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An instrument to assess organizational change capabilities for e-business transformation

by Sullivan, Michael Alan.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis investigates organizational change strategies for e-business transformation. It proposes an instrument to measure the strength of a company’s organizational change capabilities to make this transformation. Most “brick and mortar” business in the year 2000 are faced with a massive wave of change associated with the Internet. It is impacting the fundamental rules of business and changing their relationship with customers, suppliers and how work gets done. Firms that successfully make an e-business transformation will be rewarded with growth and strong returns. Many of those who are unable to change will not survive in the long run. A fundamental issue in e-business transformation is disruptive organizational change. A review of the academic literature identifies ten dimensions of organizational change capability that can increase the probability that a company can make a successful disruptive organizational change. These include: emotional unifying vision; use of symbols; enabling the free flow of emotions; providing a transition to the past; creating a playful environment; change infrastructure; first line supervisor buy-in; project management; training; and the reward system. An expert panel was surveyed to get their opinion on the dimensions. Dimensions were added and altered based on these opinions. An instrument was proposed to uncover these dimensions. It was reviewed by an expert panel, and then was then edited based on their feedback. It was found that the opinions of the expert panel were highly correlated with the dimensions identified in the academic literature. The instrument has a reasonable chance to measure the strength of an organization’s change capabilities to make an e-business transformation. Further research could apply this instrument with a representative group of companies to determine the strength of each dimension. 1 Preface As the year 2000 draws to a close, e-business continues to be a hot topic for the global economy. After the shakeout of many dot.com start-ups throughout the year 2000, there is an increasing interest in e-business transformation for existing “brick and mortar” companies to “bricks and clicks” type businesses. The majority of the literature on the subject of e-business focuses on the nature of the Internet change, on specific information systems strategies, or on strategies to help companies be more effective on-line. There is very little literature that focuses on a fundamental issue: the disruptive organizational change that is needed to make a successful transformation. There is a great deal of literature on the subject or organizational change. This thesis applies these principles in the context of e- business transformation. I would like to acknowledge direction and assistance provided by my thesis advisor Dr. Chickory Kasouf. I would also like to acknowledge the help and support of the expert panel that helped shape the dimensions of organizational change capability and provided important contributions to the proposed instrument. These include: Eric Boreczky, Kevin Celuch, Kathryn Curry, Mike Elms, Jim Dale, Lisa Hunter, and Dr. Eleanor Loiacono. 2
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Worcester Polytechnic Institute

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:organizational change electronic commerce

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