Dissertation Tentative Description

The prevailing model of information system success focuses on users' judgments of a system's ease-of-use and usefulness in determining their final attitudes toward the system. This model (TAM - Technology Acceptance Model) implies that users' attitudes toward the system are purely technologically driven and do not involve organizational or individual variables. Since the model was introduced by Fred Davis in the early 1980s, a great amount of evidence has been amassed in support of the basic theoretical framework of the model. At the same time, a number of researchers investigating the supposed "productivity paradox" in information technology point to the fact that companies squander billions of dollars each year on failed system implementations, with some suggesting that far greater is spent on failed systems than is spent on successful ones. Furthermore, research suggests that the reasons for information system failures are rarely technological. One study found that 95% of implementation failures can be traced to human- and organization-based factors rather than technological aspects. The purpose of my dissertation is to demonstrate that: (1) organizational climate can cast a positive or negative shadow on system implementation; (2) a person's assessment of ease-of-use and usefulness are significantly influenced by their a priori expectations of the system, such that violations of expectations lead to extreme negative assessments of system success; and (3) positive and supportive communication among members of the implementation team and users can significantly buffer users' negative attitudes. Should these propositions be confirmed by research data, the ramification for those entrusted with system implementations is clear: Attention to system details, though important, is not sufficient to ensure a smooth and successful implementation; a positive implementation climate must be fostered by information systems professionals and organizational leaders alike. Furthermore, strong communication skills among system implementation personnel may contribute significantly to system success, particularly in negative organizational climates.