Organisational information systems resilience : a Q-methodology approach.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Organisational resilience has gained increasing attention in recent years. In this research, we adopt Agency Theory and Weill’s IT Governance framework to investigate the decision priorities of senior executives in the context of IS resilience planning. IS resilience planning falls under the broader umbrella of IT governance and on an aspect of organisational resilience, that is, on Information Systems (IS) resilience. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study focusing on understanding the decision-making process of senior executives in relation to IS resilience. Although research has been undertaken on the topics of organisational resilience, and IT governance, there is a gap in the literature with respect to IS resilience. This research employ Agency theory combined with Weill’s IT Governance framework to develop a conceptual framework, focused on decision-making and planning for IS resilience. Concourse theory and Q-methodology were used to develop a Q-sort questionnaire, which was refined through interviews with researchers, decision makers from large and small organisations and IS professionals. For the purpose of this research 37 statements were sorted by key decision makers of the Jade Software Corporation, a large private organisation in New Zealand. We report a case study of the Jade, in which we have used Q-methodology to develop a typology of decision priorities for IS resilience planning. The Q-methodology is preferred in research where subjective opinion is to be explored with the goal of developing a typology, since it correlates the individual viewpoints of people rather than correlating variables selected in advance by the researchers. After the senior executives at Jade sorted the Q-statements, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted to better understand their decision priorities. Detailed analysis revealed two types of decision makers in top management team, each representing a unique perspective of IS resilience. These types are discussed, along with 7 implications of findings, a theoretical framework for IS resilience, and suggestions for future research. This research also presents an in-depth case study of Jade adapting in the aftermath of a crisis, lessons learnt from them and also proposes a model for IS resilience planning based on IT governance framework. Moreover, this study shows how Q-Methodology can deepen our understanding of top management decision priorities in context to IS resilience planning, especially in crisis situation, addressing the general question: “How do senior executives in organisations make decisions under crisis situation and how do they prioritise their decisions to ensure IS resilience within their organisation?” It also asks the specific question: “How do senior executives at Jade Software Corporation make decisions under crisis situation and how do they prioritise their decisions to ensure IS resilience at Jade Software Corporation?” Given the potentially devastating implications of disruptions to organisations, understanding the dynamics of the successful adaption of IS within organisations indicates an important avenue for future research. This study provides a valuable contribution to our understanding of Information Systems resilience in organisations.