Benefits are From Venus, Costs are From Mars

Peter Schuurman*, Egon Berghout, Philip Powell

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

2 Citaten (Scopus)


Given the plethora of available information systems (IS) evaluation techniques, it seems unlikely that yet another technique will address the problems of unsuccessful projects and ineffective management. Rather, more insight into the foundations of evaluation techniques may yield greater benefits. One generally accepted, but largely unexplored, issue concerns objectivity and subjectivity in the assessment of costs and benefits. This research in progress addresses three questions regarding these concepts and their objectivity: (1) how different are costs and benefits, (2) what is the gap between the assessments of costs and of benefits in IS evaluation, and, (3) how could this gap be reduced?lt is demonstrates that, over time, the objectivity of evaluation approaches has diminished as they increasingly assess benefits. As cost measurements remain more objective, assessments that seek to compare costs and benefits become more problematic; hence, benefits are from Venus, costs are from Mars and their orbits are diverging. In order to bring the orbits closer together, a design science methodology is adopted to analyse the divergence's influence on evaluation methods, as well as the 'tweakability' for closing the gap. In a field study, an objectified redesign of Bedell's method (1985), previously considered as subjective, is presented, tested, and compared to the original. In this paper it is argued that narrowing the gap, and particularly the objective measurement of IT benefits, is a prerequisite for a more general acceptance of IT evaluation methods. This identification of objectivity as one of the possible causes for existing methods not being the expected success adds to the foundations upon which IS are evaluated. In addition, gaining insights into the multiple properties of evaluation techniques will enable future research on trade-offs between these properties. The research offers practitioners the possibility of increasing the formality of the assessments. This offers improved potential to address resources allocated to IS and increased credibility of the IS function.

Originele taal-2English
RedacteurenD Remenyi, J Ljungberg, K Grunden
Plaats van productieNR READING
Aantal pagina's9
ISBN van geprinte versie978-1-906638-43-6
StatusPublished - 2009
Evenement3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation - , Sweden
Duur: 17-sep.-200918-sep.-2009


Other3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation


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