January 7, 2010

Investigative Case Study

Title: The Reasons behind the under utilization of an Electronic Document Management System in an IT Company: An Investigative Case Study


Topic Outline: Innovation is an important aspect of business. Through this, businesses are able to employ systems that could improve both quality and speed of work output. With the rise of information systems and technology, business organizations are installing computer units, purchasing programs and designing information systems that will facilitate various work operations. However, due to certain factors, employees appear to still use conventional or manual work systems. Considering the investment allocated for these innovations as well as the benefit these systems could provide, it is then important to identify the specific reasons for these employees to under utilize these innovations.


Problem to Solve: In a particular company, the bulk of operations are mainly concentrated on document management. Thus, in order to facilitate this important activity, the company opted to have computer programs that will manage the printing and sorting of these important documents. Despite the availability of the necessary software and hardware, computer operators still work on shifts in order to perform these activities. The main IT problem in this case scenario is then the under utilization of the computer and information systems installed for the employees to use.


Theory: Based on personal theory, innovations, specifically those that fall under the IT field, generally help in increasing the productivity of a business organization. Through IT innovation, companies are able to create work output that is unique and of quality. Businesses are able to maintain product or output standards through these technological innovations. Speed in production is also an important benefit of innovation, which cannot be matched by regular manpower. Higher level of work accuracy is also achieved through innovation. Moreover, as IT innovation mainly uses machines and programs, the companies' labor expenses are also reduced significantly. The under utilization of the documentary systems in the company must then be solved so as to help the company obtain these important benefits.


Research Question: In order to solve the identified problem, this dissertation will then focus on the question: Why do the company personnel under utilize their document management systems despite its known benefits?


Expected Form of Answer and its Strategic IT Value: Based on the research question, the expected answers for this dissertation will likely be the reasons behind the under utilization of the company's document management systems. The answers would possibly be the problems of the employees in using the system or the lack of training they had for its proper usage. By means of obtaining these answers, the company will be able to address these utilization problems. This will also make the company realize the importance of proper education and sufficient training of the employees who will operate or use these systems. The strategic IT value of these research answers is then the optimization of the company's document management systems as well as acquisition of benefits through innovation.


Basic Activity for Generating Data: In order to gather data that will answer the research question, the interview method will be used. Through the conduction of the interviews, the perspectives of various involved parties, including the employees, management and software developers, will be obtained. This will also assist in gathering specific information and views that will support the raised research question.


List of Primary Data Items: The answer to the research question will mainly be supported by primary data. The items that will serve as primary data source will include the insights of the employees regarding the available document management systems in the company, the views of the management and the evaluation of the program developers.


Research Method: In order to gather the necessary primary data, the case study method of research will be used. This method focuses on the investigation of an existing phenomenon or situation in a particular area. As this research will focus on the identification of the reasons behind a specific company's innovation problem, this method will be appropriate. A random sampling technique will be used to gather the respondents of the study, which will be composed mainly of the company's managers, employees and IT staff.  The interview will then serve as the research instrument for data gathering.

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