Doctor of Philosophy
Organizations embarking on information technology (IT)-enabled transformation still face struggles with their execution which offers an opportunity to develop better evidence. Substantial opportunity exists to explore how exactly a transformation as a process evolves over time and how organizational structures (mainly social and technological) interact with human agency to cause successful transformation. Focusing on generative mechanisms—the underlying causal powers driving such transformation process—this research performs an in-depth case study of a hospital laboratory unit involved in IT-driven transformation efforts. Using critical realism philosophy and Archer’s (1995) morphogenesis as a complementary perspective, this study conceptualizes the process of IT-enabled organizational transformation and later uncovers some of the key generative mechanisms that contributed towards successful transformation of this laboratory. Data analysis revealed six plausible key generative mechanisms: (1) framing the need, (2) forming the need, (3) cognition frame aligning, (4) materializing critical thinking, (5) validating, and (6) actualization of affordances. Through these insights, this research further advances a generative mechanism perspective of IT-enabled organizational change besides contributing to the knowledge on IT-enabled organizational transformation and usage of critical realism in studying complex IT phenomena.
Summary for Lay Audience
It is extremely important for organizations to transform digitally to remain relevant. Although organizations recognize the importance of digital transformation, they still struggle with its execution. My thesis research tries to provide insights into how execution of technology driven transformation can be achieved. I develop these insights by studying the process of technology driven transformation at a hospital laboratory as the execution was happening. My research reveals that there are six plausible causal mechanisms that contributes towards successful execution of transformation. These are: framing the need, forming the need, cognition frame aligning, materializing critical thinking, validating, and actualizing of affordances. Each of these causal mechanisms in fact reflect assemblages of different interactions that occur among organizational structural components (social; technological; organizational), context and social agents over time suggesting that for transformation process to evolve successfully, dynamic organizing of organizational structural components must ensue so that powers and capabilities inherent to them can manifest and interact at appropriate time periods.
Bemgal, Sampath, "A Critical Realist Evaluation of a Hospital Laboratory IT-Enabled Transformation" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 8128.
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Available for download on Thursday, August 31, 2023