CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Timothy J Ellis

Committee Member

Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

William L. Hafner

Abstract

Knowledge gained from completed information technology (IT) projects was not often shared with emerging project teams. Learning lessons from other project teams was not pursued because people lack time, do not see value in learning, fear a potentially painful process, and had concerns that sharing knowledge will hurt their career. Leaders could change the situation; however organizational leaders have not seen value in project learning and have not made it a priority. Yet, if a relationship existed among IT project success variables (PSVs) organizational learning factors (OLFs) and project learning practices (PLPs) then IT leaders may take greater interest in managing knowledge.

The goal of this research was to conduct a correlational study to determine the relationship among OLFs, PLPs, and PSVs within IT organizations. OLFs included those activities at the corporate level that enabled project teams to learn from other projects. PLPs included the activities to learn lessons from a maturing or completed project. PLPs also included activities within an emerging project to harness lessons from prior projects. PSVs described project success.

The research question (RQ) asked; what was the relationship among the OLFs, PLPs, and PSVs? To answer the research question it was necessary to ask four support questions (SQ). First, what elements defined organizational learning, project learning, and project success? Second, how effective was use of organizational learning? Third, how effective was project learning? Fourth, how successful were IT projects?

To answer the first SQ a content analysis was conducted followed by a review with a Delphi team. A survey was then developed based on the content analysis. Finally, a statistical analysis was conducted to answer the remaining SQs and the RQ.

The content analysis and Delphi team review revealed 12 OLFs, 11 PLPs, and 9 PSVs. Answering the second and third support questions the study found that OLFs and PLPs could be used more effectively within IT organizations. However, IT leaders reported that a foundation for organizational and project learning existed. Answering the fourth SQ, IT leaders reported good project success though risk management could be improved. This study found that there was a positive and significant relationship among the OLFs, PLPs, and PSVs. The relationship among the OLFs, PLPs, and PSVs suggests that there is justification to research and develop IT competence in learning.

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