How IT organizations handle rapid IT change: five coping mechanisms


Information technology (IT) has become a strategic resource in many organizations. As a result, the management of IT has dramatically increased in importance. However, IT is changing at a rapid rate. This change is increasing the complexity of the challenges facing IT managers. In fact, previous research has hypothesized that IT managers deliberately use specific coping mechanisms to deal with these challenges.

The results from that research were used to construct a survey sent to a nationwide sample of 1,000 IT organizations. Two hundred forty-six respondents provided data to confirm the existence of and refine the definitions for coping mechanisms that IT managers apply to handle changing IT. The research contributes knowledge about how IT organizations cope with rapid IT change and about the relationship of various coping mechanisms to the reduction of the problems of rapidly changing IT. Five categories of coping mechanism – Education and Training, Vendor Support, Endurance, Internal Procedures, and Consultant Support – emerged. An overall model proposing that the use of those categories predicts the reduction in problems from new IT was significant. Moreover, Education and Training and Internal Procedures presaged problem reduction, whereas Endurance and Consultant Support presaged increased problems.

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Correspondence to John “Skip” Benamati.

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Benamati, J.“., Lederer, A.L. How IT organizations handle rapid IT change: five coping mechanisms. Information Technology and Management 2, 95–112 (2001).

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  • information systems management
  • information technology change
  • change management