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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

D. Laurie Hughes, Nripendra P. Rana and Antonis C. Simintiras

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence…

Abstract

Purpose

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence project failure and an analysis of the major areas that can have a significant impact on success; and second, to explore some of the key aspects that have an impact on project management performance from the practitioner perspective and discusses the problems faced by organizations in the closer integration of change and project management.

Design/methodology/approach

This study critically reviews the IS failure literature developing a synthesized view of the key issues and common reasons for projects to fail. The approach taken in this study is one that focuses on a number of key questions that pull together the relevant themes in this genre of research whilst highlighting many of the implications for practitioners and organizations alike.

Findings

Key questions remain on the underlying causes of instances of poor project management as an IS failure factor. The literature has omitted to develop a deeper analysis of the associations between failure factors and the potential causal relationships between these factors. The realization of project benefits relies on the success of both change and project management yet the formal integration of these two disciplines is constrained by separate standards bodies and an immature body of research.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by its theoretical nature lacking an empirical element to provide a deeper analysis of IS failure factors and their interrelationships. This specific area is a recommendation for future research, where causal relationships between failure factors could be developed via a mathematic-based method such as interpretive structural modeling.

Practical implications

With failure rates of IS projects still unacceptably high after decades of attempts to significantly change outcomes, a deeper analysis of this topic is required. The research gaps and recommendations for practitioners highlighted in this study have the potential to provide valuable contributions to this topic of research.

Originality/value

The intent of this study is to present a new perspective of this genre of IS research that develops the main arguments and gaps in the literature from the practitioner viewpoint.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Om P. Kharbanda and Ernest A. Stallworthy

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management,experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learnmuch more from failure. Further…

Abstract

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management, experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learn much more from failure. Further, it is far better and cheaper when we learn from other people′s failures rather than our own. This monograph assesses the requirements of project management in relation to industrial projects, illustrating the factors that can result in failure by means of a series of case studies of completed and abandoned projects worldwide that have failed in one way or another. The key roles played by project planning and project cost control in meeting and overcoming the practical problems in the management of industrial projects are examined in detail. In conclusion the lessons that can be learned are evaluated and presented, so that we may listen and learn – if only we will.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 92 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Marijn Janssen and Bram Klievink

Scant attention has been given to the role of enterprise architecture (EA) in relationship to risk management in information system development projects. Even less…

Abstract

Purpose

Scant attention has been given to the role of enterprise architecture (EA) in relationship to risk management in information system development projects. Even less attention has been given to the inter‐organizational setting. The aim of this paper is to better understand this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship between EA and project failure/success is investigated by – through a workshop – creating a retrospective view on the use of architectures in large and complex ICT‐projects.

Findings

Failure factors can be grouped in organization network, people, process, product and technology categories. The findings show that a disappointingly limited number of public sector development projects make sufficient use of architecture as a risk management instrument. Architectures should be considered both as a risk‐mitigating instrument and as an organizational shaping routine to reduce project failure and manage risk in organization networks.

Research limitations/implications

A single workshop with a limited number of participants was conducted. The findings need further refinement and generalization based on more empirical research investigating the relationship between architecture and project failure.

Practical implications

Architecture should give explicit consideration to risk management and help to draw attention to this. Governance mechanisms need be defined to ensure that the organizations' members become aware of both architecture and risk management. Risk management and EA have similarities, as they are both an instrument and an organizational shaping routine.

Originality/value

Governments collaborate more and more in organizational networks and for that reason often multiple organizations are involved in information system project developments. Enterprise architecture as a risk mitigation instrument has not, to date, been given attention.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Vassilis Gliatis, Ioannis Minis and Kiriaki Myrto Lavasa

Failures represent an important source of variability in service operations and a major performance challenge. As a consequence, the effective management of failures is a…

Abstract

Purpose

Failures represent an important source of variability in service operations and a major performance challenge. As a consequence, the effective management of failures is a prerequisite to achieve lean services. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the operational perspective of failures; that is attempt to quantify the impact of critical failure parameters on key system performance measures, such as cycle time and work‐in‐process. The authors also analyze various operational concepts, or management practices, that service organizations use to address the effects of failures.

Design/methodology/approach

Discrete event simulation was used to model the behavior of a typical two‐stage service system (front‐office, back‐office), and design of experiments to estimate the impact of significant parameters that characterize service failures, on key system performance measures. In a final experiment, three of the most common practices used by management to address failures, and the impact of these practices on system performance under different conditions were analyzed. The findings are validated through a case study in the financial services.

Findings

The results of this study suggest that failures and rework degrade the performance of service systems. This adverse impact is reinforced, if specific inputs of the system deteriorate, such as the ability of the service organization to deliver appropriate quality, to detect failures early and to be capable enough to recover timely and efficiently from failures. In addition, the results show that typical management practices used to address the impact of failures have strengths and weaknesses depending on the characteristics of both the service system and the failures. If this is not taken into consideration, the above managerial practices may lead only to short‐term improvements, while the main causes of failures will remain unsolved.

Originality/value

Analyzing the impact of failures in a service environment is a challenging task. This paper complements the existing literature on service failures by focusing on the related effects on operations. With the use of simulation, the authors quantify the impact of failures on key aspects of operations of the service system and also provide useful insight into the parameters that determine the effectiveness of various management practices used in practice to address failures. Finally, the authors use a case study in financial services to validate the results.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Simmy Marwa and Mohamed Zairi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between causes of corporate collapse/demise and the concept of quality.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between causes of corporate collapse/demise and the concept of quality.

Design/methodology/research

The paper is informed by a review of literature on corporate collapse and quality management. A literature review and global web search of corporate demises is then conducted. Actual causes of corporate demise are established and compared/contrasted with those in the literature to ascertain any similarities/dissimilarities. The link between causes of corporate demise and the concept of quality is then explored and appropriate implications and conclusion drawn.

Findings

Evidence from the research suggests a clear linkage between causes of corporate demise and the concept of quality. Quality deficiencies/flaws if unattended may occasion corporate demise, which may be instant or gradual depending on the degree of corporate resilience.

Practical implications

Corporations can only afford to ignore the concept of quality at their own peril. The linkage between the causes of corporate demise and the concept of quality requires managers to prioritise the concept quality and by extension quality management more seriously than ever before.

Originality/value

The line of inquiry pursued by this paper provides additional insights into the phenomenon of corporate demise from a quality management perspective, thereby broadening its understanding.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Clinton O. Longenecker, Jack L. Simonetti and Thomas W. Sharkey

The purpose of this research is to review the perceptions of 359 front‐line management personnel as to why their organizations fail to achieve desired results and to draw…

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to review the perceptions of 359 front‐line management personnel as to why their organizations fail to achieve desired results and to draw lessons for organizational practice on how to prevent failure and improve organizational performance. Managers from 30 organizations were asked to rate the impact that 25 different performance factors have on their ability to get desired results. The results of the study identified a variety of people and leadership factors as the primary causes of poor performance, while factors such as technology, finances, and government regulations ranked significantly lower in the rankings.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Alton Chua and Wing Lam

This paper attempts to understand the reasons for knowledge management (KM) project failure.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to understand the reasons for knowledge management (KM) project failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Five well‐documented cases of KM project failure in the current literature are reviewed. For each case, the authors examine the circumstantial elements of the failure, including the rationale and intended objectives of the KM project, the outcomes of the project and the reasons that led to project failure.

Findings

From the review, two observations are made. First, KM failure factors fall into four distinct categories, namely, technology, culture, content, and project management. Second, KM projects can be traced along a three‐stage lifecycle, comprising initiation, implementation, and integration.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are discussed and finally synthesized into a model of KM project failure. The model serves as a starting‐point for future research in KM project implementation.

Practical implications

Practitioners may use the model as a risk identification tool for KM project implementation.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the fact that KM project failure is a reality with which both practitioners and researchers have to reckon. Additionally, it leverages on the experiences of five KM failure cases and develops a model that allows KM failure factors to be pre‐empted.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Steven Van de Walle

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on public service failure and develop a research agenda for studying public service failure alongside private service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on public service failure and develop a research agenda for studying public service failure alongside private service failure. The general services management literature has devoted relatively little attention to public services, whereas developments in the private service management literature have not reached public management.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper drawing on the public management literature. Different failure types and causes are discussed, including service failures that are specific to public sector settings. This is linked to the specific public context within which public services operate. Customer reactions to public service failure are then introduced, as well as service recovery.

Findings

Service failures in a public and a private context are different. There are different failure types and different standards of failure. Public management literature mainly studies collective and political reactions to service failure, whereas the private service management literature tends to focus on individual reactions. Finally, attention for service recovery was found to be very limited in the public services literature.

Social implications

Studying public service failure is important because failure can have dramatic consequences for customers, public organisations, and society. Social inequalities that arise as a result of public service failure need to have a prominent role in future research.

Originality/value

This paper develops the concept of public service failure and sets a novel research agenda for studying processes, causes, and consequences of such failure, as well as public-private differences.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

María Leticia Santos‐Vijande, Ana María Díaz‐Martín, Leticia Suárez‐Álvarez and Ana Belén del Río‐Lanza

Appropriate management of service failures involves a complex organizational response that allows an effective internal and external recovery, learn from mistakes and…

Abstract

Purpose

Appropriate management of service failures involves a complex organizational response that allows an effective internal and external recovery, learn from mistakes and introduce future service innovations. Empirical evidence on the organizational recovery practices more suitable to achieve these objectives, leading to superior performance, is limited. The present work seeks to extend the existing literature by identifying the potential dimensions that constitute an integrated service recovery system (ISRS), introducing a strategic, proactive and relational approach to service failure and recovery management, and by proposing a causal model linking the ISRS with performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The ISRS dimensions and their attributes are derived from an extensive literature review and suggestions from academics and business experts. Structural equations modeling is used to test a model linking the ISRS (conceptualized as a second order construct), with client, employee and business performance indicators, using data from a Spanish sample of 151 Knowledge‐Intensive Business Services (KIBS).

Findings

Results confirm that the firms' ability to approach service recovery from a strategic, proactive and relational perspective allows improving performance among clients and employees, that is, the external and internal recovery to occur, which leads to a superior competitive performance.

Practical implications

The ISRS scale can provide managers with a diagnostic tool to analyze their recovery practices and to further improve their competitiveness in the long term.

Originality/value

The need to assess the integrative nature of effective service recovery systems has been claimed theoretically. An empirical study showing the link between comprehensive service recovery practices and performance was lacking.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Jelle Van Camp and Johan Braet

After more than 30 years of research, literature on performance measurement systems (PMS) is characterized by diversity and fragmentation. Due to the multidisciplinarity…

Abstract

Purpose

After more than 30 years of research, literature on performance measurement systems (PMS) is characterized by diversity and fragmentation. Due to the multidisciplinarity of stakeholders and researchers involved the basis of literature is expanding, but not converging. The purpose of this paper is to dispersedly discuss failures of PMS in the abundance of literature written.

Design/methodology/approach

Over 250 articles related to PMS have been analyzed in order to shortlist failures of PMS. Two criteria have been used: explicitly referenced being a failure; or mentioned as being essential for a successful PMS. Next steps were clustering, cross-checking with academics and professionals and re-allocation to appropriate levels.

Findings

This paper identifies 36 failures and proposes an easy taxonomy for further referencing by attribution to three levels: metric, framework and management. Failures range from uncertainties in data gathering, lack of knowledge and dealing with complexity, toward the allocation of necessary resources.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are attributed to the abundance of research published on PMS. Consequently, incorporated papers are a subset representing the current state of the research domain. Furthermore, the completeness of the list can be discussed as well as the level of generalization of the proposed taxonomy.

Originality/value

Both academics and professionals can benefit from this study as it creates an awareness of the risks involved when constructing, implementing and managing a PMS. Therefore, this original research ought to be seen as a catalyst for a learning curve, as it puts the research of PMS in a different perspective.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 65 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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