Introduction and Purpose of the Study
Information technology (IT) systems play a key role in the success of most of today’s organizations (Jabbari Sabegh & Motlagh, 2012, p. 16). According to Tan, Cater-Steel, and Toleman (2009, p. 1) IT functions are being driven to become more service-oriented and there is increasing pressure for an organization’s IT to become more cost effective. Further, they state in in their exploratory case study, that many organizations are using the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework to accomplish both of those requirements.
The purpose of Tan’s et al. (2009, p. 3) study was to answer the research question “What factors influence the success of implementing IT service management.” Specifically, the authors sought to highlight the challenges and breakthroughs experienced by Queensland Health, a large Australian government operated medical organization, as it implemented the ITIL service framework. Further, the study was conducted to confirm and expand upon earlier research that had identified how five IT project Critical Success Factors (CSF), “key areas where things must go right in order to successfully achieve objectives and goals” (Bullen & Rockart, 1981, p. 7) led to Queensland’s successful ITIL implementation.
This assessment will present two weak areas in Tan’s et al (2009) study. Those areas, which may have had the potential to affect the case’s validity and reliability, associated with the authors’ research design and data collection methods.
The reader will find this paper laid out as follows: first, there is a methods section to identify the potential weaknesses identified in Tan’s et al. (2009) article, followed by a discussion section containing implications of weaknesses to the study results. The paper will conclude with a closing section to provide an overall assessment of the analysis.
Two areas call into question the validity and reliability of the Tan’s et al. (2009) results. First, there are concerns with the consistency of the research design relating to the research question, that which is being measured, and the study’s conclusion. Second, there are potential issues associated with the validity of the data collected including the sample size for the in-depth interviews and the bias of those responsible for the project.
There is an inconsistency between the research question and the research design. Tan et al. sought to answer the question, “What factors influence the success of implementing IT service management?” (2009, p. 3). The authors recognized four types of factor criticalities: First, there are factors that have causal links to success; second, factors that are necessary and sufficient for success; third, those that are necessary for success; and lastly factors only associated with success (p. 2). Of those four, the authors claimed to consider the factors only associated with success. Their methodology used attributes mapped to each of the...