A model of internal contextual factor relationships affecting technology implementations

Barbara Edington, Pace University


As the debate regarding how to value the output of technology investments continues, there is also a growing interest in understanding what elements improve the probability of a successful technology implementation. The high cost and risk of implementing new technology projects reflects the economic expense, the cost of the human resources involved with the project and the reputational risk associated with a failed project. The stakes are high and business enterprises are anxious to understand the means to mitigate the risks of failure. ^ The technical aspect of technology projects is only one element, or factor, among many which influence how well the implementation will convert the investment into value. The internal business environment consists of a complex relationship of factors such as the culture, experience, or management capabilities which impact the implementation's level of success or its degree of failure. Since these factors combine to form the environment, or context, of the business, they are referred to as contextual factors. ^ Much of the research in IT is quantitative in nature and looks at individual factors in specific environments. This emphasis on the positivist approach leaves a question as to the overall context created by a group of factors and the relationship between individual factors. While factor research has provided a great deal of information, a gap in the research exists when it comes to a holistic view of the overall internal contextual factors and their relationships. ^ Given that little historical research exists at a holistic level, the choice of research methodology for this dissertation needed to be one that will provide a basis for exploration in a qualitative approach. In addition to the exploratory nature of this research, the concept of contextual factors within an organization is well suited to methodologies that have been used to study social situations since an organization is elementally a social structure. Therefore focused ethnography was chosen as the method to explore a small-scope project. ^ This dissertation aggregates previously identified internal contextual factors into a holistic perspective and develops a conceptual model of the relationships among those factors. ^

Subject Area

Computer Science

Recommended Citation

Edington, Barbara, "A model of internal contextual factor relationships affecting technology implementations" (2005). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3175838.



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