miscellaneous time.

* Attitude of respondents (e.g. deliberately refusing to reveal information or giving inaccurate response to research questions.)

* Respondents delay in completing questionnaires or refusal to return the questionnaires.

* Limited financial resources available to the researcher thereby affecting the financial demand on this research.

* Distance involved in the collection of primary data.

* Time constraints.

7.0 Program of work

7.1 Research Pre-Phase (Estimated Period: 2 weeks)

The researcher is expected in this task to find a research question and obtain a supervisor. After getting a supervisor, the researcher would seek to identify key organizations to visit and contacts to interview. The researcher would also seek academic literatures to back this research up.

Milestone 1: Secure a supervisor and research question

7.2 Research plan and design (Estimated Period: 2 weeks)

The researcher would find a research approach and design in this task. Tactical framework for evaluation findings will be defined. Information gathered will be documented and a final draft of the first part of the research will be completed, cross-checked and submitted.

Milestone 2: Submit 1st deliverable: Research Proposal

7.3 Data Collection Preparation (Estimated Period: 1 week)

The research is expected to make contact with the interviewees and schedule a date for interviews. The interview questions would be designed. Also the questionnaires would be drafted. Pilot testing would be conducted and the participant information sheet would be prepared.

Milestone 3: Pilot Testing and Questionnaire instructions.

7.4 Data Collection (Estimated Period: 3weeks)

Interviews would be conducted in this period and participant information would be submitted to the individuals involved. Also materials from the university library would be obtained. After this, data would be collated and consolidated.

Milestone 4: Collate and arrange all data collected.

7.5 Examination and Assessment of findings (Estimated Period: 1 week)

All data conducted from the interviews and questionnaires would be examined and understood by the researcher and all analyzed findings would be collated and arranged.

Milestone 5: Organized Data collected and evaluate findings

7.6 Complete Report (Estimated Efforts: 3 weeks)

Finishing touches would be put to the report and the researcher would write a conclusion, make recommendations and check the report's quality.

Milestone 6: Submit final Report.

8.0 Structure of the Study

* Chapter one of this study covers the overview, the statement of the problem, purpose of study, research questions, hypothesis, significance of the study, and the limitations of the study.

* Chapter Two gives summarizes previous research on the subject matter.

* Chapter Three deals with methodology, which includes the research design, sampling procedure, questionnaire design, population and size of the sample, data collection method, the operational measures of the variables and data analysis techniques.

* Chapter Four deals with the presentation and analysis of data gathered from the primary research.

* Chapter Five is the discussions of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

REFRENCES

Amabile, T.M., Schatzel, E.A., Moneta, G.B. and Kramer, S.J. (2004):"Leader behaviours and the work environment for creativity: perceived leader support": Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 5-32.

Arnold, J. A., Arad, S., Rhoades, J. A., & Drasgow, F. (2000): The empowering leadership questionnaire: The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring leader behaviours. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, Vol. 21, 249-269.

Ehigie, B.O. and Akpan, R.C. (2004):"Roles of perceived leadership styles and rewards in the practice of total quality management": Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 24-40.

Frischer, J. (1993): "Empowering management in new product development units": Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 10, pp. 393-401.

Green S. (1995): Top Management Support of R & D Projects: A Strategic Leadership Perspective, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 42(3). pp 223-233.

Hansen K.L., Gann D.M., Groak S. (1998): Information Technology decision support and business process change in the USA: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management: 5(2).pp 115-126.

Koot, W.J.D. and Van der Zee, J.T.M. (1989): "IT Assessment, Eeen kwalitatieve en kwantitatieve evaluatie van de informatieverzorging vanuit een strategisch perspectief": Informatie, 31(11).

May S.A. (1998) Business process outsourcing: a new test of management competence: Career Development International. 3(4): pp.136-141.

Mindy Man Min Chew, Joseph S.L. Cheng, Sonja Petrovic-Lazarevic (2006): Managers' Role in implementing organizational change: Case of the restaurant industry in Melbourne; Journal of Global Business and Technology: 2(1).pp 58-67.

Stroh, M. (2000): Qualitative Interviewing in D., Burton (ed.) Research Training for Social Scientists: A Handbook for Postgraduate Researchers, London: Sage Publication.

Oates, J. B. (2006): Researching Information Systems and Computing, London: Sage Publications.

Qualitative Research Methods Overview: Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide. Family Health International. pp 1-12.

Van Velsor, E., & Leslie, J. B. (1995): Why executives derail: Perspectives across time and cultures. Academy of Management Executive, 9, 62-72.

Weiss, W.H. (2006): Organizing for Quality, Productivity and Job Satisfaction: Supervision: 67(2). Pp 13-15. Available from http://proquest.umi.com (Accessed November 30th, 2009).

Yukl, G. (2002), Leadership in Organizations, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Zhuang, Y. & Lederer, A. (2004). The impact of Top Management commitment, business process redesign, and IT planning on the Business-to-Consumers e-commerce site: Journal of Electronic Research: 4(4), pp 315-333.

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