Information system conflicts: causes and types

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Abstract

Conflicts are an inherent part of organizational life and managers deal with confrontations and conflicts on an almost daily basis. IS implementations are a type of change that often leads to open or hidden conflicts. Managers and others involved can only deal with such conflicts effectively if they understand the nature and causes of information system conflicts (IS conflicts). To contribute to such an understanding, this study focuses on the analysis of IS conflicts. In so doing, it aims to identify various types of IS conflicts and to develop a framework that can be helpful in assessing these conflicts. To this end, we have conducted a meta-ethnographic study – that is, we synthesized earlier case studies in which IS conflicts are described. We purposefully selected 11 descriptions of IS conflicts and we analyzed the topics, contexts, and processes of these conflicts. Based on this analysis, we propose a two-dimensional framework of IS conflicts that leads to a categorization involving four IS conflict types: task, implementation process, structure, and value conflicts. Based on the conflicts that were studied, this paper also reveals that, in reality, many IS conflicts have a hybrid form and develop from one type to another over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Information Systems and Project Management
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • meta-ethnography
  • IS implementation
  • conflict
  • conflict types
  • resistance

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