What is it about?

This paper documents a process of introducing new information technology (IT) within the Norwegian army. The research suggests that in the intersection between an organization and IT what emerges as most interesting is the organizational culture. Some of the characteristics of the Norwegian army culture, such as using a particular transfer and application scheme and the use of refreshers training, contributed to a high job rotation, causing instability within the organization and jeopardising the day-to-day work routines within the army units. This part of the Norwegian army's culture combined with an IT system designed in a way that spliced jobs and deskilled workers, while at the same time creating dependencies between different jobs within the organization, contributed to upholding a particular functioning of the organization. Underlying this is the assumption made by the army that as long as the technology is uniform one person can easily be substituted for another. This paper argues that the organizational culture of the Norwegian army was in many ways a hindrance to a successful adoption of IT.

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Why is it important?

Recognising the influence of organizational culture is important, but more empirical studies of organizational culture influence are needed to support the diverse findings presented here and would be a viable and important task in the years to come for anyone interested in a successful adoption of IT systems.


Writing this article was exciting because it touches upon a topic that is becoming more and more important due to the increasing spread of digital technology. This paper can also play an important role in understanding how the digital economy is making us more and more vulnerable regarding the long term impact of the digital technology.

Associated Professor June Solberg Tolsby
Ostfold University College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effects of organizational culture on a large scale IT introduction effort: a case study of the Norwegian army's EDBLF project, European Journal of Information Systems, June 1998, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000295.
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