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Change Management and Business Process Management as enabler of the Digital Transformation

What drives successful IT implementation for digitalization of work processes?

Master's Thesis 2019 115 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance

Excerpt

Content

Abstract

Abbreviations

Table of Figures

List of Tables

1. Introduction
1.1 Problem statement and research issue
1.2 Research question and objective of the master thesis
1.3 Structure of the thesis

2. Theoretical foundation
2.1 Examining the nature of Digital Transformation and IT implementation projects
2.1.1 Definitions of the term Digital Transformation
2.1.2 Connection of DT to IT Implementation projects
2.1.3 Transition to Microsoft Office 365 as a distinctive example for complex IT implementation projects
2.2 User-centric perspective from a socio-psychological view
2.2.1 The concept of resistance and acceptance
2.2.2 Phase models explaining human resistance and reaction to change
2.2.2.1 3 phase model of Kurt Lewin to structure change processes in social groups
2.2.2.2 7 phase model of Richard Streich describing emotional reaction to change
2.2.2.3 8 step model by Kotter providing guidance for proactive management of change
2.3 User centricity based on human interaction with and reasons for adoption and usage of IT
2.3.1 The concept of acceptance and adoption
2.3.2 Technology Acceptance Model 3 (TAM 3) explaining adoption and usage of IT
2.4 Management disciplines as enabler for planning and execution of managerial decision making within IT implementation projects
2.4.1 Change Management (CM)
2.4.2 Business Process Management (BPM)
2.4.3 Design Thinking as supplementary management discipline

3. Research methodology
3.1 Design science research approach (DSR) as foundation
3.2 Awareness of a problem and initial proposal for solution
3.3 Construction of the desired solution
3.3.1 Research approach
3.3.2 Research design and data collection
3.3.2.1 User and expert interviews as method for data collection
3.3.2.2 Supplementary personal talks and workshops
3.3.3 Sampling
3.3.4 Interview guidelines
3.3.5 Conducting the interviews
3.3.6 Qualitative research analysis method

4. Findings and analysis
4.1 Summary of findings
4.1.1 Interview topic 1: Perception and definition of the term Digital Transformation
4.1.1.1 Attributes associated with the term Digital Transformation
4.1.1.2 Individual definition of the term Digital Transformation
4.1.2 Interview topic 2: Experiences and challenges within IT implementation projects
4.1.2.1 Perceived level of Digital Transformation
4.1.2.2 Ongoing DT initiatives and IT implementation projects
4.1.2.3 Achievements
4.1.2.3.1 Added value in efficiency and / or effectiveness of work
4.2.3.1.2 Control and flexibility
4.2.3.1.3 Perceived ease of access and use
4.2.3.2 Challenges
4.2.3.2.1 Human aspect within IT implementation
4.2.3.2.2 Transparency and communication
4.2.3.2.3 Testing and training
4.2.3.2.4 Technical aspects and ease of use
4.1.3 Interview topic 3: Interaction of management and employees
4.1.4 Interview topic 4: Application of adequate concepts, methods and tools
4.1.4.1 Change Management perspective: stakeholder-specific communication of user-centric vision and goal setting
4.1.4.1.1 Role of external consultants
4.1.4.1.2 Application of specific methods and tools
4.1.4.1.3 Perceived added-value and usefulness
4.1.4.1.4 Time dimension
4.1.4.2 Business process management perspective: visualization of changes
4.1.5 Interview topic 5: Future outlook
4.2 Thematic analysis
4.2.1 Central theme 1: Change Management
4.2.1.1 Definition of vision and purpose
4.2.1.2 Target-group-specific communication
4.2.1.3 Continuous flow of information
4.2.2 Central theme 2: Business Process Management
4.2.2.1 User-centric implementation approach
4.2.2.2 Transparency of transition by definition and visualization of change process
4.2.2.3 Allocation of responsibilities & tasks
4.2.3 Central theme 3: Technology
4.2.3.1 Perceived added-value & usefulness of the system
4.2.3.2 Connection to business requirements and daily work routines
4.2.3.3 Perceived ease of use
4.2.3.4 Testing and training
4.2.4 Central theme 4: Driving forces and facilitating infrastructure
4.2.4.1 Management commitment, incentivization and support
4.2.4.2 Support services and contact persons

5 Discussion of findings
5.1 Designing framework layers by connecting theoretical foundations and interview findings in the context of IT implementation projects
5.1.1 Superimposition of project cycle phases in IT implementation projects as first layer
5.1.2 Harmonization of user-centric fields of action and recommendations as second layer
5.1.2.1 Perceived suitability of communication and transparency of transition (I)
5.1.2.2 Perceived added-value and usefulness of the system (II)
5.1.2.3 Perceived driving forces and infrastructural support (III)
5.1.2.4 Individual characteristics and professional background as moderators
5.1.3 Allocation of applicable methods to superordinate layers as third layer
5.1.3.1 Allocation to fields of action and recommendations
5.1.3.1.1 Allocation of CM methods
5.1.3.1.2 Allocation of BPM methods
5.1.3.1.3 Allocation of supplementary Design Thinking methods
5.1.3.2 Time allocation to implementation phases
5.1.3.2.1 Time allocation of CM methods
5.1.3.2.2 Time allocation of BPM methods
5.1.3.2.3 Time allocation of supplementary Design Thinking methods
5.2 Initial testing and evaluation of the framework based on practical application
5.2.1 Company profile and IT implementation project context
5.2.2 Overall project planning and realization
5.2.3 Final statement on role of CM and BPM as an enabler for Digital transformation in the form of successful IT implementation projects for digitalization of work processes

6 Conclusion
6.1 Summary of content and findings
6.2 Academic contributions
6.3 Practical contributions
6.4 Limitations and future research

7 References

Appendix A
Corresponding to 2.2.1: Summary of definitions of the term Digital Transformation:
Corresponding to 2.2.2.2: 7 phase model of Richard Streich describing emotional reaction to change:
Corresponding to 2.3.2: Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and its expansion Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as foundation for TAM
Corresponding to 2.3.2: Extensive description of implementation phases and intervention for TAM 3 by Venkatesh and Bala (2008)
Corresponding to 2.4: Extensive description of identified methods from CM. BPM and Design Thinking
Description of CM methods
Description of BPM methods
Description of Design Thinking methods
Corresponding to 3.1: Phases of Design Science Research process model

Appendix B
Summary of interviewed experts and users
Guideline for expert interviews Introduction:
Guideline for user interviews

Abstract

Digital Transformation (DT) is currently a major trend. Diverse application of IT systems within the working environment such as cloud-based collaborative solutions, drew the attention of the business world to assess potential benefits, arising challenges and incurred costs of DT for organizations and their workforce. While DT initiatives often aim to integrate digital technology into areas of business and are initiated and communicated by management on a strategic level at the beginning, challenging operative digitalization and transformation is conducted by external or internal project teams in IT implementation projects. Despite great initial enthusiasm around digital topics and introducing new IT solutions, most planned change processes in organizations do not achieve the desired result. While extensive recommendations for managerial decision making on this topic were proposed in current literature, most recommended fields of action and interventions provided only high-level support lacking ideas for practical execution. Thus, expanding research in this field on investigating the practical realization of IT implementation projects was demanded.

This thesis provides support for practitioners in user-centric decision making to facilitate identifying and managing involved changes and opportunities on the human side of IT implementation, aligning CM, BPM and supplementary Design Thinking concepts and methods and building a connection to derived fields of action and corresponding recommendations, as well proposing time-allocation for implementation phases that represent life cycles of such projects. Those management disciplines on the basis of gained findings can provide reasonable support for practitioners in user-centric managerial decision making.

Applying a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen experts and users, all directly involved in cloud-based collaboration IT system implementation projects. Three framework layers and their corresponding domains based on central themes and their subthemes were constructed by superimposition of project cycles into pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation phases as first layer, harmonization of four user-centric fields of action (perceived suitability of communication and transparency of transition, perceived added-value and usefulness of the system, perceived driving forces and infrastructural support) and corresponding recommendations as second layer and finally by allocation of methods from CM, BPM and Design Thinking to both superordinate layers as third layer. Initial testing and evaluation of the framework is illustrated with a practical example.

Theoretically, this thesis contributes to existing literature in providing a framework to support user-centric decision making in IT implementation. Primary data was required and collected to evaluate and develop the knowledge in the context. Practically it gives valuable insights for future IT implementation projects. The operational framework serves as a management tool providing insights for decision making. Moreover, it gives clear and practically applicable guidance for approaching main questions when considering a user-centric IT implementation approach, which has not been addressed in such a way yet and facilitates a structured course of action. For future research qualitative data basis collected in this thesis can be expanded and utilized formulating and testing hypothesis to provide quantitative evidence for the developed findings on the framework and further refine results.

Keywords: Digital Transformation, user-centricity, IT implementation framework, Change Management, Business Process Management, Design Thinking

Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table of Figures

Figure 1: 3 phases according to Kurt Lewin (1947) to structure change processes in social groups

Figure 2: 7 phase model according to Richard Streich (1997) describing emotional reaction to change

Figure 3: 8 step model according to Kotter (2012) providing guidance for proactive management of change

Figure 4: Integration of the three models

Figure 5: Innovation Decision Process according to Rogers (2010)

Figure 6: Technology Acceptance Model 3 by Venkatesh and Bala, (2008)

Figure 7: Summary of CM, BPM and Design Thinking methods. Extensive description and argumentation in appendix A

Figure 8: The Design Science Research Approach (DSR cycle) according to Vaishnavi, Kuechler and Petter (2008)

Figure 9: Thematic overview of expert and user interviews

Figure 10: Proposed implementation phases

Figure 11: Proposed fields of action as synthesis of theoretical foundation and interview results

Figure 12: Proposed fields of action and corresponding recommendations

Figure 13: Proposed allocation of methods to fields of action and recommendations

Figure 14: Time allocation of resources proposed by Microsoft (2017)

Figure 15: Proposed time-allocation of methods to implementation phases

Figure 16: Operational framework combining all 3 layers

Figure 17: Overall IT implementation framework structure

Figure 18: Project implementation plan based on application of the operational framework

Figure 19: Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980)

Figure 20: Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) by Ajzen (1990)

Figure 21: Summary of CM, BPM and Design Thinking methods

List of Tables

Table 1: Summary of interventions presented in TAM 3

Table 2: Composition of sample broken down by professional background

Table 3: The six-step process of the thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke (2006)

Table 4: Detected central themes and subthemes

Table 5: Summary of definitions for Digital Transformation in current literature

Table 7: overview of all interview participants

1. Introduction

Digital Transformation (DT) is a major current trend in business fostered by acceleration of technological innovations. Diverse application of information technologies (IT) within the working environment, such as mobile devices, collaborative software systems and cloud solutions, drew the attention of the business world on DT initiatives and resulting IT implementation projects to assess potential benefits, arising challenges and incurred costs of DT for organizations and their workforce. The research on companies initiating DT and implementing new IT within workplaces and working environment, showed that they can increase profitability up to 26% compared to competitors and generate 9% higher revenue from their physical assets

Deconstructing the term DT from its two primary words, “Transformation” describes a change process from an initial general setting (“way of doing things”) towards an improved status with respect to higher efficiency or productivity, with “Digital” classified as the driver of this change i.e. by allowing data to be processed in real-time and used to intelligently derive information or to enable optimization and automation of activities (Stolterman and Fors, 2004; Fitzgerald et al., 2014; Rogers, 2016; Hess et al., 2016). However, the transition to new order is subject of a century old debate. Important philosophers such as Kant, Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes and Machiavelli have already addressed this issue describing the formation of new order as complex and challenging in most cases. While DT projects are often classified as a strategic initiative aiming to integrate digital technology into areas of a business and is initiated and communicated by the management on a strategic level at the beginning, the challenging operative digitalization and transformation is conducted by external or internal project teams in IT implementation projects. As essential to enable and foster benefits, the goal within such projects is to ensure that involved employees adopt and use the newly implemented IT solution in IT implementation and it is meet if employees adopt it during and use the new IT after project closure. Accordingly, DT initiatives and resulting IT implementation in projects often come with organizational changes in internal work environment for companies and their people, i.e. impact on employees in new ways on how they work with processes and technology and manage their projects, places high demands on the responsible project teams to achieve sustainable project success.

With the launch of Microsoft Office 365 in 2011, the opportunity for digital transformation of work environment and working processes with cloud-based collaboration solutions was put into the focus of companies and their people. MS Office 365 enables alignment of the digital and physical world of work through telework solutions allowing for real time collaboration communication and project management with teams all over the world. Consequently, due to the reasons stated above, this creates potential to increase efficiency and productivity in day-to-day work and project management as well as to facilitate and automate business process and even transform business models (Microsoft Corporation, 2017). However, while most people are quite familiar with basic MS Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, new collaboration platforms such as MS Teams and MS Planner and related added functionalities are initially unknown to most users (Microsoft Corporation, 2017). It is important to emphasize that such a transition – migrating from an older MS Office on-premise software to MS Office 365 on-demand solution – does not represent an incremental software update but rather influences of daily work in the above mentioned manner (Microsoft Corporation, 2017).

Therefore, the implementation of cloud-based collaboration IT systems (such as for Microsoft Office 365) remains a challenge to many companies and their project teams conducting IT implementation projects.

1.1 Problem statement and research issue

As initially new and unfamiliar ways of working are introduced with rolling out new IT i.e. such as for cloud-based collaboration systems, this can often lead to perceived uncertainty and resistance of employees to adopt and work with the new solutions (Cascio and Montealegre, 2016; Davenport and Westerman, 2018). Changes within work environment can often cause strong rejection on part of affected employees (Pomeroy and Douvere, 2008; Rogers, 2016; Soon, 2016). Such negative action is usually based on psychological defensive reactions against the new and unknown (Sykes and Venkatesh, 2017). Resistance is even stronger and particularly problematic if cause and goals of the transition process are not clearly identified and communicated from the driving force such as management and involved change consultants (Rogers, 2016; Rocha et al., 2018; Sykes and Venkatesh, 2017). Additionally taking into account personal and cultural user-characteristics makes it even more challenging (Reis et al., 2018).

For practitioners implementing new IT aligning technology and processes with people managing their work life and projects with technologies such as MS Office 365 within the organization, to provide a smooth and efficient workflow of business operations, remains a strong challenge (Gilson et al., 2015; Kretschmer, 2008; McDonald and Rowsell-Jones, 2012; Morphy, 2018). This is confirmed by Kotter (2014, p. 155) stating that up to two thirds of the planned change and transformation initiatives in organizations are broken off, fail completely or at least do not achieve the desired result as they are unsuitable for the anchoring of change within a corporation. One explanation in the context of DT and IT implementation can be found in implementation projects that focus too strongly on technical aspects and do not consequently follow a user-centric perspective resulting in rigid framework conditions and lagging change processes (Hess et al., 2016; Morphy, 2018; Reis et al., 2018; Hyvönen, 2018). Recent literature in this field (Dahlström et al., 2017; Hess et al., 2016; Hess and Singh, 2017; Davenport and Westerman, 2018; Schwarzmüller et al., 2018; Bendiek, 2018) approves this statement, especially for the European business landscape. Furthermore, this is supported by a study of Capgemini Consulting (2018) stating that most companies underestimate the importance of managing the human-side of such projects and miss to account for necessary changes in the operating model, working practices and culture when starting DT and IT implementation projects. Adding to the growing technical challenges within complex and extensive IT implementation projects are the increasing requirements to integrate organizational implications arising from people dynamics and taking the user perspective into implementation as a crucial point for project success.

Up to this point, impact of DT and approaches to IT implementation, as mentioned above, have been part of research in many different fields (finance, HR, supply chain management etc.) and industries (automotive industry, energy sector, financial sector, healthcare sector, telecommunication sector etc.). Current literature does present empirical studies on IT implementation i.e. for ERP system implementation (Sykes, 2015) or how content and social ties impact successful IT adoption (Sykes and Venkatesh, 2017). With the above discussed trends and resulting strategic challenges of DT and operational consequences for IT implementation projects, mainly conceptual and very high-level recommendations and possible interventions for DT and IT implementation projects have been presented. However, there is a gap in the general question of how IT implementation projects are affecting human behavior (i.e. resistance to change) and thereby the design of work (i.e. the way in which employees manage projects and corresponding work in organizations as well as the conditions under which they do so) and what it takes within managerial decision making (e.g. for project managers and consultants) to support employees during roll out and implementation of these IT solutions to create long-lasting effects (e.g. through user acceptance and usage of IT solutions) and thus real value for companies. Furthermore, there has been a growing need for research in the context of DT and IT implementation projects to examine the active management of challenges and opportunities and provide practically applicable guidance for practitioners in managerial decision making (Ewenstein et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016; Morphy, 2018; Sykes and Venkatesh, 2017). Henriette et al. (2015, p. 439), for example, propose to expand research to “examine the realization of digital transformation projects to answer the questions of how to manage a digital transformation and to identify and manage involved changes and opportunities” The authors emphasize the need to examine practical operational issues and to set standard for higher feasibility. The goal of this thesis arises from these research proposals and will be described in the next section.

1.2 Research question and objective of the master thesis

Building on this foundation and identified potential for research, the master thesis aims to provide contribution by answering the research question below:

How can change management and business process management be combined to facilitate Digital Transformation in form of successful IT implementation for digitalization of work processes?

The concept to answer the research question in this thesis is stated as following: as a starting point, nature of DT is examined to provide clear and common understanding of the term. The primary focus of this thesis in terms of goal-setting and contribution to research is to identify and analyze arising challenges and opportunities on the human side of IT implementation projects. This intends to investigate in particular how they can actively be managed in a user-centric way to increase the probability of user adoption and continuous usage. Both are essential to potentially enhancing efficiency and productivity of work life and tasks resulting in successful project closure. On the basis of these considerations, the researcher aims to close the mentioned research gap in supporting practitioners who are involved in such projects (i.e. executing project teams) in user-centric managerial decision making by aligning a socio-psychological and IT research-driven perspective. This is realized by proposing fields of action, recommendation and implementation phases as well as suitable concepts and methods from Change Management (CM), Business Process Management (BPM) and supplemented with Design Thinking first. In a second step, method allocation to identified fields of action, recommendations and implementation phases as project life cycles takes place to improve practical relevance and applicability. As literature has delivered a great amount of conceptual and high-level information on how CM and BPM can be applied separately, this approach represents an integrated view and is in line with the mentioned research gap. All results and findings are channeled in the development of an integrated operational CM-BPM framework as a research model and deliverable of this thesis. The framework can be applied for such projects in order to increase probability of success for implementation of new cloud-based collaboration IT system (i.e. new collaborative software such as MS Office 365). Theoretical foundations are derived from literature and in particular validated and supplemented with insights from a qualitative research approach conducting semi-structured interviews to identify success drivers for IT implementation from expert- and user-perspective.

As implementation of cloud-based IT collaboration solutions (i.e. such as MS Office 365) currently represent a great challenge for many companies, another contribution is given. Up to this point to best knowledge of the researcher, there is no exemplary case study covering IT implementation for work process digitalization. Therefore, a short practical example will additionally be presented on MS Office 365 implementation at MUNICH-BASED CONSULTING AGENCYillustrating an initial testing and evaluation of the framework. Therefore, this thesis also has valuable practical implications as it can support organizations in preparing for the digital transformation.

1.3 Structure of the thesis

Addressing the mentioned research question, the scientific - methodological approach in order to fill the research gap, structures this master thesis into six chapters:

Chapter one gives an introduction. It addresses the topic, provides a thematic delimitation and discussed problem statement and research issue in the master thesis, deriving the main research question and main objectives of the researcher in a next step. A short summary of structure and chapters form the conclusion of this part.

Chapter two provides the theoretical foundation of this work building on current literature and studies covering different topics of DT and IT implementation. It covers definitions of the term DT and its connection to IT implementation projects and MS Office 365 implementation as a special case, approaches user-centricity from a socio-psychological perspective explaining reaction to change and from IT research driven perspective clarifying adoption and usage behavior. It closes by presenting CM, BPM and supplementary Design Thinking as suitable management disciplines for user-centric decision making and outlines respective methods to enable practical application of disciplines.

Chapter three elaborates argumentation for methodological choice. Design science research (DSR) is described shortly providing an overall guiding framework for research methodology. Secondly, applied research approach and design are stated. It outlines how qualitative research methods were applied and primary data collected covering composition of sample, shortly summarizing expert- and user-interview guidelines and conduction of interviews. It closes with describing thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke (2006) as applied qualitative research analysis method.

Chapter four is the first main pillar for framework development. First, presenting a summary of interview finding covering five main interview topics. Secondly explaining how thematic analysis was conducted and describing derived themes and sub-themes more precisely.

Chapter five is the second main pillar. It begins with description and composition of each of the three layers building the developed framework. Subsequently the explanation on how the framework can be utilized is given shortly with presenting a practical example describing the internal IT transition project Office 365

Chapter six forms the conclusion. It starts with summarizing content and generated findings. Conclusions are drawn about practical and theoretical contributions of this work is discussed. Finally, limitations of the research and proposals for future research are explained.

2. Theoretical foundation

This section is divided into four main parts providing relevant theoretical foundations that are built on current literature and studies covering different topics of DT and IT implementation essential to answer the research questions. First, definitions of the term DT are summarized and its connection to IT implementation projects and MS Office 365 implementation as a special case are described shortly. The next section approaches a socio-psychological perspective of user-centricity in describing frameworks and models that elaborate the concept of human resistance and acceptance as well as in particular presenting phase models explaining reaction to change. Adding to that, user-centricity from an IT research driven perspective is addressed next in examining the concept of resistance and acceptance of IT and presenting different technology acceptance models clarifying adoption and usage behavior and further aspects of technology acceptance in this context. The focus lies on preparation and processing of existing theories and models from a socio-psychological and technological research that are suitable for the context of IT implementation projects. Chapter two closes by presenting CM, BPM and supplementary Design Thinking as suitable management disciplines for user-centric decision making on high-level as well as outlining respective methods to enable practical application of disciplines in IT implementation projects .

2.1 Examining the nature of Digital Transformation and IT implementation projects

Due to fragmentation within the understanding of the term, many authors have defined and discussed an exact notion of DT by deriving orientation from different angles (e.g. its field of activity). This argument reaffirms the importance of defining the term more precisely, as no clear formalization exists in academic literature.

2.1.1 Definitions of the term Digital Transformation

While defining the term is not the primary goal of this thesis and summary presented is far from being comprehensive, it does help to build a high-level starting point into the context of IT implementation projects to better understand overall mechanisms and interrelationships. The task of defining the term DT concept can be tackled after the definitions in literature have been collected and recapitulatory be reduced to their basic elements. While being far from comprehensive, table five in appendix A provides an overview of typical DT definitions from literature. The summarized definitions show commonalities and differences that will be explained in the following.

First it can be deduced that DT seems to be perceived as being more than a simple IT-driven switch from analogue to digital (Fitzgerald et al., 2014; McDonald and Rowsell-Jones, 2012) resulting in basic digitalization of resources (e.g. switch to paperless work or a software update). Moreover, it involves strong changes in politics, business, and social issues (Collin et al., 2015, p. 25) and thus affects human life and behavior (Lankshear and Knobel, 2008; Gimpel and Röglinger, 2015; Kane et al., 2015).

Secondly, this complementary “cooperation between man and machine” (Bendiek, 2018, p. 5) as a technological-human output of DT seems to be essential to “radically improve performance” (Westerman et al., 2014, p. 48) with higher effectiveness and efficiency for value creation (Cascio and Montealegre, 2016; Henriette et al., 2016). This has an impact on “a company’s business model, which result in changed products or organizational structures or in the automation of processes” (Hess et al., 2016, p. 124). That is made possible due to “the properties of digital goods, the cost per unit of marginal or additional output incrementally decreases, whereas the amount of all other factors of production stays constant” (Cascio and Montealegre, 2016, p. 351).

In summary, notions of DT focus on divergent aspects such as distinction of applied technology, impact on business model, change in operational processes and in human behavior and as well as deliverables and outputs with respect to increased effectiveness, efficiency and quality, while boundaries of this fields are blurred (Henriette et al., 2016; Ammenwerth et al., 2006). Thus, the researcher attempts to summarize the term as follows: DT can be described as a quite disruptive change process initiated by the introduction, as well as presupposed user adoption and use of IT leading to cultural and social effects with impact on organizations, their structure and value creation.

2.1.2 Connection of DT to IT Implementation projects

As mentioned in the introduction (p.1) DT initiatives are often started on strategic level by management as starting signal, while operative changes are conducted by project teams within single IT implementation projects. Such projects have become popular resulting from technological progress but also increasingly more complex in many aspects. Building the bridge of DT to IT implementation projects it can be assumed that introducing new IT can come with strong technical but also highly complex human-centric changes to organizations and their employees. Thus, necessity to strongly manage the human side of such projects by applying a more user-centric approach has been arising. In presenting DT as the strategic pendant to IT implementation projects that cover the operative part can help to better understand the big picture and therefore challenges and opportunities within such projects (Davenport and Westerman, 2018).

When organizations initiate DT of work environment and processes from a strategic perspective, corresponding IT implementation projects (i.e. implementation of cloud-based collaboration solution such as MS Office 365) are planned and executed on the operational side (Henriette et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016). With growing complexity of IT in working environments, such projects can not merely be classified as IT-driven but moreover user-oriented taking into account not only technical (transforming analog to digital) but also human-centric aspects (Bendiek, 2018; Dahlström et al., 2017; Hess et al., 2016; Davenport and Westerman, 2018; Schwarzmüller et al., 2018). As stated in chapter one, due to this imbalance, primarily IT-driven operational planning and execution of IT implementation seems unsuitable for anchor planned DT initiatives in organizations and are therefore broken off, fail completely or at least do not achieve the desired results within a corporation. (Kotter, 2012; Hess and Singh, 2017; Capgemini Consulting, 2018; Davenport and Westerman, 2018). Accordingly, such projects not only come with new IT solutions but in particular with organizational changes in internal work environment for companies and their people, i.e. impact on employees in new ways on how they work with processes and technology and manage their projects. This places high demands on the responsible project teams to achieve sustainable project success to provide a smooth and efficient workflow of business operations in aligning technology and processes with the challenging management of the human side that will be presented in section 2.2.

2.1.3 Transition to Microsoft Office 365 as a distinctive example for complex IT implementation projects

With the launch of Microsoft Office 365 in 2011, the opportunity for digital transformation of work environment and working processes with cloud-based collaboration solutions was put into the focus of companies and their people. Office 365 enables alignment of the digital and physical world of work through telework solutions allowing for real time collaboration, communication and project management with teams all over the world. Consequently, due to the reasons stated above, this creates the opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity in day-to-day work and project management as well as to facilitate and automate business process and even transform business models. While most people are quite familiar with basic MS Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, new collaboration platforms such as MS Teams and MS Planner and related added functionalities are initially unknown to most users. It is important to emphasize that such a transition – migrating from an older MS Office on-premise software to MS Office 365 on-demand solution – does not represent an incremental software update but rather influences daily work in the above mentioned manner. Therefore, implementation of cloud-based collaboration IT systems (such as for Microsoft Office365) remains a challenge to many companies and their project teams conducting IT implementation projects. While implementation of MS Office 365 appears to be initially not too complex, many projects struggle to achieve desired results. This can often be accounted to lack of communication missing to align for change or sufficiently highlighting benefits and added value as well as provision of clear guidance and attribution of responsibilities as well as motivation and incentives to embrace change during the transformation process (Microsoft Corporation, 2017). Drawing a parallel from research of ERP implementation (Yusuf et al., 2004; Williams et al., 2015; Kohnke, 2017) such projects might not attain its full effect, as employees may mostly apply standard MS Office software and basic functionalities and not take fully advantage of MS Office 365 collaboration and communication tools. Consequently, the researcher will present concepts and explanation models to better understand the user perspective that can also be applied for user-centric decision making within such projects.

2.2 User-centric perspective from a socio-psychological view

As a first theoretical building block, the user perspective is first examined from a socio-psychological point of view. The goal is understanding human reaction to changes in general and to set it into context of organizational changes for employees and their work-life due to change processes. For IT implementation projects (such as introduction of Office365) as a special case of an organizational change it is coming with comprehensive transformation of work routines. Therefore, a particularly high-level of resistance can be expected as employees need to accept and get used to new ways of working first to finally routinize them.

2.2.1 The concept of resistance and acceptance

Considering the etymological definition of the term "resistance" the Oxford dictionary classifies it as "the refusal to accept or comply with something” (Stevenson, 2010). Some authors take a management perspective where resistance is first causing disturbance for a planned transition or change process and second must be broken down by planning and applying interventions from different management disciplines (Matos and Esposito, 2014). Conversely, others understand resistance as the legitimate action of the affected person (i.e. employee) to defend his or her own interests (Mento et al., 2002). Literature describes that resistance due to changes varies individually and is expressed through different ways of behavior (Georgalis et al., 2015).

Acceptance is defined as a multi-dimensional construct divided into acceptance of attitude and behavior (Müller-Böling and Müller, 1986). Further, acceptance of attitude is unobservable and includes an affective and a cognitive component. The affective component takes motivational-emotional elements into account (employees emotionally reject change), while the cognitive component of attitude acceptance causes the comparison of costs and benefits of a change (employees weigh advantages and disadvantages of change based on personal ideas and conceptions) (Müller-Böling and Müller, 1986). The authors added acceptance of behavior to account for changes in form of observable behavior. Acceptance therefore includes the attitude towards a behavior and the way of behavior itself. Therefore, to successfully realize changes within an organization, acceptance of employees must be given.

If one compares the mentioned acceptance research (acceptance as construct from attitude acceptance with affective and cognitive components, as well as behavioral acceptance) with research on individual resistance due to organizational changes (resistance due to a change process involving expression of negative behavioral, emotional, cognitive and intentional reactions), a high degree of conceptual overlap between the two concepts is apparent. Tarlatt (2013) also shows that higher acceptance of change is accompanied by reduced resistance - or vice versa - higher resistance is expected with lower acceptance of the change. Studies in the context of IT implementation identified behaviors, object, subject, threats, and initial conditions as five basic components of resistance (Lapointe and Rivard, 2005). Furthermore, it is assumed that resistance within groups can vary as users in a group will first compare technical features to their organizational context and tasks and making initial assumptions about added value and resistance will finally occur if user perceives threats from the interaction between user and initial conditions. (Rivard and Lapointe, 2012). While many models provide some explanations for occurrence of resistance and acceptance on a high-level, however, they do not present indications for the adequate management and handling of these.

2.2.2 Phase models explaining human resistance and reaction to change

As previously stated, forming a new order in IT implementation projects comes with challenges on the human site. This following phase model of change explain human reaction to and present suggested solutions for shaping change in companies and organizations from a socio-psychological perspective. Phase models of change attempt to provide a framework for action and at the same time show what can be observed as typical in the individual phases (Streich et al., 1997, p. 31). These models can differ considerably in terms of methods, instruments, time intensity, backgrounds, etc., but all commonly formulate intermediate goals in processes, reflect what has been achieved and plan the next steps. In short, they help with order, orientation, communication in the change management process and function largely as decision support for the findings in this thesis.

2.2.2.1 3 phase model of Kurt Lewin to structure change processes in social groups

The term "resistance to organizational change" and recommendations on how to manage these resistances from a managerial perspective were first mentioned by Kurt Lewin (1947). He assumed that change projects usually trigger resistance because they lead to the destabilization of habits, structures and processes in employee’s daily work and absence of resistance would even imply that the initial change process was not successful.

As early as 1947, Lewin has developed a model for change within the framework of the field theory to describe organizational changes.

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Basically, his model distinguishes between three phases (unfreezing, moving und refreezing) that occur during a process of change and must be passed through in order to achieve sustainable success. In the first phase (unfreezing) old behavior, rules, regulations and habits must be broken. Willingness of employees needs to be raised that change is important and necessary. Only when employees internalize this willingness and feel urgency for change, the foundation for the actual change process can successfully be laid. In the second phase (moving) change processes can then be set in motion. New behavior and adapted processes are implemented and need to be internalized by employees. In the third and last phase (refreezing) new behavior and organizational structures must be stabilized and to finally again reach a new state of equilibrium, which, shall be based on a higher level compared to defined goals at the beginning of the change process.

Lewin's work is building foundation for further advanced theoretical and empirical work within the framework of organizational development, which is always geared to the same credo: change projects usually trigger resistance, assuming a disruption of familiar habits, structures and processes. Causes of resistance must be analyzed to derive recommendation on how to manage and overcome arising barrier. Lastly, changes must be stabilized to create a lasting effect. However, due to its high-level of abstraction, Lewin’s 3-phase model provides only limited guidance for the planning of IT implementation projects.

2.2.2.2 7 phase model of Richard Streich describing emotional reaction to change

Richard K. Streich has designed - compared to Lewin's 3-phase model - a slightly differentiated step-by-step model of change in Change Management: Programs, projects and processes addressing emotional reactions of those involved in change management processes (Streich et al., 1997). Huy et al. (2014) approve that the emotional component can be an essential risk for negatively affecting the entire change process. Streich’s model is based on the idea that capabilities for change and perceived individual competence on how to deal with and manage change are correlated. Therefore, he emphasizes that his model can be used to explain the behavior of individuals but is also transferable to entire teams and organizations. It shows how affected individuals or groups experience and react to abrupt and strong changes by describing their emotional reaction.

The seven phases are summarized as in the following. An extensive description can be found in appendix A.

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Figure 2: 7 phase model according to Richard Streich (1997) describing emotional reaction to change

After initial confrontation with necessity of change and adaption in phase one, employees first lack any established patterns of action leading to tremendously negative reactions. After the first state of shock formerly successful patterns of behavior (before the change) are applied in phase two, while new behavior would be more suitable to the new situation. This incomprehension can result in paralysis of the individual to cope with the new situation or to glorification of old structures and former behavior often reflected in a productivity drop. In phase three (rational insight) employees recognize that negative attitude towards change does not deliver desired success and realize that change is unavoidable and necessary. However, a deeper willingness to fundamentally rethink one's own behavior is not completely present as new behavioral patterns still need to be learned. This can result in a low degree of self-efficacy and perceived control and feelings of frustration can often occur accordingly. At the lowest point within the curve, there is a decisive turn in phase four as change is emotionally fully accepted. Employees start to leave their accustomed behavior patterns and begin a fundamental reorientation by building up new competencies. Streich adds that seeking external support (by external consultants or manager) can be useful to provide clarity for upcoming changes and corresponding requirements and processes. Employees begin to actively deal with the situation in phase five (testing, learning) as emerging curiosity drives development, testing for suitability and learning of adapted or new actions. Streich emphasizes that the opportunity to test the newly learned behavior is essential. Furthermore, to enable learning in group or a new environment (e.g. trainings or seminars) and provide further support (e.g. by mentors or hotlines) can be critical to avoid potentially falling back into the second phase (negation). Realization occurs in phase six (insight) from former trail-and-error. Initial success from adaption of new behavior leads to expansion of one's own abilities. Anchoring of actions into everyday life finally begins. In the last phase seven (integration) new ways of acting and behaving are ultimately fully integrated into everyday life and taken for granted.

Streich emphasizes that his model for change mostly describes employees’ initially negative reaction to processing of "bad news" associated with larger, abrupt changes. However, the reaction becomes noticeable in weakened form or even vanish, when changes are perceived or experienced as minor or less fundamental and shattering, if major changes have been announced continuously over a longer period and thus are less surprising or when employees were involved in the development of the change processes from an early stage and were therefore got a stronger perception of responsibility and impact.

2.2.2.3 8 step model by Kotter providing guidance for proactive management of change

The 8 step model presented by Kotter (2012) in Leading change is a further development of Lewin's model. It provides guidance for managing change process and is building on the idea that organization must go through all the steps of the model in order to initiate change successfully. A summary of phases is described as follows.

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Figure 3: 8 step model according to Kotter (2012) providing guidance for proactive management of change

As prerequisite for successful implementation of change projects Kotter recommends creating a sense of urgency for convincing employees of the necessity and urgency of changes. That can motivate majority of employees to stand behind and actively support the desired changes. This can not only function as an igniter, but also work as the engine of transformation. To create sense of urgency, Kotter recommends communicating potential arising opportunities and risks from change to appeal to employees' minds, but above all to their emotions. He approves Streich and recommends involving outsiders, such as management consultants, investors or customers, to help employees view things from a different perspective. A strong guiding leadership coalition ideally representing the entire organization should be built in step two. To operate effectively, this team should have sufficient power, credibility, expertise and leadership qualities and share common goals within the change process as well as mutual trust between team members as a critical success factor. The leadership coalition should develop strategic vision and initiatives for the future in step three. According to Kotter, a clearly formulated vision fulfils three functions: motivating people to take actions in the right direction, even if the first steps are difficult. Helping to coordinate the actions of the individual departments and employees quickly and efficiently and therefore serving as a basis for decision-making. Therefore, Kotter further refined three requirements for a vision: it should be imaginable (creating a clear picture of what the future will look like) and desirable (addressing the long-term interests of all those involved) as well as feasible (contain realistic and achievable goals). It shall be focused (formulated clearly enough to serve as a decision-making aid) but also flexible (enable individual commitment and alternative action when circumstances change). To unfold its effect, it must also be communicable (easy to communicate and explained quickly). Communicating the vision of change by spreading it continuously on various communication channels throughout the organization should help to enlist a voluntary army in step four, to gain acceptance and commitment of employees. Moreover, the leadership coalition should set a good example and adapt its behavior to the new vision and strategy to potentially reduce possible mistrust and increase employee motivation and willingness to cooperate. Barriers should be removed in step five to enable action. In addition to creating acceptance and willingness to change within the workforce, internal structures and systems must also be adapted to the requirements of the new vision and strategy in order to enable employees to act. Due to Kotter, individual access to relevant information and a smooth cross-departmental exchange are critical for the change process. In step six, short-term wins should be generated as large, long-term change projects can lose momentum in the early stages. To maintain motivation and awareness of urgency for all participants, short-term goals should be planned and if achieved, appropriately recognized to additionally reduce potential criticism and cynics. Kotter showed that companies are significantly more likely to successfully complete the transformation process if they achieve and recognize short-term success step by step. Kotter propose to sustain acceleration in step seven by using credibility created by short-term successes to tackle additional change aspects. Further groups of people should be involved in the change process. Concurrently, leadership coalition should ensure maintaining urgency, transparency and focus. Finally, in step eight, Kotter proposes to institute change within the organization. New behavioral norms and common values must be deeply anchored in corporate culture to prevent a relapse into old habits. In order to achieve sustainability, Kotter recommends continuously communicating added value of newly implemented approaches, behavior and attitudes to overall performance of the company on a regular basis.

Kotter’s model presents valuable high-level and conceptual insights on how to design change projects. Combined with presented theoretical foundation and transferred and applied to the context of IT implementation, it further provides content-wise guidance for conducting interviews for the deliverables in this thesis. Appelbaum et al. (2012) revised Kotter’s model and reviewed the eight model steps to investigate collective or individual support in literature. While finding support for most of the steps, no formal studies supported the entire structure with interaction of all components of the model. However, it found approval by Kohnke (2017) proposing a model of organizational change management approach based on Kotter’s model taking into account the changed requirements by focusing on aligning leadership, mobilizing the organization, building capabilities, ensuring sustainability as four main fields (Kohnke, 2017, p.96). Additionally, a set of recommendations for managerial decision making are given. Similar concepts are described by Westerman et al. (2014) and Schwarzmüller et al. (2018) framing the digital challenge by setting a vision and tangible goals provided from management, mobilizing the organization through impact assessment and execution of structural changes, as well as sustaining and stabilizing the transition through adapting to new environment and monitoring of progress and success i.e. through KPIs.

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Figure 4: Integration of the three models

In summary, presented phase models can help to understand the process of human reaction to change from a socio-psychological driven perspective and give valuable orientation on how to design measures helping projects teams to lower resistances to changes. However, it is necessary to build a bridge to IT research to transfer generated insights into the context of user-centric IT implementation projects explicitly to understand drivers for adoption and usage of IT. The focus of investigating literature from IT research on technology acceptance models is to examine reasons for adoption and usage of new IT specifically and thus cover the IT driven perspective of user-centricity. Generated insights will provide a knowledge basis to identify fields of actions, recommendations and suitable management methods to positively affect both first, and orientation on how to possibly subdivide IT implementation projects phases second. Altogether, theoretical findings from socio-psychological and IT-driven perspective models set a thematic basis for conducted interviews and provide a foundation for the developed research model presented in chapter five.

2.3 User centricity based on human interaction with and reasons for adoption and usage of IT

As DT definitions in section 2.1 implicate, introduction of digital technologies has an impact on human life and work as it comes with changes in work routines, habits, behavior, as well as different ways of communication and interaction. The technology acceptance model (TAM) has evolved to become a key model in understanding predictors of human behavior toward potential acceptance or rejection of the technology. Before getting to this point, concepts of acceptance and adoption are clarified in advance. They are basically prerequisite for usage of technology and require replacing former attitudes and old habits with new mindset and adapted behavior.

2.3.1 The concept of acceptance and adoption

As a foundation for analysis of user acceptance, the two terms "acceptance" and the directly related construct "adoption" in the context of innovation and technology will be clarified on a high level first. Rogers (2010, p. 168) describes innovation as “a design for instrumental action that reduces the uncertainty in the cause-effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome”. Further, he defines adoption as a socially affected decision taken over a period of time to “full(y) use of an innovation as the best course of action available” and rejection as a decision “not to adopt an innovation” (Rogers, 2010, p. 172). In summary, the decision-making process for adoption is a continuous search and processing of information to reduce uncertainty by identifying and comparing advantages and disadvantages. Roger’s model frames technology acceptance as an individual decision to adopt an innovation. The original model (Rogers, 2010) shown in figure five, has been adapted several times and is divided into five phases: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation.

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Figure 5: Innovation Decision Process according to Rogers (2010)

If the user is positively passing through all phases, acceptance (Bhattacherjee et al., 2018) of technology is given. Different studies (Tarhini et al., 2015b; Olushola and Abiola, 2017) emphasize the necessity of an observed long-term and repeated use of innovations to consider them as accepted or adopted. All in all, acceptance and adoption represent an important dimension to be considered for managing the human-side in IT implementation projects by defining and executing suitable measures (Ashraf et al., 2014).

2.3.2 Technology Acceptance Model 3 (TAM 3) explaining adoption and usage of IT

Literature presents a large number of models which have continuously been extended and combined (Lai, 2017). In the following, the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and in particular it’s extension TAM 3 are presented shortly. Most models such as TAM 3 are building on the initial model Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) and its expansion Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) by Ajzen (1991) that are described in appendix A. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), developed by Davis (1989) aims to explain the context of user acceptance and adoption of information technology in a more comprehensive manner. It provides a central approach for acceptance research and is the foundation for many following technology acceptance models. Two main constructs namely "perceived ease of use" (PEOU) and "perceived usefulness" (PU) were identified. Davis (1989, p. 320) defines both dimensions as follows. perceived usefulness (PU) as ”degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance and perceived ease of use (PEOU) as ”degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort.“ Both dimensions themselves depend on features of system design and are supported by external variables, such as demographic factors and personality traits. PEOU and PU positively influence the attitude of individuals to use a system which can help to predict actual system usage (Davis, 1989). However, Davis emphasizes limited suitability for voluntary use of IT systems, and the need to add influence factors, such as extrinsic motivation, user experiences with the system, and characteristics of the task to be supported by IT (e.g. complexity of a task). Further, the isolated considerations on IT quality and system quality being the only determinants for overall success of IT adaption and implementation, are described as shortcomings (Tarhini et al., 2015a; Tarhini et al., 2015b). Additionally, there is no explanation for heterogenous effects and various success that can be observed when implementing the very same IT system by applying different IT implementation approaches or the same approach within a different setting (Ammenwerth et al., 2006). Mostly, TAM was criticized for “lack of (providing) actionable guidance for practitioners” with concrete recommendations for action (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008, p. 2). Alain Dennis, a leading researcher in this field suggests in Lee et al. (2003, p. 733) to “imagine talking to a manager and saying that to be adopted technology must be useful and easy to use (...) the reaction would be ‘Duh!’ The more important questions are what makes technology useful and easy to use”. This reaffirms the contribution of this thesis to support practitioners in user-centric decision making. Facing mentioned challenges and shortcomings, Venkatesh and Bala (2008) took into account previous literature on TAM and successive TAM 2 to develop TAM 3. It will function as one of the main building blocks for the research model in this thesis providing the IT driven view of user perspective for the IT implementation framework. The authors identified and added four different types of determinants of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use including individual user and system characteristics as well as social influence and facilitating conditions (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008).

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Figure 6: Technology Acceptance Model 3 by Venkatesh and Bala, (2008)

Venkatesh and Bala (2008, p. 6) describe individual difference variables as personality and/or demographics (e.g., traits or states of individuals, gender, and age) that can influence individuals’ perceptions of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. System characteristics (technical features of a system) have an impact on individuals favorable (or unfavorable) perceptions regarding the usefulness or ease of use of a system. As employees operate in their social (and working) environment social influence covers various social processes and mechanisms that guide individuals to formulate perceptions of various aspects of an IT (i.e. individuals can be influenced by other people's (colleagues) ideas and attitudes). Finally, facilitating conditions represent organizational support that simplify the use of an IT. Moreover, they integrated experience with IT as a moderator for the relationships of (i) perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness; (ii) computer anxiety and perceived ease of use; and (iii) perceived ease of use and behavioral intention. Providing initial guidance for practitioners and building a foundation for future research, (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008) account for the importance to support practitioners with their theoretical findings on a high-level. They recommend to approach IT implementation projects in 2 ways.

Table 1: Summary of interventions presented in TAM 3

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First, by generally dividing the project life cycle structure into two phases with sub-processes based on Cooper and Zmud (1990) and Hsieh and Zmud (2006). The pre-implementation phase aims to minimize initial resistance to a new system and provide realistic views and expectations. It is structured into initiation, adoption and adaption (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008, pp. 292–298). The post-implementation phase includes stages following actual implementation or launch of the system attempting to reduce possible anxiety due to experiences with substantial changes, perceived as threat. It consists of the sub-processes acceptance, routinization and infusion (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008, pp. 298–301).

Secondly they are proposing design characteristics, user participation, management support incentive alignment training organizational support and peer support as post-implementation interventions as a foundation for future research in the following fields (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008, pp. 298–301). An extensive description of implementation phases and interventions can be found in appendix A.

Described implementation phases and interventions can provide valuable guidance for practitioners by setting a high-level perspective. However, lack of explicit applicable methods and allocation to respective IT implementation phases or interventions makes practical application quite challenging. As authors have defined pre- and post-implementation phases only, phase of (actual) implementation as a third project life cycle has not been explicitly described. The model recommends considering user participation in the pre-implementation phase following a more “traditional” high-level approach where for example training, peer support and organizational support mechanism are mentioned not until post-implementation and where early testing and feedback mechanisms are not existing (Wallace and Sheetz, 2014; Westerman et al., 2014; Williams et al., 2015; Olushola and Abiola, 2017). Based on theoretical findings presented in previous sections of chapter two, the researcher consequently attempts to identify suitable concepts and methods to enable practical application in IT implementation projects by leading the view towards CM, BPM and Design Thinking as management disciplines in the following.

2.4 Management disciplines as enabler for planning and execution of managerial decision making within IT implementation projects

Building on described socio-psychologic and IT-driven perspectives of user-centricity and considering derived findings and corresponding challenges, the researcher proposes CM, BPM and supplemented with Design Thinking as three specific management disciplines that can be consulted for managerial decision making. Viewing IT implementation through the lenses of CM, BPM and Design Thinking can support the framework development process in order to understand effects and success factors and how practitioners can target and impact both in user-centric decision making. Planning and execution in IT implementation projects (such as migration to MS Office 365) highly benefit from adaption of frameworks to the types of changes (within the respective organization) (Marangunić and Granić, 2015; Hess et al., 2016). Presented literature has delivered great amount of information on how each of these management discipline can be utilized separately i.e. within change and transformation projects. As mentioned previously, however, presented fields of action and possible interventions for practitioners in the context of DT and IT implementation have mostly been conceptual and high-level. Therefore, the researcher would like to tackle and integrate the different management perspectives and concepts described in the theoretical foundation to finally design a framework in aligning fields of action and recommendations with implementation phases and management methods to support practitioners in user-centric managerial decision making as proposed by researchers such as Hess et al. (2016) and Henriette et al. (2016) within the section 1.1.

2.4.1 Change Management (CM)

In the context of organizational change and transformation, CM can support managerial decision making (Ewenstein et al., 2015; Bohnsack et al., 2018; Capgemini Consulting, 2018; Cullen, 2018). As stated in section 2.2, most human beings are averse to or even afraid of change as impending change can cause (un)justified fears (i.e. of having to take on new tasks, failing to learn them or in dealing with the new situation) (Kotter, 2012; Klonek et al., 2014). These fears can be triggered by ignorance and uncertainty due to lack of information and communication (Matos and Esposito, 2014). CM refers to the planned management of change processes from an initial state to a target state encompassing all aspects of preparation, execution and stabilization (Mento et al., 2002; Kotter, 2015; Morphy, 2018). Human centricity is the focus of all activities of CM and therefore plays an essential role as structures and processes in the company can only be transformed if employees are able and willing to accept and support implemented changes (Soon, 2016; Schwarzmüller et al., 2018).

The main approach of CM is handling changes in a targeted proactive manner, suitably to context. In successful change processes, individual steps are strategically planned, controlled, monitored and stabilized by application of various methods, concepts and instruments to communicate appropriately to situation, to motivate and incentivize employees for change, to arouse enthusiasm for the new and thus to minimize arising conflict or refusal (Ewenstein et al., 2015; Georgalis et al., 2015; Matos and Esposito, 2014; Mento et al., 2002). Due to acceleration of innovation and technology described in the introduction, CM has continuously but slowly developed into a management discipline with stronger focus on agility, flexibility and continuous improvements in the last decade (Kotter, 2014; Morphy, 2018). Ewenstein et al. (2015, p.2) stated that “an obvious difference to traditional CM approaches might be the usage of digital technologies and applications to support the CM activities”. While traditional approaches seem “too static and deterministic for the tremendous speed of change caused by digitization” (Ewenstein et al. 2015, p.4), the application of new digital tools can make digital change more sustainable (Westerman et al., 2014). As DT and IT implementation affect various parts of organization, they require coordination of people, processes, and technologies (Davenport and Westerman, 2018; Goodhue and Thompson, 1995). Literature presents different suitable approaches. The PMBOK Guide (Sixth Edition) published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2017 proposes CM as a management discipline and corresponding methods to be applied specifically for dynamic and complex transformation projects such as IT implementation. In summary, applied CM methods should help understanding needs of involved participants and create alignment and motivation by helping them to identify their personal value added from change (“what’s in it for me?“) (Bryson et al., 2011; Bryson, 2004). In order to plan CM activities, assumptions on the extent and intensity of the change and number of involved participants or stakeholders can be taken into account first as intensity and scope of CM activities are increasing with the extend number of people affected and/or the extent of the change (Mento et al., 2002; Matos and Esposito, 2014). All people directly and indirectly involved in the project are called stakeholders while a stakeholder group is a set of people who have similar needs in relation to the project (Bryson, 2004, p. 24). Missonier and Loufrani-Fedida (2014, p. 1110) highlight that nature, roles, and relations between stakeholders co-evolve within IT implementation projects change and need to be examined and managed actively to minimize project risks and maximize benefits. Stakeholder analysis can ensures to consider stakeholders for risk assessment work and planning of action (Bryson, 2004; Bryson et al., 2011). Lewis (2019, p. 270) emphasizes the importance of extensive communication planning for complex implementation projects to ensure regulated and structured exchange of information across all hierarchies and stakeholder groups. As organizational change projects are often executed by small internal or external teams (i.e. project managers or consultants) arising barriers can complicate their personal connection to affected stakeholders at expense of their trust, motivation and incentive alignment which are essential for change projects (Bryson, 2004). The principle of change agent can help project teams to facilitate access to stakeholders and moreover collect information (i.e. on user needs) and building bridges between stakeholder groups and project teams (i.e. between management, employees and consultants) (Buono and Subbiah, 2014). They may contribute to resistance and function as multipliers for change influencing dissemination positively or negatively respectively (Klonek et al., 2014). In line with those considerations on managing the human side of change, the researcher proposes stakeholder analysis, stakeholder participation matrix, communication plan and principle of change agent as exemplary CM methods to tackle presented challenges arising from resistance to change. An extensive description of and argumentation for mentioned methods can be found in appendix A.

All in all, presented CM methods can help project teams to identify relevant stakeholder group characteristics and needs and involve them with tasks and responsibilities, prepare for changes with continuous communication activities and spread changes through change agents serving as catalysators within an organization.

[...]

Details

Pages
115
Year
2019
ISBN (eBook)
9783346089366
Language
English
Catalog Number
v508153
Institution / College
LMU Munich – ISTO
Grade
1,3
Tags
Digital Transformation Design Thinking Change Management Business Process Management

Author

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Title: Change Management and Business Process Management as enabler of the Digital Transformation