How to Successfully Manage an It Department under Turbulent Conditions: A Case Study

Reshaping IT management for turbulent times
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Up to , bonus points Up to 75, points. A Paradigm Shift Since the days of Wilbur and Orville Wright, pilots have done an admirable job trying to keep each other posted on weather conditions based on their actual experiences in the sky. Delta Flight Weather Viewer I was given a demo of the app by an honest-to-goodness Delta pilot, who explained that the app can save time, fuel, emissions and worry. Is a Turbulence-Free Future Possible?

Big data, well harnessed, is solving all of that.

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No foreign transaction fees. Under-management of interdependencies is quite often subject to misinterpretation risk, which proportionally increases as inter-organizational knowledge sharing increases. But collaboration can become so resource intensive that the only remaining alternative is either bounded rationality and satisficing, or partitioning adaptive capacity Casselman, Several studies by various academics have shown that collaborative strategies frequently prove to be inadequate, but more interestingly, are maladaptive and tend to promote turbulence, not lessen it.

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Retrenchment is a type of collaborative response. Within the existing framework, retrenchment may be viewed as a tactical retreat in defense of the status quo during a crisis.

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Furthermore, the case study describes how a new management team was How to successfully manage an IT department under turbulent conditions: a case. Download Citation on ResearchGate | How to Successfully Manage an IT Department under Turbulent Conditions | The case study describes the history of the IT.

Another side effect of collaboration caused by extreme turbulence is partitioning through social triage. Social triage implies that the gap between those with and those without sufficient adaptive capacity will increase, not lessen, under turbulent conditions. The act of partitioning occurs when members attempt to allocate and protect limited adaptive capacity. Partitioning becomes a likely phenomenon because of the essentially asymmetrical distribution of resources and skills among members.

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This was not the case, say, some eight years ago, when the automotive industry segment was not growing much at all—above all due to restrictions within the industry. Alternatively, a shipping company can add new activities, such as new market insights, more intimate contacts with specific shippers, new technologies for loading and unloading and for understanding how to operate highly specialized types of ships, etc. It has become a more attractive segment over time for the owners, as the global automotive industry has prospered. Such behavior only appears chaotic, due to its great complexity, but, simultaneously, can be deterministic, i. This demonstrates the predictive power of our model-based approach to controlling turbulent flows and is expected to pave the way for successful flow control at higher Reynolds numbers than currently possible.

When an environment becomes grossly overloaded, but before extreme turbulence becomes endemic, attempts to partition or segment the environment into domains radically varying in turbulence and adaptive capacities will first occur. Social triage is a direct side effect of partitioning and both, as a policy and as an allocation process, is undesirable for humanistic and ethical reasons.


Ethical standards can prevent social triage only as long as agreement can be maintained about the desirability of those standards and effective means exist for enforcing them. The use of markets and prices in a capitalist economy may well reinforce social triage. Therefore the greater the turbulence experienced, the more partitioning and social triage become evident within lower echelons of society in a given environment.

A social enclave is surrounded by higher levels of complexity and change and classified by members that effectively protect adaptive capacity. McCann and Selsky define three criteria for obtaining membership within an enclave, the adequacy of a member's current adaptive capacity, its ability to contribute excess capacity and build the capacity of others within the enclave and the compatibility of the values and goals of prospective members.

The boundaries between domains are actively managed and "closed-system" logic prevails. To explain this phenomenon in terms a bit more comprehensible lets use the analogy of a river and several rafting boats on this river. One boat arrives at a section of fierce and violent rapids and stops.

They collaborate with oncoming rafts and Decide to tether together and head through the rapids using all of their resources as one large raft; this is similar to the social enclave, as the enclave combines their resources and takes on the turbulent environment together.

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Social vortices are surrounded by lower levels and are populated domains of very low adaptive capacity relative to the surrounding environment. Such phenomenon is exactly where extreme turbulence prevails. Going back to our river and raft analogy, imagine if the rafting boats make a collective decision to set to the side of the river just before the rapids and wait for the turbulent waters to secede as a group. This is like the social vortex as the collaborative group separates themselves and decides to wait out the turbulent environment in a group.

Hypothesis 6: Organizations that engage in collaboration will be able to withstand extreme turbulent environments better than organizations that cannot demonstrate collaboration efforts.

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All of the strategic responses to extreme turbulence are some how some way adaptability to the current environment. Hypothesis 7: Organizations that realize any combination of the aforementioned strategic responses will be able to withstand extreme turbulent environments better than organizations that are unsatisfactory at exhibiting one or more of such strategies.

Investigating strategic management and more specifically the strategies themselves is extremely challenging, since the underlying constructs are intangible and difficult to measure Casselman, There are a wide range of issues that have been identified with the reliability and validity of measures and research design in business research but the following methodology has been designed to diminish the chances of unreliable and invalid measures.

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In order to investigate the phenomenon of extreme turbulent environments, a rigorous qualitative case study method has been chosen to examine and analyze the most extreme turbulent environment society has seen since the Great Depression, the Global Financial Crisis. In this section, the methodology necessary to conduct quality, rigorous case study research is outlined. Research has been conducted with data from multiple perspectives to produce multi-faceted analysis, in order to reveal the phenomenon. The following methodology is constructed based on his findings.

The process began with a constructivist paradigm or research question Yin, The goal of the research is to identify patterns or commonalities within one or more of the organizations studied; to determine how these patterns or commonalities manifest themselves in the organization and to understand the relationships and underpinnings between the patterns or commonalities Casselman, One key issue in strategic management research is the poor quality of the measures used Carlson et al. In order to properly define the case and avoid the pitfall of low quality measures, the following question will be answered: Do I want to analyze the difference between organizations?

This study analyzes the differences between organizations, specifically during the financial crisis of Arguably just as equally important as defining the case, is determining what is not to be included in the case Yin, In order to manage the excessive amounts of information available about the financial crisis and impact on all different organizations, four specific companies have been chosen to analyze.

Relatively large firms were selected based on the assumption that as firms become larger and more complex, they have a greater requirement for more formalized strategic use Casselman, These four organizations comprise the research boundaries of this study. The next step is to determine what type of case study will be performed. In this instance we will be using a multi-case design as we are analyzing in different settings Yin, i.

Also, multi-case studies must be approached like an experiment that is to be replicated therefore the same parameters, ratios and aspects of the aforementioned organizations must analyzed in the same manner for each of the four.

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The replication technique used in this study creates external validity and is specifically referred to as a theoretical replication as we are predicting contrasting results from the outset of the investigation. I have also conducted a flexible design to allow for modifications depending on findings throughout the investigation Yin, This study uses annual reports, peer reviewed journals, periodicals, financial records, company websites and other media publications to measure the different strategic adaptive capacity responses to extreme turbulence.

Multiple sources of evidence are examined and explored to demonstrate a concrete chain of evidence and establish patterns in order to create construct validity. Objective performance data was obtained from annual reports and other public databases. Data on sales revenue, number of employees and assets were based on figures found on company websites and published public information.

Although financial performance measures have some indication of relative health of an organization, we want to examine more specifically if our selected organizations exhibited any of the strategic adaptive capacity responses previously identified. This will be conducted via sophisticated content analysis of annual reports. The consistency of only using the same few types of sources to assess patterns and logic establish internal validity of the study. The content of these sources will be analyzed and scaled according to the demonstration of each strategic adaptive capacity. The primary goal of the report is to describe the study in such a comprehensive manner that the reader feels as if they had been an active participant on the research team.

In the previous paragraphs I have outlined these critical steps of the case study methodology design and in order to circumvent the lack of rigor pitfall, every effort was made to approach the research in a reasoned, well-justified and easily replicable, scientific manner. Measures Once all of the steps of the case study design and methodology have been completed it is time to collect the data.

But we must establish what measures and what data are to be collected. For this case study analysis there are two parts; the financial performance data and the content analysis data. The financial performance data will be collected via published information available to the general public.

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To assess the financial performance of the selected organizations, annual sales growth, return on sales, return on assets and growth in employee data will be collected and analyzed. Return on sales will be calculated by using net income from continuing operations, excluding extraordinary items and divide it by sales. Return on assets will be calculated by taking net income from continuing operations, excluding extraordinary items and divide by assets Rasheed.

Growth in employees will be calculated by taking the difference of number of employees divided by the current number of employees. Both Jack and Yin strongly recommend the use of a database to organize data. The advantage of using a database to accomplish this task is that raw data are available for independent inspection. The following is a section of the database I used to compile the financial performance analysis: Summary of Financial Findings Return on Sales Company Year Lehman Brothers 8.

Content analysis suggests that different approaches to coding data are necessary as traditional ratios are not calculated.

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Miles and Huberman , A set of pre-specified codes will be used. The results of the research are organized by each organization.