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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Toward friendly user MIS implementation

Recent management information systems (MIS) and computer science literature advocates the development of “user-friendly” systems as a means of overcoming implementation problems. However, implementation research suggests that it is not enough that the technology be friendly to the user. The user must also be friendly to the system. In formulating solutions to implementation problems, the field of organization development (OD) may serve as a knowledge base for practitoners and researchers. OD and MIS share common goals, common theoretical foundations, and common problems. Consequently, OD techniques may be useful in alleviating certain behavioral problems encountered in MIS implementation. OD concepts and techniques such as planned organizational change, survey feedback, group diagnostic meetings, communication training, role negotiation, and training labs may be used when implementing or changing systems. The premise is that use of these measures will lead to more successful MIS projects.

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