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Making IT Work: A study of an NHS Trust's efforts to implement a successful technochange project

Day, Kathryn (2014) Making IT Work: A study of an NHS Trust's efforts to implement a successful technochange project. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.54439) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:54439)

Language: English

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There is a significant amount of existing research on the topic of project management that dates back to Gaddis’ 1959 seminal paper “The Project Manager”. Most organisations recognise the role that projects play in bringing beneficial change to the business (Cooke-Davies, 2002; Kwak and Anbari, 2008; Maylor et al, 2006; Smyth and Morris, 2007; Kloppenborg and Opfer, 2002) and they increasingly use project management processes to seek to improve business results (Mathur et al, 2007). However, the “projectification” of business has not proved to be the panacea that individuals and organisations hoped (Maylor et al, 2006). Despite the volume of research conducted, limited insight has been made in explaining why project management success rates remain so low (Lyytinen and Robey, 1999; Cooke-Davies, 2002; McManus and Wood-Harper, 2008; Thomas and Fernandez, 2008).

Without a single theoretical base for explaining and guiding successful project management, various different theoretical approaches, have been patched together (Winter et al, 2006b), leading to a knowledge base which is “unstable and fragmented” (Cicmil and Hodgson, 2006b, p. 115). Smyth and Morris urge academics and practitioners to work together to find “an eclectic mix” of concepts and theoretical underpinnings to be used to improve project outcomes (2007, p. 423). This research sought to understand the success criteria and critical success factors necessary for successful IS project management in the NHS. Through an ethnographic approach this research, uses academic and professional literature and practical experience, and sought to contribute to the ‘eclectic mix’ of knowledge and contribute to a deeper understanding of what is actually happening inside projects (Blomquist et al, 2010; Cicmil, et al, 2006, Winter et al, 2006b).

This research found that those criteria in the iron triangle of success (Atkinson, 1999), particularly adherence to budget and schedule, are still prioritised at the expense of other criteria. It found that the organisation understood the importance of the various critical success factors on the project’s outcome but did not apply them in reality. Finally the research found extensive evidence of magic bullet thinking, a belief that the delivery of the new IT/IS alone would result in business change and benefits realisation across the entire organisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Yeow, Pamela
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.54439
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 03/03/2022
Uncontrolled keywords: NHS Project; Success; Change Management; Technochange; IT
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA33 Management Science
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Kent Business School (do not use)
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2016 18:00 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 04:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Day, Kathryn.

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