The Impact of Culture on Strategic Information Systems Planning

Table of Contents

Introduction 2

1.0 Sampling Techniques: 2

1.1 Participants 3

1.1.1 Questionnaire survey 3

1.1.2 Interviews 4

1.2 Demographic Characteristics 4

2.0 Data Collection 5

2.1 Survey Pre-Testing 5

2.2 Data Collection 5

2.1.1 Survey Procedures 6

2.1.2 Semi-structured Interviews 6

3.0 Ethical Considerations 6

3.1 Interviews 7

3.2 Questionnaire Survey 7

4.0 Effectiveness and Rigor of Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Research Methods 8

5.0 The Potential Data Analysis Techniques 9

Conclusion 10

The Impact of Culture on Strategic Information Systems Planning

Introduction

The assignment will discuss the study’s methodological approach. The objective of this research is evaluating the impact of culture on strategic information systems’ planning. The reaction and behaviors of employees in an organization depend on the belief and the norms system of that firm, referred to as an organizational structure. The culture of an organization, according to Clarke (2001), affects the process of decision making, where they decide on the direction that a group should follow. One example of these processes is strategic information systems (IS) planning. 

Previous studies have investigated the determinants influencing strategic IS planning. However, there is limited evidence on how culture affects the determinants of strategic IS planning success. The expectation of this thesis is, therefore, to bridge the gap between determinants of strategic IS planning success and culture. It will, therefore, explore the impact that culture has on strategic IS planning. A conceptual model is proposed as the model of choice to describe ways in which culture will affect user participation and top management commitment. 

Present day paradigms behind research approach will be introduced in this assignment. It will later be followed by research procedure introduction, research participants, and the ethical considerations. Especially in this study, the most suitable research design option is qualitative research design. The reason for choosing this design over quantitative design is because it uses variable ideas in the exploration of a greater perspective which is in contrary to quantitative that generally analysis data through images, texts and other techniques Kohler (2008). The research design in the study uses the procedures of data collection and sampling which are crucial in the study.  To evaluate the impact of culture on strategic IS planning, secondary opinions and interviews will be carried out. 

  1. Sampling Techniques

Sampling is the process through which units are selected from organizations or people from a population of interest, where studying the sample results may be generalized back to the population from which they were selected. A sample, on the other hand, is a population subset that represents an entire group (Creswell, 2012). There are three types of sampling according to Barreiro and Albandoz (2001), no-rule sampling, probability sampling, and purposive sampling. In the present study, the sampling technique of choice is probability sampling. Probability sampling gives every individual in the population an equal chance of being selected. A Komapass.com database will be used in selecting the sample as it will give every member of the target population a chance to participate thus eliminating biases. The Komapass.com database will be used in selecting the sample among the users (non-management staff) and the IS executives.

  1. Participants 

The present study will categorize its participants into two: those in the interviews, and the ones in the questionnaire survey. 

  1. Questionnaire survey

Top managers will be used to answer on behalf of organizations. In this section, the survey population will be discussed, sample reviewed, and respondents selected.

  1. Population

The survey’s population includes organizations in the ICT industry. This selection was motivated by the fact the organizations relay a lot of information on technology. This increases the probability of the organizations practicing IS strategic planning as compared to organizations in other industries. The inclusion of ICT organization will include large and middle-sized organizations while excluding small-sized organizations as their probability to use strategic IS planning is lower. The study will thus consider organizations with 20 or more full-time employees, referred to as medium-sized organizations. This cut-off is important as it will increase the number of organizations participating in the research and will give representative results.

1.1.1.2 Sample

A Kompass.com database will be used to select the sample from the target population. For every selected organization, one target respondent will be selected. These respondents will include IS strategic planning department top managers (senior IT managers, IT directors, and CIOs). In case the chosen target respondent’s information is unavailable, another individual will be selected from the top management such as the general manager, Director, or CEO. The selected respondents will be requested to answer the questionnaire if they are familiar with strategic IS planning, and if not, they will be requested to pass the questionnaire to individuals they feel are conversant with strategic IS planning. 

1.1.2 Interviews 

Interviews will be conducted after the analysis of quantitative data. The directors will be requested to select employees to act as information system users. These users are in non-management positions. They will be requested for consent before being engaged in the study. 

1.2 Demographic Characteristics

The section is a representation of the characteristics of the respondents and the participants in the organizations. The respondents’ characteristics will not be used as model constructs’ indicators, where they will be analyzed in verifying if respondents will be appropriate individuals in answering the questionnaire thus verifying the credibility of the response. The characteristics of respondent organization information will be indicated including products, activity, size, and type. The data collection will be conducted as an attempt to understand the organizations in the sample background. The characteristics of the respondents will be included in the study. These include experience, education level, and job title in the ICT industry.

Job TitleNo of Respondents Percentage 
CTO/COO/CIO
CEO/CFO
Managing Director/Director
IS Senior Manager
IS Manager 
Other
No response
Total 

2.0 Data Collection 

2.1 Survey Pre-Testing 

The development of psychometric scales, surveys, and questionnaires is an interactive study process that includes various planned stages. According to Hilton (2015), survey pre-test is a method that checks if questions will work as intended and are well understood by the respondents. Piloting involves testing the research instrument in similar conditions to that of the survey, not for results reporting, but for checking glitches in question-wording and lack of clarity. In the present study, there will be a regular pre-test, where potential respondents will be utilized while using a similar administration method. Specialists in question construction will be used in the study to detect any possible difficulty that may not be revealed by only using pre-test respondents.

Pretesting will be carried out in three stages. The first stage is where a hard copy will be sent to a few IS staff members and researchers in one institution. These pilot participants will identify any problems, inconsistency, errors, and omissions with the design of the questionnaire. The second stage is where a copy of the questionnaire will be sent to any two organizations in the target population. The third stage is sending a questionnaire to more companies that are presented in the target population.

2.2 Data Collection 

Data collection will be conducted in two phases: qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (survey). Creswell and Clark (2011) explain that quantitative research results can be complemented qualitative research which explains and enriches the findings in quantitative design. In the present study, postal and self-administered online questionnaires will be used in quantitative data collection. The questionnaire survey will allow data collection from a wide geographical area at a low cost. Particularly, the cost will be lowered by the administering online surveys for most respondents. This data collection method will be advantageous as it will allow collection of data from numerous respondents within the allocated time. 

In collecting qualitative data, semi-structured questionnaires will be suitable because formulated questions will initiate discussions that relate to the research question. Two methods will be used in recruiting participants of semi-structured interviews: non-management staffs (users) and IS executives. According to this study, users are defined following Alter (2008) as employees in non-management positions performing work using technology, information and other resources in the production of specific services and products for a specific external or internal customer. Therefore, the users in the study may have differential job roles like academician, secretary, or clerks but they all should be the right users of the information system in the organization. The reason for including users in the semi-structured interview is to have a different perspective of the strategies in the organization IS planning which will complement the senior managers’ perspective. 

2.1.1 Survey Procedures 

Each potential participant will be contacted and asked if they are willing to participate in the survey. Those who will give a positive response will be given two options: receiving the questionnaire package by emailing the form and receiving a hard copy of the questionnaire by post. The respondents who will opt to receive the questionnaire in the form of email will be given either the option of answering through the email where they will download the word document and later send it as an attachment or using a web browser to answer an online survey.

2.1.2 Semi-structured Interviews

Before the start of the interview sessions, the participants selected for the semi-structured interviews received invitations through the phone. Those who accepted the invitation will be given a time frame to select the date, and the time they will prefer to undertake the interview. Each semi-structured interview is expected to last between 30 minutes and an hour, both for the IS strategic planning managers and the non-management (users).

3.0 Ethical Considerations

As a researcher conducting research on human participants, it is mandatory to use the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (‘National Statement’). Values and principles applying to human research as in this guideline will be considered. The themes in this guideline will assist in identifying risks involved in human research and the participant’s consent and ways of justifying, minimizing and managing the risks. According to Creswell and Creswell (2013), not all information should be disclosed to participants thus assisting a researcher in drafting information for participants. Each research method has an explicit ethical consideration which will be important in identifying ethical matters that are unique to the selected research method. 

Ethical issues arise in all types of studies. Research ethics will be applied to ensure that the survey will not result in harm to respondents and the target population. A peer review discussion will be conducted with the supervisor and another instructor of choice regarding the content in the questionnaire, the procedures for data collection, interviews schedules, and other research aspects. Ethical issues and any other related detail are discussed in the following subsections. 

It is the responsibility of institutions to establish procedures for human research ethical review. According to NHMRC (2015), the degree of risk will determine the various levels to undertake a review of the research. A HREC should review a study with more than a moderate risk level. An institution has the right to exempt some studies from the review. Before the beginning of research, a judgment is required that a human proposal is ethically acceptable and meets the National Statement requirements. 

The National Statement is responsible for the ethical concept of review, conduct, and design of human research. NHMRC (2015) describes that ethics in research forms a part of the responsibility for an institution’s governance. Complying with legal obligations is another aspect that is not part of National Statement. Some forms of human research are subjective to specific statutory regulations at Territory, State, and Commonwealth levels. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a researcher and institution to be aware of both specific and general legal requirements whenever relevant. 

3.1 Interviews

Respondents will be requested for consent before digitally recording the interviews. If they fail to grant permission, no recordings will be made. The respondents will be well-versed of their right to stop the recordings or the interview process whenever they feel uncomfortable with the survey or any personal issue. The peer review procedure will be used in the interview. 

3.2 Questionnaire Survey

Because participation is voluntary, the survey questionnaire will face less harm or no harm. A peer review will be conducted in line with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (‘National Statement’), and the university’s Code of Ethical Conduct. In line with the research regulations that will involve human participants, the questionnaires will be screened to determine the approval procedures and the risk levels of the survey. A low-risk notification form will be completed before starting on data collection. The small risk notification form and the screened questionnaire will be submitted to human ethics in the University for recording in the low-risk database.

Each participant will receive an invitation letter after contacting them. This will be accompanied by an information sheet that will explain that the study was sent to all respondents together with the survey questionnaire. In the information sheet, participant’s rights will be indicated including the right to ask any question in the survey questionnaire, to refuse to answer any specific question or decline participation, a right to access the findings summary after the research is concluded, and withdrawal from the study project at any time. 

4.0 Effectiveness and Rigor of Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Research Methods

The distinction between qualitative and quantitative research designs accentuates the type of data that a researcher will use on a study. According to Wyse (2011), qualitative research is exclusively explanatory as useable in gaining an understanding of core motivations, opinions, and reasons. On the other hand, Plano and Creswell (2008) explain that quantitative research quantifies a problem by the generation of numerical data or that which is representable in statistical format. It quantifies behaviors, opinions, attitudes, and other defined variables. Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research uses more structured data collection methods.

Quantitative research is done using inferential statistics. It permits the testing of formal hypotheses making it suitable for the positivist paradigm. In qualitative research, precious data is collected to offer a basis for inductive sense-making by the researcher making it suitable for interpretive research. Mixed research is a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. The present study research employs a mixed research design- qualitative design to address the question on the reasons why culture causes success on strategic IS planning, and quantitative research design on the effect of culture on strategic IS planning success.

Mixed research is made of three research designs. According to Creswell and Clark (2011), one of the designs is triangulated- Qual, Quan where quantitative and qualitative designs complement each other with each playing significant and equal roles. The second design is explanatory- QUAN-qual is where qualitative research complements the results of quantitative research that explains and enriches quantitative findings. The third and the last design is exploratory QUAL-quan which uses an intensive exploration by use of qualitative research preceding quantitative research in a way to complement the results of qualitative research. 

The present study will follow a QUAN-qual (explanatory) design because of the study question on the reasons why culture successfully influences strategic IS planning. This question will use an interpretive, inductive approach in interpreting hypothesis testing results addressing the research question.

5.0 The Potential Data Analysis Techniques

It is important for every organization or researcher in a study to analyze data. The reason for data analysis is to obtain useful and usable information. The analysis of data irrespective of whether the study is quantitative or qualitative may forecast on outcomes, compare variables, identify differences in variables, identify relationships between variables, and describe and summarize data (UIO, 2015).  The type of analysis applicable to individual data and the data display or graphic presentation required depends on the scales of data measurement. These scales are numerical, ordinal and nominal. 

The numerical scale uses digits to represent the possible response categories which use a subjective ranking where even the use of zero in the scale is meaningful. According to UIO (2015), digital sale design illustrates a quantifiable difference between following categories and within categories. Ordinal scale classifies data into named or non-numerical categories using an original order. Ordinal scales are used in questions that demand for quality ratings like (poor, very poor, fair, good, and very good) and agreements (strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly agree). Lastly, nominal scale classifies data into named or non-numerical categories, using an arbitrary order. 

In the present study, a procedure to assess considered missing values, checking outliers and normality will be applied. Data screening protects the integrity of inferential statistics tests. Detecting any erroneous data entries in the study will be important. The integrity of any data according to Martin (2007) can be highly compromised by entering wrong figures or data. It is, therefore, important to enter and check data entered in comparison to the data in the Data View. It is also important to use the procedure Analyze, Descriptive Statistics, and Frequencies. 

The possibility of having missing values in a study is high. The missing values occur when some respondents fail to respond to some sections or some items, data management mistakes, and participants’ attrition. Tabachnick and Fidell (2007) explain that missing data can be handled by deleting variables or cases, estimating missing values, and repeating the analysis with or without the missing values. SmartPLs software will be used to replace missing values by the indicator’s mean value.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the present study focuses on the impact of culture on strategic information system planning. A mixed method of research will be used. This method combines both quantitative and qualitative research designs. The combination of the two designs will assist in surveying the effect of IS strategic planning and the reasons for IS strategic planning. The target population and the participants are discussed where all the organizations included will be mid-sized to large ICT organizations. The study will include the demographics of the respondents (experience, education level, and job title in the ICT industry), and that of organizations (products, activity, size and type). Before data collection, a survey pre-test will be carried in three stages. The survey will collect data in two phases: qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (survey) using semi-structured questionnaires. Nominal and numerical scales will be used in analyzing both the qualitative and quantitative data. Therefore, the mixed approach will assist in identifying the effects of culture on IS strategic planning, thus answering the research question on the impact of culture on strategic information systems planning. 

References

Alter, S. (2008). Defining information system as work systems: Implication for the IS field. European Journal of Information Systems, 17(5), 448-469

Barreiro, P., & Albandoz, J. (2001). Population and sample. Sampling techniques (1st ed.). Europe: MaMaEuSch. Retrieved from http://optimierung.mathematik.uni-kl.de/mamaeusch/veroeffentlichungen/ver_texte/sampling_en.pdf

Clarke, S. (2001). Information Systems Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach (1st ed., pp. 18-30). London and Newyork: Routledge.

Crewell, J. W., & Clark, V.L.P (2011) Designing and conducting mixed methods research. London, UK: SAGE Publications

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. 

Hilton, C. (2015). The importance of pretesting questionnaires: a field research example of cognitive pretesting the Exercise referral Quality of Life Scale (ER-QLS). International Journal Of Social Research Methodology, 20(1), 21-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2015.1091640

Kohler, C 2008, Narrative methods for the human sciences, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage,

Martin, W. (2007). Data Screening for Univariate Statistical Analyses (1st ed.). Retrieved from https://oak.ucc.nau.edu/rh232/courses/EPS624/Handouts/FRC%20Data%20Screening%20Handout.pdf

NHMRC. (2015). National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Resource 2007. Australian Government National Health And Medical Research Council. Retrieved from https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/e72_national_statement_may_2015_150514_a.pdf

Plano, C. V. L., & Creswell, J. W. (2008). The mixed methods reader. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

UIO. (2015). Data analysis, interpretation and presentation (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/ifi/INF4260/h10/undervisningsmateriale/DataAnalysis.pdf

Wyse, S. (2011). What is the difference between qualitative research and quantitative research?. Snap surveys. Retrieved from https://www.snapsurveys.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-qualitative-research-and-quantitative-research/

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