Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 17 Number 4 2001 pp. 183-202

Rapid Information Technology Change, Coping Mechanisms, and the Emerging Technologies Group

Benamati, John and Lederer, Albert L

ABSTRACT: Information technology (IT) changes rapidly, seriously challenging IT management. In response, many organizations create a formal group of IT professionals to evaluate emerging IT so they can better cope with its change. A survey based on structured interviews was mailed to a nationwide sample of 1,000 IT organizations. Two hundred forty-six respondents provided data to identify categories of coping mechanisms to handle changing IT. Five categories emerged: Education and Training, Internal Procedures, Vendor Support, Consultant Support, and Endurance. Organizations apply Education and Training more extensively than the others. Thus the research contributes to understanding the means by which organizations cope with rapid IT change. The research also found that organizations with a group dedicated to investigating emerging IT cope more extensively, but not more successfully, than do those without one. Thus the research contributes not only by providing an understanding of how organizations cope with rapid IT change, but also by suggesting the need to achieve more from the group charged with emerging IT.

Key words and phrases: emerging technology group, environmental change, information technology management