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The Role of Business Case Development in the Diffusion of Innovations Theory for Enterprise Information Systems

The Role of Business Case Development in the Diffusion of Innovations Theory for Enterprise Information Systems
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Author(s): Francisco Chia Cua (Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand) and Tony C. Garrett (Korea University, Republic of Korea)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch528



A successful organisation continually initiates and implements radical innovations. The innovation must not only be new. A radical innovation has a significant impact on how the organisation undertakes its business process. Impacting is different from affecting. The former has a more substantial effect on the organisation. This is precisely why new enterprise information systems represent a radical innovation. To be successful, the organisation undertakes an innovation-decision process to align itself, as much as possible, with the ever-changing external realities. The innovation-decision process dictates selling an idea (the business case) that the new enterprise information systems possess economic value to upper management. This paper depicts a bird’s-eye view of how innovation, in this case, the new enterprise information systems, diffuses (episteme) via business case development (techne) in the innovation-decision process. As shown in Figure 1, the adoption and implementation of new enterprise information systems constitute a radical change (prerequisite F). New enterprise information systems represent radical innovation. An innovation-decision process starts with an initiation phase through which the individuals or decision-making units move from identifying and knowing the new enterprise information systems, to the forming of an attitude toward the different competing software packages, and subsequently to deciding whether to adopt or reject the implementation and use of the new idea. A business case is a formally written document that argues about the adoption to a certain course of action. It contains a point-by-point analysis to making a decision for a set of alternative courses of action to accomplish a specific goal. A business case process walks through the initiation phase of the innovation-decision process and talks about the project plans that concern the implementation phase, which follows the initiation phase. The business case document justifies, in detail, the innovation-decision process: what has transpired in the initiation phase and what will transpire in the implementation phase. It takes into account the innovation-decision process. In short, a business case process develops a detailed business case document of the innovation-decision process. Thus, a business case is both a means and an end.

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