Information Technology and Organizational
Learning Managing Behavioral Change
in the Digital Age Third Edition
Information Technology and Organizational
Learning Managing Behavioral Change
in the Digital Age Third Edition
Arthur M. Langer
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Fo r e w o r d xi Ac k n o w l e d g m e n t s xiii Au t h o r xv I n t r o d u c t I o n xvii
c h A p t e r 1 th e “ r Av e l l” c o r p o r At I o n 1 Introduction 1 A New Approach 3
The Blueprint for Integration 5 Enlisting Support 6 Assessing Progress 7
Resistance in the Ranks 8 Line Management to the Rescue 8 IT Begins to Reflect 9 Defining an Identity for Information Technology 10 Implementing the Integration: A Move toward Trust and Reflection 12 Key Lessons 14
Defining Reflection and Learning for an Organization 14 Working toward a Clear Goal 15 Commitment to Quality 15 Teaching Staff “Not to Know” 16 Transformation of Culture 16
Alignment with Administrative Departments 17 Conclusion 19
v i Contents
c h A p t e r 2 th e It d I l e m m A 21 Introduction 21 Recent Background 23 IT in the Organizational Context 24 IT and Organizational Structure 24 The Role of IT in Business Strategy 25 Ways of Evaluating IT 27 Executive Knowledge and Management of IT 28 IT: A View from the Top 29
Section 1: Chief Executive Perception of the Role of IT 32 Section 2: Management and Strategic Issues 34 Section 3: Measuring IT Performance and Activities 35 General Results 36
Defining the IT Dilemma 36 Recent Developments in Operational Excellence 38
c h A p t e r 3 te c h n o l o gy A s A vA r I A b l e A n d re s p o n s I v e o r g A n I z At I o n A l d y n A m I s m 41 Introduction 41 Technological Dynamism 41 Responsive Organizational Dynamism 42
Strategic Integration 43 Summary 48
Cultural Assimilation 48 IT Organization Communications with “ Others” 49 Movement of Traditional IT Staff 49 Summary 51
Technology Business Cycle 52 Feasibility 53 Measurement 53 Planning 54 Implementation 55 Evolution 57 Drivers and Supporters 58
Santander versus Citibank 60 Information Technology Roles and Responsibilities 60 Replacement or Outsource 61
c h A p t e r 4 o r g A n I z At I o n A l l e A r n I n g th e o r I e s A n d te c h n o l o gy 63 Introduction 63 Learning Organizations 72 Communities of Practice 75 Learning Preferences and Experiential Learning 83 Social Discourse and the Use of Language 89
Identity 91 Skills 92
Emotion 92 Linear Development in Learning Approaches 96
c h A p t e r 5 m A n A g I n g o r g A n I z At I o n A l l e A r n I n g A n d te c h n o l o gy 109 The Role of Line Management 109
Line Managers 111 First-Line Managers 111 Supervisor 111
Management Vectors 112 Knowledge Management 116 Ch ange Management 120 Change Management for IT Organizations 123 Social Networks and Information Technology 134
c h A p t e r 6 o r g A n I z At I o n A l tr A n s F o r m At I o n A n d t h e bA l A n c e d s c o r e c A r d 139 Introduction 139 Methods of Ongoing Evaluation 146 Balanced Scorecards and Discourse 156 Knowledge Creation, Culture, and Strategy 158
c h A p t e r 7 vI r t uA l te A m s A n d o u t s o u r c I n g 163 Introduction 163 Status of Virtual Teams 165 Management Considerations 166 Dealing with Multiple Locations 166
Externalization 169 Internalization 171 Combination 171 Socialization 172 Externalization Dynamism 172 Internalization Dynamism 173 Combination Dynamism 173 Socialization Dynamism 173
Dealing with Multiple Locations and Outsourcing 177 Revisiting Social Discourse 178 Identity 179 Skills 180 Emotion 181
c h A p t e r 8 sy n e r g I s t I c u n I o n o F It A n d o r g A n I z At I o n A l l e A r n I n g 187 Introduction 187 Siemens AG 187
Aftermath 202 ICAP 203
v iii Contents
Five Years Later 224 HTC 225
IT History at HTC 226 Interactions of the CEO 227 The Process 228 Transformation from the Transition 229 Five Years Later 231
c h A p t e r 9 Fo r m I n g A c y b e r s e c u r I t y c u lt u r e 239 Introduction 239 History 239 Talking to the Board 241 Establishing a Security Culture 241 Understanding What It Means to be Compromised 242 Cyber Security Dynamism and Responsive Organizational Dynamism 242 Cyber Strategic Integration 243 Cyber Cultural Assimilation 245 Summary 246 Organizational Learning and Application Development 246 Cyber Security Risk 247 Risk Responsibility 248 Driver /Supporter Implications 250
c h A p t e r 10 d I g I tA l tr A n s F o r m At I o n A n d c h A n g e s I n c o n s u m e r b e h Av I o r 251 Introduction 251 Requirements without Users and without Input 254 Concepts of the S-Curve and Digital Transformation Analysis and Design 258 Organizational Learning and the S-Curve 260 Communities of Practice 261 The IT Leader in the Digital Transformation Era 262 How Technology Disrupts Firms and Industries 264
Dynamism and Digital Disruption 264 Critical Components of “ Digital” Organization 265 Assimilating Digital Technology Operationally and Culturally 267 Conclusion 268
c h A p t e r 11 I n t e g r At I n g g e n e r At I o n y e m p l oy e e s t o Ac c e l e r At e c o m p e t I t I v e A dvA n tA g e 269 Introduction 269 The Employment Challenge in the Digital Era 270 Gen Y Population Attributes 272 Advantages of Employing Millennials to Support Digital Transformation 272 Integration of Gen Y with Baby Boomers and Gen X 273
Designing the Digital Enterprise 274 Assimilating Gen Y Talent from Underserved and Socially Excluded Populations 276 Langer Workforce Maturity Arc 277
Theoretical Constructs of the LWMA 278 The LWMA and Action Research 281
Implications for New Pathways for Digital Talent 282 Demographic Shifts in Talent Resources 282 Economic Sustainability 283 Integration and Trust 283
Global Implications for Sources of Talent 284 Conclusion 284
c h A p t e r 12 to wA r d b e s t p r A c t I c e s 287 Introduction 287 Chief IT Executive 288 Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension Variables in the Chief IT Executive Best Practices Arc 297
Maturity Stages 297 Performance Dimensions 298
Chief Executive Officer 299 CIO Direct Reporting to the CEO 305 Outsourcing 306 Centralization versus Decentralization of IT 306 CIO Needs Advanced Degrees 307 Need for Standards 307 Risk Management 307
The CEO Best Practices Technology Arc 313 Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension Variables in the CEO Technology Best Practices Arc 314
Maturity Stages 314 Performance Dimensions 315
Middle Management 316 The Middle Management Best Practices Technology Arc 323
Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension Variables in the Middle Manager Best Practices Arc 325
Maturity Stages 325 Performance Dimensions 326
Summary 327 Ethics and Maturity 333
c h A p t e r 13 c o n c l u s I o n s 339 Introduction 339
g l o s s A ry 357 re F e r e n c e s 363 I n d e x 373
Digital technologies are transforming the global economy. Increasingly, firms and other organizations are assessing their opportunities, develop- ing and delivering products and services, and interacting with custom- ers and other stakeholders digitally. Established companies recognize that digital technologies can help them operate their businesses with greater speed and lower costs and, in many cases, offer their custom- ers opportunities to co-design and co-produce products and services. Many start-up companies use digital technologies to develop new prod- ucts and business models that disrupt the present way of doing busi- ness, taking customers away from firms that cannot change and adapt. In recent years, digital technology and new business models have dis- rupted one industry after another, and these developments are rapidly transforming how people communicate, learn, and work.
Against this backdrop, the third edition of Arthur Langer’ s Information Technology and Organizational Learning is most welcome. For decades, Langer has been studying how firms adapt to new or changing conditions by increasing their ability to incorporate and use advanced information technologies. Most organizations do not adopt new technology easily or readily. Organizational inertia and embed- ded legacy systems are powerful forces working against the adoption of new technology, even when the advantages of improved technology are recognized. Investing in new technology is costly, and it requires
x ii Foreword
aligning technology with business strategies and transforming cor- porate cultures so that organization members use the technology to become more productive.
Information Technology and Organizational Learning addresses these important issues— and much more. There are four features of the new edition that I would like to draw attention to that, I believe, make this a valuable book. First, Langer adopts a behavioral perspective rather than a technical perspective. Instead of simply offering norma- tive advice about technology adoption, he shows how sound learn- ing theory and principles can be used to incorporate technology into the organization. His discussion ranges across the dynamic learning organization, knowledge management, change management, com- munities of practice, and virtual teams. Second, he shows how an organization can move beyond technology alignment to true technol- ogy integration. Part of this process involves redefining the traditional support role of the IT department to a leadership role in which IT helps to drive business strategy through a technology-based learn- ing organization. Third, the book contains case studies that make the material come alive. The book begins with a comprehensive real-life case that sets the stage for the issues to be resolved, and smaller case illustrations are sprinkled throughout the chapters, to make concepts and techniques easily understandable. Lastly, Langer has a wealth of experience that he brings to his book. He spent more than 25 years as an IT consultant and is the founder of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University, where he directs certificate and executive programs on various aspects of technology innovation and management. He has organized a vast professional network of tech- nology executives whose companies serve as learning laboratories for his students and research. When you read the book, the knowledge and insight gained from these experiences is readily apparent.
If you are an IT professional, Information Technology and Organi zational Learning should be required reading. However, anyone who is part of a firm or agency that wants to capitalize on the opportunities provided by digital technology will benefit from reading the book.
Charles C. Snow Professor Emeritus, Penn State University
CoEditor, Journal of Organization Design
Many colleagues and clients have provided significant support during the development of the third edition of Information Technology and Organizational Learning.
I owe much to my colleagues at Teachers College, namely, Professor Victoria Marsick and Lyle Yorks, who guided me on many of the the- ories on organizational learning, and Professor Lee Knefelkamp, for her ongoing mentorship on adult learning and developmental theo- ries. Professor David Thomas from the Harvard Business School also provided valuable direction on the complex issues surrounding diver- sity, and its importance in workforce development.
I appreciate the corporate executives who agreed to participate in the studies that allowed me to apply learning theories to actual organizational practices. Stephen McDermott from ICAP provided invaluable input on how chief executive officers (CEOs) can success- fully learn to manage emerging technologies. Dana Deasy, now global chief information officer (CIO) of JP Morgan Chase, contributed enormous information on how corporate CIOs can integrate tech- nology into business strategy. Lynn O’ Connor Vos, CEO of Grey Healthcare, also showed me how technology can produce direct mon- etary returns, especially when the CEO is actively involved.
And, of course, thank you to my wonderful students at Columbia University. They continue to be at the core of my inspiration and love for writing, teaching, and scholarly research.
Arthur M. Langer, EdD, is professor of professional practice of management and the director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University. He is the academic direc- tor of the Executive Masters of Science program in Technology Management, vice chair of faculty and executive advisor to the dean at the School of Professional Studies and is on the faculty of the Department of Organization and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education (Teachers College). He has also served as a member of the Columbia University Faculty Senate. Dr. Langer is the author of Guide to Software Development: Designing & Managing the Life Cycle. 2nd Edition (2016), Strategic IT: Best Practices for Managers and Executives (2013 with Lyle Yorks), Information Technology and Organizational Learning (2011), Analysis and Design of Information Systems (2007), Applied Ecommerce (2002), and The Art of Analysis (1997), and has numerous published articles and papers, relating to digital transformation, service learning for underserved popula- tions, IT organizational integration, mentoring, and staff develop- ment. Dr. Langer consults with corporations and universities on information technology, cyber security, staff development, man- agement transformation, and curriculum development around the Globe. Dr. Langer is also the chairman and founder of Workforce Opportunity Services (www.wforce.org), a non-profit social venture
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