The objective of this thesis is to study the characteristics of the interdepartmental conflicts between MIS department and user departments in MIS implementation process. The relationships between the causes of conflict and conflict, the influences of system characteristics on the cause of conflict, the effects of conflict management variables, and the relationships between conflict and MIS success were examined. The main variables in this research were extracted from the previous researches regarding both the interdepartmental conflict in organizational behavior and behaviorial problems of MIS implementation.
The conflict between two departments was studied in the context of the five stages of the System Development Life Cycle in order to examine the relationships among the variables more analytically. Here the stages consist of survey stage, analysis stage, design stage, implementation stage, and operation stage.
The causes of conflict considered were difference of objectives, communication barriers, interdependence on common resources, role ambiguities, and task-related frustrations. It was hypothesized that the initiator of system development and the degree of structuredness of the task affect the degree of the causes of conflict. The effects of conflict management variables were proposed to be reflected on the decrease of conflict across the system development stages and the decrease of the manifestation of the causes of conflict into the conflict in the operation stage. User participation, top management support, formalization of the system development process, and user education were considered as the conflict management variables. The success of MIS was hypothesized to be correlated with the decrease of conflict and the conflict in the operation stage.
The data for this research were collected from 56 firms which have MIS department. Pearson correlation, t-test, and discriminant analysis were used to analyze the data.
The results of data analysis support the proposed model as a whole. The causes of conflict except difference of objectives had significant correlations with the conflicts of each stage. It was found that two system characteristics affect the causes of conflict. Formalization of the system development process was significantly correlated with the decrease of conflict. And all the conflict management variable were found out to be effective in decreasing the degree of the relationships between some causes of conflict and the conflict in the operation stage.
The conflict in the operation stage was found to have significant negative correlation with the success of MIS but the decrease of conflict was not significantly correlated with it.
The theoretical contribution of this research is that it is the first attempt to derive main variables related with the conflict between MIS and user department in MIS implementation process and prove them to make sense with empirical data. Also the influences of the system characteristics on the causes of the conflict and the effects of the conflict management variables showed in this study suggest some guidelines on the conflict management in MIS implementation in the real field.
But there are some limitations in this study, that is, the lack of strictness in inducing the hyphotheses due to the shortage of the previous researches on this topic, and the lack of validity test of measuring instruments. Further researches are required to investigate the relationships among the variables in more detail and with more refined methodology.