Most of the problems I have present in this paper can be seen as resulting from the organisational culture. Organisational culture as defined in this paper, is a culture being created through the interaction between the individuals within the Army, their values, perceptions and attitudes in relation to the work they do, the procedures, and rules related to the work. In short the organisational culture, as I see it, results from both a formal and an informal structure.
In this paper I have described how some of the salient characteristics of the Army influenced the adoption of a new information technology. I have argued that the transfer and application system and the use of refreshers training contributed to a high job rotation rate causing instability within the organisation and jeopardising the day-to-day work routines and business activities within units.
This part of the formal structure combined with an IT-system designed in a which spliced jobs and deskilled the workers and at the same time created dependencies between different jobs within the organisation. This contributed to upheld a particular functioning of the organisation. I have also illustrated how the users influence upon this IT-system was reduced to a minimum since their elected representatives did not have any real influence in the steering group in the project.
I claim that the use of military records combined with the transfer and the application system, contributed to an managerial attitude of leaving difficult problems for one’s successor. Toughness to take unpopular decisions was lacking, due to the fact that this could jeopardise one’s military career. Interestingly I found that the formal position of an officer was less important when dealing within a field in which the Army had little previous knowledge.
Some of the lessons learned in this case study are: The organisational culture of an organisation should be paid attention to when introducing an information system. Users influence should be ensured and their elected representatives should be considered as contributing members to the design of the system. According to interviews I made Trade union elected representatives suggested that being members of work groups could have increased their influence. Finally, IT systems should be design with simplicity in mind, since major parts of a complex system may never be used.