Context Adaptation of D&M IS Success Model (2003)

21 Feb

In researching IS success models for our individual blogs, it was clear to see to all that the framework or model put forward by DeLone and McLean in 1992 and revised in 2003 was the basis for the majority of other academics when they were creating their own IS success framework. With that in mind and since the majority of our blog posts were either about the DeLone and McLean model or related to it, we decided to use that as our foundation.

Context Adaptation of D&M IS Success Model (2003)

Information systems success within an organisation can depend on the culture within the organisation and that’s why culture is the first dimension on our framework as mentioned in AndrewFitz22’s blog “How culture can impact on information systems success
According to Ismall [1] in regards to information systems, culture is one of the determinants in its success. Also culture can impact on how innovation within the organisation can improve information technology practices and overall organisation performance.
Culture impacts on an organisation in the following three ways
1. Provides unspoken guidelines to employees on how to get along with each other in the organisation and enhance the stability of the social system in the organisation.
2. Enabling the ability to deal successfully with problems from internal integration and external adaption.
3. Culture also enables differentiating between in-group and out-group people.

Organisational Structure
Decision Making Structure: There can be two sides associated with implementing a proper decision making structure. If a company decides to choose a decentralisation process studies have shown that it is “one of the strongest facilitators for the adoption of customer-based inter-organisational system and IT system in large and complex organisations”. Studies have also shown that there are benefits of a centralised organisation. Results have highlighted that a “better management effectiveness for end user computing” exists and also that there is a greater chance of successful “strategic information systems applications” (Hussein et al, 2007). These both in turn would have an impact on IS Success.

Goal Alignment: This factor outlines the effect of linking up both Business and IT goals. If both these goals are aligned and have a clear direction in which they both are headed it can help in achieving IS Success.

Resources Allocation: This factor categorises resources into money, people and time. These three should then be managed properly by ensuring that sufficient money is available, the right people are in place and there is enough time to complete a IS project thus in time helping to lead to IS Success.

Top Management Support : “Top management support is defined as: devoting time to the [IS] program in proportion to its cost and potential, reviewing plans, following up on results and facilitating the management problems involved with integrating ICT with the management process of the business. “It’s important to consider the role which top management support plays in Information System success. Despite its relevance, “Practitioners and Researchers alike have focused their attention o factors they can more directly control and appear to only pay lip-service to TMS.” Young and Jordan, (2008), examined IS projects as due to their high costs it is critical for organizations to achieve success. “An issue demanding board level attention because of the high levels of investment and the strategic consequences of failure.” The work of Young and Jordan, (2008) highlight the importance of TMS, and declare it the most important critical success factor. While Young and Jordan present a concise argument in favour of TMS as the ultimate CSF, there are additional organizational factors that play a role in determining IS success.

Management Style: “Management style deals with the way in which management tends to influence, co-ordinate and direct people’s activities towards a groups objectives.” Hussein et al, (2007). A review of the literature would suggest that management styles impact on communication within the organization, and ultimately on the productivity of the users. “Lu & Wang’s study (1997) seems to support the major finding in Igbaria et al.’s study(1990) on the relationship between leadership style and user satisfaction. Both studies found that leadership style and system success are correlated significantly and positively.

Managerial IT Knowledge: Another organizational factor which is important to consider is Managerial IT knowledge. “Managerial IT knowledge refers to senior management experience and knowledge concerning information technology.” Logically it makes sense for senior management to understand the technology behind IT projects, in order to realize the benefits an organization can accrue through successful implementation of IS. Research has revealed that the IT knowledge of senior managerial staff directly and positively impacts on IT utilization, Boyton et al (1994). Therefore it is in the interest of organizations to employ those with a background in the related field. A manager who is aware of the technology, value and risks may then manage the project accordingly.

Our model has removed the direct relationships, drawn as arrows in the D&M model, between the six dimensions of IS success. Instead, lines connect five dimensions; service, information, and system quality, use, and user satisfaction. This is intended to demonstrate that these five dimensions interact and ultimately impact upon the net benefits of the information system, shown by a double arrow. The arrow is double sided to indicate that these benefits feed back into use and user satisfaction, like in the D&M model (2003). The arrows have been removed given the lack to support to date for the direct relationships between the dimensions at an organisational level. Neither is the model intended to be a process or causal model explaining the determinants of success, but instead is aimed to communicate that each of these dimensions impacts upon the success of an information system. If a system is not deemed a success, through an IS balanced scorecard for example, then each dimension can be examined to identify in what area the system is weak. Although this may satisfy practitioners, academics will still question the relationships between the dimensions of IS success.

Dimensions of IS success
When examining the success of a system, it appears to be necessary to look at more than just the benefits that the systems can offer. Considering the six dimensions of IS success present in the D&M model (2003) appears to provide a more complex evaluation of IS success and identification of elements of the system that are weak. As advised by Petter et al. (2008) success measurement programs can be attached to each dimension of the system together with weights depending on the relative importance of each.

There are six dimensions of IS success: system quality, information quality, service quality, system use, user satisfaction and net benefits. System quality is the ideal characteristics of an IS. Information quality is the ideal characteristics of an IS outputs. Service quality is the quality of the support received from IS. The three qualities would influence the using of the IS and affect user satisfaction. By using IS companies can achieve net benefits such as improving decision-making, increasing sales and so on. On the other hand, companies decide IT investments according the measurement of net benefits, which would affect the other dimensions in turn.

And Finally …
We found that the six dimensions set out by Delone and McLean in their 2003 model to be the most complete approach to measure the complex nature of IS success. We felt, however, that some elements were missing, namely organisational and cultural factors which all impact on the success of an organisation’s IS system.


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