Publication

Benefits are From Venus, Costs are From Mars

Schuurman, P., Berghout, E. & Powell, P., 2009, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND EVALUATION. Remenyi, D., Ljungberg, J. & Grunden, K. (eds.). NR READING: ACADEMIC CONFERENCES LTD, p. 544-552 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Given the plethora of available information systems (IS) evaluation techniques, it seems unlikely that yet another technique will address the problems of unsuccessful projects and ineffective management. Rather, more insight into the foundations of evaluation techniques may yield greater benefits. One generally accepted, but largely unexplored, issue concerns objectivity and subjectivity in the assessment of costs and benefits. This research in progress addresses three questions regarding these concepts and their objectivity: (1) how different are costs and benefits, (2) what is the gap between the assessments of costs and of benefits in IS evaluation, and, (3) how could this gap be reduced?lt is demonstrates that, over time, the objectivity of evaluation approaches has diminished as they increasingly assess benefits. As cost measurements remain more objective, assessments that seek to compare costs and benefits become more problematic; hence, benefits are from Venus, costs are from Mars and their orbits are diverging. In order to bring the orbits closer together, a design science methodology is adopted to analyse the divergence's influence on evaluation methods, as well as the 'tweakability' for closing the gap. In a field study, an objectified redesign of Bedell's method (1985), previously considered as subjective, is presented, tested, and compared to the original. In this paper it is argued that narrowing the gap, and particularly the objective measurement of IT benefits, is a prerequisite for a more general acceptance of IT evaluation methods. This identification of objectivity as one of the possible causes for existing methods not being the expected success adds to the foundations upon which IS are evaluated. In addition, gaining insights into the multiple properties of evaluation techniques will enable future research on trade-offs between these properties. The research offers practitioners the possibility of increasing the formality of the assessments. This offers improved potential to address resources allocated to IS and increased credibility of the IS function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND EVALUATION
EditorsD Remenyi, J Ljungberg, K Grunden
Place of PublicationNR READING
PublisherACADEMIC CONFERENCES LTD
Pages544-552
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-1-906638-43-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation - , Sweden
Duration: 17-Sep-200918-Sep-2009

Other

Other3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation
CountrySweden
Period17/09/200918/09/2009

Event

3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation

17/09/200918/09/2009

Sweden

Event: Other

    Keywords

  • Objectivity, IS evaluation, evaluation methods, IS economics, SCIENCE RESEARCH, SYSTEMS, OBJECTIVITY

ID: 5023163