chapter  5
34 Pages

Change Management Strategy Change agentry – the next information systems frontier

WithM. L. Markus, R. I. Benjamin

We wrote this chapter to stimulate Information Systems (IS) specialists’ efforts to become more effective – and more credible – agents of organizational change. It describes what we believe to be a view of the IS specialists’ change-agent role that is very commonly held by IS specialists. We believe that this role, while well-intentioned and supported by structural conditions in IS work, often has negative consequences for organizations and for the credibility of IS specialists. Further, it does not fit the emerging structural conditions of IS. We describe two alternative models of what it means to be a change agent, their potential consequences, and the structural conditions that support or inhibit behavior in that role. We conclude that increased behavioral flexibility of IS specialists – the ability to switch roles in different circumstances – would improve organizational effectiveness and IS specialist credibility. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for research, teaching, and practice.