Organizations continuously need to both update and upgrade their organizational and technological infrastructure to maintain a competitive edge. However, a traditional goal of information systems development is to satisfy a stable set of requirements rather than evolutionary ones. This article embraces the call to develop evolving systems in continuously emergent organizations and to identify the main factors that can lead to continuous system development—a continuously moving implementation line—from within the organization. In doing so, we draw on a longitudinal analysis of the experience of a typical Western nursing home that, in the past 12 years, has aimed to internally develop a healthcare provision and management system to support its evolving needs. Our analysis shows that four factors enable this concurrent change: (1) the internal appreciation of change, (2) the external appreciation of change, (3) enlightened management, and (4) emancipated employees. By controlling for the latter two factors, managers of long-term care centers can motivate employees to contribute to the development of the system over long periods and limit undesired behaviors with information technology (IT). From a theoretical perspective, this research shows that focusing on the implementation line in data analysis can be a constructive device for research. Although this construction is useful for studies on IT-driven organizational change, it should be mandatory for studies on evolving information systems in emergent organizations.
Systemes D'information Et Management, 2011, Vol 16, Issue 4