“Gaps” That Exist in DeLone and McLean IS Success Model

7 Feb

Although the DeLone and McLean Model seems to be the main model which IS Success Models are based there are some flaws which can be seen. Gable suggests that within this model “Gaps” do exist. Although the DeLone and McLean model has been a huge impact on measuring IS Success. Gable suggests a few main points which he believes are missing from the Success Models.

Mutual exclusivity and additively of success measures: This shows the divide of opinions which exist of the IS Success Model, some agree with the categories that are represented in the IS Success Model while others are under the impression that instead they “represent distinct dimensions of a complex, higher-order”. Gable instead argues that the dimensions in his model can be combined to prevent an overarching measure of success. The proposed model focuses on the satisfaction. To make sure that each measure is connected with IS Success but does not overlap with any other measures in the model.

Model completeness:  This point outlines that “the completeness of the model becomes critical as adding good and bad, high and low, positive and negative, or hot and cold effects may otherwise mask, neutralize, or distort results.”

Choice of IS Success Dimensions:  In the DeLone and McLean Model it highlights the need to “develop a comprehensive measurement model/instrument for a particular context, the constructs and measures should be systematically selected considering contingency variables”. Gable has commented that most studies in this area do not include any rationale on any choices of success dimensions and any success measures employed.  As previously stated above model completeness is an important factor, it connects in with how the aim is “to gain a full, overarching view of success, it is critical that the complete set of success dimensions be employed, not a selected subset”.

Theoretical basis for causal/process paths: The taxonomy in the DeLone and McLean model is highlighted “without sufficient explanation of its underlying theory and epistemology”. This only emphasises the “causal/process nature of the model”. The fact that there is a “weak explanation for causality and mixed results from empirical studies, raises concerns about the causality of the Delone and McLean model and the utility of the suggested relationships”.

Excessive emphasis on quantitative (financial) measures: Traditional financial measures on their own may not be enough to highlight evidence for IS payoffs.

The nature of the contemporary IS environment:  This is the transformation of indirect oriented use of IS to more direct use. Due to modern technologies IS has changed how organisations produce and manage information. Due to modern times new measures and evaluation models are required to measure success with contemporary IS. This is not always the case and surprisingly most research on IS success is still using outdated measures to try to determine success in IS.

Multiple stakeholder perspectives: In IS evaluation “respondents perspective on measurement is another important design consideration in IS evaluation”. It is very important to have a clear picture of IS Success in all levels of the company. In contrast with how important it is to know all levels of success the focus is usually on the quantify any impacts (benefits and drawbacks) of IS by analysing data collected mostly at senior levels in a company only [1].

These six points outlined by Gable highlight some improvements which can be made in measuring IS Success and what areas are important to focus on.

[1] Gable, Guy G. and Sedera, Darshana and Chan, Taizan (2003) Enterprise systems success: a measurement model. Eds. Proceedings Twenty-Fourth International Conference on Information Systems, pages pp. 576-591, Seattle, USA.


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