Success and Resistance to Change in IT-Projects: A Case Study of a Large Healthcare IT Project

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One of the biggest IT-projects in Denmark the last five years is the implementation of theHealthcare platform for2.5million peopleathospitals East of The Great Belt, counting Zealand, Bornholm, and the capital, Copenhagen. Thousands of doctors and nurses have had to change their work practices. The implementation caused a lot of discussion to whether the project was a success or not? Also,a Facebookgroup against the platform was created. Based on a longitudinal interview study with key stakeholders and a multi-view analysis of more than 6000 Facebookpostingswe answer the research question: How are IT project success and resistance to change related? Bydeveloping a typology of resistance that we can relate to typologies of IT-project successwe show that IT-project success and resistance to change are intertwined in many ways. In other words, if you want projectsuccessand stakeholder satisfactionyou need to cope with different types of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event12th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems: Living in a Digital World? - NTNU (Online, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 9 Aug 202111 Aug 2021
Conference number: 12


Conference12th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems
LocationNTNU (Online
OtherInformation Systems and the neighboring fields have been concerned with digitalization processes since a long time. The widespread use of digital technologies has sparked opportunities for unprecedented development in terms of lifestyle (Yoo 2010), the relationship between citizens and governments (Androutsopoulou et al. 2019), remote operations (Jonsson et al. 2009), work and organizing (Huysman 2020), healthcare (Kempton and Grisot 2019), and addressing societal challenges (Majchrzak et al. 2016) and digital divides (Masiero and Das 2019; Roland et al. 2017).<br/><br/>In sum, several phenomena are being reassessed in terms of how they are increasingly shaped by digital technologies, i.e. become digital (Baskerville et al. 2020). In a sense, it might be obvious to assume that we live in a digital world.<br/><br/>But do we?<br/><br/>The rhetoric of digital transformation—and with it the idea of digital disruption—is still accompanied by substantial hype (Skog et al. 2018). It often tends to fall short of critically examining the actual day-to-day nature, challenges, and long-term implications of digitalization on a broad scale. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has been only one illustration of the unresolved tensions associated with digital transformation. On the one hand, it has fast-forwarded the adoption of digital technologies for performing tasks remotely in real-time in ways that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago. Interestingly, the adopted technologies were already available in the market, having been developed as part of long-term processes of infrastructuring in different domains (see for example Pardo-Guerra’s (2019) study of finance infrastructures).<br/><br/>On the other hand, the sudden turn to the digital that we have experienced overnight at the outbreak of Covid-19 has also widened existing challenges and re-presented existing tensions and questions that scholarship in IS and in related fields such as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Human Computer Interaction (HCI), has dealt with for quite some time (Baptista et al. 2020; Leidner 2020). In the last years, researchers have for example demonstrated how living with digital technology—as opposed to just adopting it (Faraj et al. 2016)—is causing a re-shuffling of the digital/physical division of labor in organizations (Waardenburg et al. 2018), but also a reconceptualization of labor through the emergence of digital platforms (Constantinides et al. 2018; Erickson et al. 2019). Others have observed how scholars are only beginning to understand the deep consequences that digital technologies, such as those based on AI, are having at different levels (Baptista et al. 2020). Moreover, the spread availability of digital data comes with unresolved social and ethical concerns, for instance in terms of privacy and surveillance (Zuboff 2019). Finally, the remote working arrangements that followed the Covid-19 crisis have shed light on a long-standing tension in our society, whereby remote working often implies that some categories—notably women—tend to be overburdened the house chores and children homeschooling on top of their work tasks (Power 2020; cf. Star and Strauss 1999).<br/><br/>In sum, we are far from understanding what a digital world means and implies. With the conference theme “Living in a digital world?”—with a question mark—we seek to trigger reflection on the nature and implications of the ongoing digital transformation we are living in. A critical and reflective stance toward digital technology design and development has always been at the heart of the Scandinavian IS and Participatory Design (PD).<br/><br/>SCIS/IRIS has a tradition of cross-disciplinarity, openness, and inclusion. We therefore welcome a plurality of voices and themes that engage with digital innovation and seek to construct “more accurate explanations of innovation processes and outcomes in an increasingly digital world” (Nambisan et al. 2017).<br/><br/>We solicit rigorous qualitative and/or quantitative empirical studies as well as conceptual contributions that expand on or call into question existing conceptions of digital transformation. We also welcome submissions that engage with surfacing the substantial new questions and challenges that digital transformation entails. In line with the SCIS/IRIS tradition, we also welcome paper that target general IS topics.
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