This qualitative case study researched the implementation of electronic data interchange (EDI) in Maryland (1991–2008) through the theoretical lens of organizational change management (OCM), striving to explain how and why the initiative originated. Despite some early state documents featuring EDI as a notable project, the initiative has never been evaluated or documented. Moreover, there is no scholarly research that examines EDI implementation. Addressing these needs, data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 11 participants and analysis of historical documents.
This study found that the implementation of EDI within Maryland was a grassroots effort led by key staff at the University System of Maryland (USM) and informal, lacking a change management framework or project plan. There was no dedicated funding at any level, apart from project budgets at two universities. The initiative spread through statewide meetings and workgroups, with EDI champions promoting the need for EDI to benefit students and institutions. Each campus had a functional expert who oversaw the work and technical support from internal or external information technology resources, including assistance from USM.
Perceptions of EDI and the Maryland EDI initiative were mostly favorable. While the project was successful in improving student services, the loosely structured change management process created some barriers to the project that limited its adoption. There were some negative perceptions of EDI being a complex and difficult-to-implement solution and users lacking control over the centralized system managed by USM. Usage data suggests that EDI failed to become a cornerstone in Maryland. Using an OCM framework, this study found that while change need not be top down and formal, having a change management plan and focusing on the personnel-related items before modifying systems and structures may help improve the results of any change initiative, including EDI implementations.
|Advisor:||Hegeman, Johnston, Child, William P.|
|School:||Frostburg State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational technology, Organizational behavior, Higher Education Administration|
|Keywords:||Change management, Electronic data interchange, Electronic transcripts, Maryland, Standardization of Postsecondary education electronic data exchange (SPEEDE)|
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