Understanding the dynamics of information technology implementation: The case of clinical information systems

Guy Pare, Florida International University


The ultimate intent of this dissertation was to broaden and strengthen our understanding of IT implementation by emphasizing research efforts on the dynamic nature of the implementation process. More specifically, efforts were directed toward opening the "black box" and providing the story that explains how and why contextual conditions and implementation tactics interact to produce project outcomes. In pursuit of this objective, the dissertation was aimed at theory building and adopted a case study methodology combining qualitative and quantitative evidence. Precisely, it examined the implementation process, use and consequences of three clinical information systems at Jackson Memorial Hospital, a large tertiary care teaching hospital. As a preliminary step toward the development of a more realistic model of system implementation, the study proposes a new set of research propositions reflecting the dynamic nature of the implementation process. Findings clearly reveal that successful implementation projects are likely to be those where key actors envision end goals, anticipate challenges ahead, and recognize the presence of and seize opportunities. It was also found that IT implementation is characterized by the systems theory of equifinality, that is, there are likely several equally effective ways to achieve a given end goal. The selection of a particular implementation strategy appears to be a rational process where actions and decisions are largely influenced by the degree to which key actors recognize the mediating role of each tactic and are motivated to action. The nature of the implementation process is also characterized by the concept of "duality of structure," that is, context and actions mutually influence each other. Another key finding suggests that there is no underlying program that regulates the process of change and moves it form one given point toward a subsequent and already prefigured end. For this reason, the implementation process cannot be thought of as a series of activities performed in a sequential manner such as conceived in stage models. Finally, it was found that IT implementation is punctuated by a certain indeterminacy. Results suggest that only when substantial efforts are focused on what to look for and think about, it is less likely that unfavorable and undesirable consequences will occur.

Subject Area

Business community|Information Systems|Health care

Recommended Citation

Pare, Guy, "Understanding the dynamics of information technology implementation: The case of clinical information systems" (1995). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9610896.