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Chapter 8. Information Technology Is Not... > IT Is Not Aligned with Human Nature

IT Is Not Aligned with Human Nature

Rob Kling and John Tillquist described a failed reengineering effort at a company they called Coast Pharmaceutical.[1] The company hired a famous consulting firm to lead the effort, and the expertise of the consultants made it extremely difficult for Coast Pharmaceutical employees to question or disagree with them. Coast's employees didn't feel they had permission to bring up what they thought were important issues, and they were afraid of voicing different views than those of the consultants because that felt politically dangerous. The employees didn't want to be labeled as uncooperative or perceived as ignorant of modern management tools.

The consultants' analysis started with preformatted worksheets that made collecting data very efficient. But the worksheets also did something else. “Work” became processes that could be expressed in terms of time, cost, and quality. Work was now defined by the hard data that the reengineering model measured. However, the quantitative reengineering work had nothing much to do with the work experiences that mattered to the Coast employees.


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