Lade Inhalt...

Approaches to the Ex-arte Evaluation of Information Systems

A critical Review

©2003 Diplomarbeit 82 Seiten


This paper critically reviews approaches for the evaluation of investments in information systems prior to their implementation. First, the ground for the review is prepared by examining characteristics of evaluation, information systems and value. A classification of 54 evaluation approaches identified in English and German literature is then presented. Examples of each class are reviewed and their advantages and drawbacks are discussed. Their use in evaluation practice is analysed through the examination of empirical studies and directions for future research are given. A complete overview of state-of-the-art evaluation approaches is given at the end of the paper.

Inhaltsverzeichnis:Table of Contents:
2.1Information Systems3
3.1Antecedents to the Review17
3.2Effect-Assessing Approaches20
3.3Effect-Locating Approaches33
3.4Discussion of Usability of Approaches41
4.1Review of Empirical Studies51
4.2Interpretation of Empirical Studies55
4.3Discussion and Future Research57
Overview of Evaluation Approaches61
Literature Search Strategy64


ID 7027
Sascha Walter
Approaches to the Ex-arte
Evaluation of Information
A critical Review
an der Universität Bielefeld
Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Mai 2003 Abgabe

ID 7027
Walter, Sascha: Approaches to the Ex-arte Evaluation of Information Systems - A critical
Hamburg: Diplomica GmbH, 2003
Zugl.: Fachhochschule Südwestfalen, Universität, Diplomarbeit, 2003
Dieses Werk ist urheberrechtlich geschützt. Die dadurch begründeten Rechte,
insbesondere die der Übersetzung, des Nachdrucks, des Vortrags, der Entnahme von
Abbildungen und Tabellen, der Funksendung, der Mikroverfilmung oder der
Vervielfältigung auf anderen Wegen und der Speicherung in Datenverarbeitungsanlagen,
bleiben, auch bei nur auszugsweiser Verwertung, vorbehalten. Eine Vervielfältigung
dieses Werkes oder von Teilen dieses Werkes ist auch im Einzelfall nur in den Grenzen
der gesetzlichen Bestimmungen des Urheberrechtsgesetzes der Bundesrepublik
Deutschland in der jeweils geltenden Fassung zulässig. Sie ist grundsätzlich
vergütungspflichtig. Zuwiderhandlungen unterliegen den Strafbestimmungen des
Die Wiedergabe von Gebrauchsnamen, Handelsnamen, Warenbezeichnungen usw. in
diesem Werk berechtigt auch ohne besondere Kennzeichnung nicht zu der Annahme,
dass solche Namen im Sinne der Warenzeichen- und Markenschutz-Gesetzgebung als frei
zu betrachten wären und daher von jedermann benutzt werden dürften.
Die Informationen in diesem Werk wurden mit Sorgfalt erarbeitet. Dennoch können
Fehler nicht vollständig ausgeschlossen werden, und die Diplomarbeiten Agentur, die
Autoren oder Übersetzer übernehmen keine juristische Verantwortung oder irgendeine
Haftung für evtl. verbliebene fehlerhafte Angaben und deren Folgen.
Diplomica GmbH, Hamburg 2003
Printed in Germany

2.1. Information Systems... 3
2.2. Evaluation... 8
2.3. Value ... 13
3.1. Antecedents to the Review ... 17
3.2. Effect-Assessing Approaches... 20
3.3. Effect-Locating Approaches... 33
3.4. Discussion of Usability of Approaches ... 41
4.1. Review of Empirical Studies... 51
4.2. Interpretation of Empirical Studies ... 55
4.3. Discussion and Future Research... 57
A. Overview of Evaluation Approaches... 61
B. Literature Search Strategy ... 64

Fig. 1: Model of IS life cycle ... 5
Fig. 2: Classification of evaluation approaches ... 18
Fig. 3: Generic types of indicators ... 24
Fig. 4: Basic concept of the BSC ... 26
Fig. 5: Example of a BSC modified for IS evaluation ... 27
Fig. 6: IE factors for computing the project score... 30
Fig. 7: The three stages of the NNC model... 34
Fig. 8: Process chain map... 36
Fig. 9: Example of effect chain map ... 36
Tab. 1: Overview of application systems ... 4
Tab. 2: Ideal type characterisations of approaches to IS evaluation ... 10
Tab. 3: Components of value ... 14
Tab. 4: Criteria for a characterisation of evaluation approaches... 19
Tab. 5: Basic structure of a SMART table ... 29
Tab. 6: Description of IE factors... 31
Tab. 7: Example of budget allocation ... 34
Tab. 8: Stages of the customer resource life cycle... 38
Tab. 9: Overview of reviewed evaluation approaches
... 43
Tab. 10: General problems of IS evaluation ... 46

BSC balanced
CAD computer-aided
CAM computer-aided
CBA cost-benefit
customer resource life cycle
customer relationship management
IE information
IS information
IT information
net present value
return on investment
simple multi-attribute rating technique
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication
UK United
US United

This paper critically reviews approaches for the evaluation of investments in information
systems prior to their implementation. First, the ground for the review is prepared by
examining characteristics of evaluation, information systems and value. A classification of 54
evaluation approaches identified in English and German literature is then presented. Examples
of each class are reviewed and their advantages and drawbacks are discussed. Their use in
evaluation practice is analysed through the examination of empirical studies and directions for
future research are given.

Today, a significant share of corporate funds is spent on the implementation, upgrading and
maintenance of an information system (IS). Recent studies show that in 2001 the IS budget of
companies worldwide accounted for an averaged 8.8% of total corporate revenues (cf. CSC,
2001). Consequently, a thorough evaluation of investments in information systems before,
during and after the implementation of a project is important. However, the normative
literature reports a great deal of difficulty in the appraisal of these investments (cf. Irani,
2002:11). Although IS evaluation has been an issue for both academics and managers for
more than three decades now, there are still serious concerns about how to select projects for
investments, how to control the development and how to measure benefits after the
implementation (cf. Farbey, 1999:189). This concern has been matched by increased research
activity which prevailed through two broad streams. The first stream aimed to directly
measure the payoff of IS investments for companies and came to mixed conclusions (cf.
Dehning and Richardson, 2002:8). The second stream addressed the question of how IS
investments can actually be assessed by decision-makers and particularly focussed on the
research of evaluation criteria, evaluation methods and the very nature of the evaluation
process (cf. Avgerou, 2000:570).
Of late, several deficiencies in the field of evaluation methods have induced calls for in-depth
research. Academics have criticised the current state of the field as being immature and
fragmented (cf. Mahmood and Szewczak, 1999:491) and have thus demanded "an overview
of the whole panoply of evaluation methods, together with ... the assumptions they depend on
...[in order to enable]... the identification of gaps." (Farbey, Land and Targett, 1999: 205).
Another concern is a growing mismatch of theory and practice of IS evaluation (cf. Arribas
and Inchusta, 1999:151). Although more than 50 techniques for the evaluation prior to
implementation (ex-ante evaluation) have been suggested by the academic literature,
managers still draw some of their IS investment decisions on so-called "acts of faith", i.e. on
their intuition and instincts (cf. Renkema and Berghout, 1997:1; Fitzgerald, 1998:16). These
are worrying phenomena for proponents of rational decision-making.
Therefore, a critical analysis on the potential of the proposed methods, also with regard to
their role in evaluation practice, is desirable. This is the purpose of this thesis which
particularly addresses the following research problems:

(1) What approaches are available for the ex-ante evaluation of investments in
information systems? What are their strengths and weaknesses and to what extent are
they usable in practice?
(2) What role do evaluation approaches play for practical IS investment appraisal?
Essentially, answers to these questions are sought in a comprehensive review of English and
German literature. The practical side of IS evaluation is explored through the analysis of
published empirical studies. Thereby, this paper attempts to reflect the state-of-the-art of the
literature on IS evaluation approaches. Investments into information systems, instead of entire
information systems, are analysed due to the broad definition of such systems in this thesis.
This thesis is organised as follows. In Chapter 2, the ground is prepared through a delimitation
and discussion of the central concepts "evaluation" as general activity, "information system"
as evaluation object and "value" as key evaluation criterion. In particular, evaluation
problems associated with each concept are identified. Chapter 3 presents the criteria for the
selection, classification and characterisation of evaluation approaches within this paper. A
review of representative approaches is given, their individual advantages and drawbacks are
discussed and the usability of all reviewed techniques is examined on a general level. In
Chapter 4, empirical studies on IS evaluation in practice are presented, interpreted and
discussed with respect to the role of evaluation approaches. This reveals several directions for
future research. Finally, conclusions are given in Chapter 5.

2.1. Information
In the previous chapter, a brief introduction stated and justified the focal point of analysis in
this thesis. On this ground, the paper continues with examining the background before which
evaluation approaches are applied. Therefore, aspects of information systems, evaluation and
value are subsequently discussed and especially problems associated with IS evaluation are
The following working definition reflects the fundamental understanding of an IS within this
thesis: an information system is an integrated socio-technical system with a certain life cycle
that aims to provide information within organisations (cf. Krcmar, 2000:20; Alpar, 2002:28;
Stickel, Groffmann and Rau, 1997:336). Being a part of this definition, the concepts of
"information" and "system" require further delimitation due to their ambiguity. Information
encapsulates knowledge for the purpose of taking effective action (cf. Stickel, 2001:2) and
possesses five main attributes: actuality, accuracy, degree of aggregation, form of presentation
and costs (cf. Alpar, 2002:10-11). A system is generally referred to as a "set of interrelated
elements" (Ackoff, 1971:662) while an IS as a special type of system can be characterised as
an open, dynamic and complex system: open, because its elements interact with their
environment; dynamic, because this interaction can yield alterations of the elements' features;
complex, because of the high number of elements and their respective relations (cf. Krcmar,
The above definition raises the question of what the actual elements of an IS are. An answer
to this question might be sought by looking at the disciplinary bases of this work:
organisational theory and computer science. In organisational theory, an organisation
possesses one IS (organisational IS) that comprises all organisational activities and processes
related to information (cf. Krcmar, 2000:20). Information is seen as the foundation for
organisational decision-making processes and it is therefore the system's main function to
enable and to support organisational planning and control (cf. Gutenberg 1983:268).
An organisational IS comprises a formal and an informal side. The formal side is designed by
the organisation and includes for instance the official reporting system whereas the informal
side refers to the informal actions of organisational members such as a phone call to obtain

urgent information (cf. Zmud, 1983:62; Davis, 1974:197-200). In contrast, computer science
has developed a more technical understanding of information systems as a super-class of
application systems (cf. Krcmar, 2000:20). The function of these systems is to automate parts
of the formal organisational IS, thus they can be understood as all hardware and software
components in an organisation (cf. Stickel, 2001:4). As exhibited in Table 1, they address
differently structured problems at different levels of an organisation.
Management level
Problem structure
Transaction level
processing systems
Office automation
systems (OAS)
Planning systems
information systems
information systems
Expert systems (ES)
Decision support
systems (DSS) ES
Unstructured -
discovery systems
Tab. 1: Overview of application systems (Adapted from: Alpar, 2002:31)
In this thesis, elements of an IS are understood as the technological infrastructure, i.e.
hardware and software, as well as manual procedures for development and maintenance of the
IS (cf. Davis, 1974:251). Thus, formal organisational IS based on application systems are
referred to as information systems.
Another feature of an IS mentioned in the definition above is its life cycle character. Life
cycle models were suggested in the IS literature for software applications (cf. Krcmar,
2000:110-114) and for entire systems (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett, 1993:16-21). Figure 1
shows a phase model of the IS life cycle that builds on prior work (cf. Farbey, Land and
Targett, 1993:16-21; Boehm, 1976:1227; Macharzina, 1999:306). Since it primarily serves as
See Alpar (2002:31-41) for a detailed description of each application system.

a framework for discussing different functions of evaluation in Chapter 2.2, problems of
identifying the present phase of an IS or the end of the life cycle are not further discussed.
The model depicts the IS lifetime as a repeating cycle comprising six phases. In the strategy
development phase, an IS strategy is being developed using either a bottom-up, a top-down or
a mixed approach and general objectives for the IS sector are formulated. For achieving these
objectives, several investment opportunities, referred to as projects, might exist from which
one or more are chosen in the project selection phase. After that, a detailed planning of the
previously selected project (portfolio) takes place in the project specification phase and leads
to a concrete project plan. In the project implementation phase, this plan is executed and an IS
is developed, extended or modified. Before setting it into operation, outcomes of the project
are tested. The final introduction and operation of the new or changed IS follows in the IS
usage phase. Throughout this phase, the system is subject to alterations due to faults,
insufficient capacity or changed requirements, so that follow-up projects might become
necessary and the cycle might re-start at the project selection phase. The life cycle comes to
an end when changes become overwhelming and replacement is needed. Then, the cycle is
repeated starting either at the first or second stage.
IS usage
IS life cycle
IS objectives
Project (mix)
New, modified
or extended IS
or extensions
Fig. 1: Model of IS life cycle
Within its life cycle, an IS can be subject to different types of investments. An investment in
general is characterised through the allocation of scarce resources, the expectation of a
Such problems are reported, for instance, by Krcmar (2000:113) for a similar software life cycle model.

positive return during a certain period of time and a certain lifetime (cf. Renkema, 2000:100).
Basically, three categories of IS investments can be distinguished: investments to set up a new
system (installation investments), to extend (add-on investments) or to replace (replacement
investments) an existing system (cf. Perridon and Steiner, 1999:29-30). Alternatively, IS
investments can be classified according to the degree of initiated change, ranging from pure
automation of existing routines to business transformations (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett,
1993:121-131). In a synthesis of both categorisations, substitutive, complementary and
innovative IS are distinguished. Substitutive IS replace human labour in order to achieve
calculable cost-savings whereas complementary IS support human labour to generate
estimatable productivity and effectiveness increases. Finally, innovative IS aim to realise
competitive advantage (cf. Parker and Benson, 1988:103; Alpar, 2002:77).
The different roles of information systems in corporations are another point to consider in IS
investment appraisal. A study by Ragowsky et al. (1996:98) confirmed that different
organisations can gain different benefits from the same IS application. Therefore, the
normative literature increasingly recommends to adjust evaluation procedures to
organisational characteristics (cf. Premkumar and King, 1992:101). In particular, the roles of
information systems can differ with regard to two aspects. First, information systems can be
of different strategic relevance for an organisation. While for some companies such as
Amazon and Ebay IS activities are a part of crucial business processes, they play a mostly
supportive role in other organisations e.g. in the handicraft sector (cf. Avison, Cuthbertson
and Powell, 1999:422). Second, the degree of system integration varies across organisations
and can range from stand-alone systems with no integration to sector-wide integration such as
realised through the S.W.I.F.T. network in the banking sector (cf. Stickel, 2001:140-142).
Both aspects directly affect IS evaluation because they determine the reach of potential
investment impacts and the locus of responsibility for system planning. However, as a general
trend of the last few decades, computer-based information systems have penetrated
organisations more and more due to the rising potential and shrinking prices of IS technology
(cf. Premkumar and King, 1992:100). Simultaneously, a trend to the integration of isolated
systems in and across organisations developed (cf. Smithson and Hirschheim, 1998:164).
S.W.I.F.T. (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) runs an international network for the electronic data-exchange
between banks.

A great deal of the difficulties associated with IS evaluation stems from characteristics of
information and information systems. With regard to information, the determination of its
value is particularly troublesome. One reason is that information has no intrinsic value
because its value depends on the associated purpose (cf. Droste, 1986:90) and varies inter-
subjectively. Defining the value of information in relation to the decisions that can be based
upon it is also problematic due to intervening factors. For instance, the quality of managerial
decision-making does not only depend on the quality of the underlying information but also
on the individual competences of a manager to make use of this information (cf. Farbey, Land
and Targett, 1993:13-14). Another reason is a fact known as "information paradox": in order
to assess ex-ante an information's worth, its content has to be disclosed to determine the
worth of the activities based on it after which there is no need to acquire the information
anymore (cf. Walter, 1995:203).
Features of an IS account for further problems. First, the returns of investments in such
systems can seldom be completely expressed in monetary terms because, being often of
supportive nature, the system has a great distance to the cash flow generating activities of an
organisation (cf. Huber, 1999:111). Second, the IS lifetime is hard to anticipate due to threats
of technological obsolescence and changed organisational requirements (cf. Farbey, Land and
Targett, 1993:13). Third, information systems are often difficult to distinguish from each
other. Reasons for this are the growing integration of application systems (cf. Smithson and
Hirschheim, 1998:164) and the evolution of systems through modifications and extensions
over time (cf. Clegg et al., 1997:857). Fourth, the realised value after an IS project is seldom
exclusively attributable to a particular IS investment, but is due to compound effects (cf.
Anselstetter, 1984:10-11; Huber, 1999:112). For instance, major benefits and costs could not
emerge from the IS investment per se, but more from the reorganisation induced by it (cf.
Stefanou, 2001:206; von Dobschütz, 2000:446). Finally, IS investments often trigger not
entirely predictable, organisation-specific processes of change (cf. Clegg et al., 1997:857).
These processes complicate reliable estimations because they can prevent the realisation of
expected benefits or can cause unforeseen costs (cf. Chircu and Kauffman, 2000:66-67). For
instance, sales personal could hinder the value realisation of a CRM system by resisting to
maintain the necessary data.

2.2. Evaluation
For the purposes of this thesis, the following working definition of IS evaluation is
suggested: a process of determining by quantitative and/or qualitative means the value of an
information system investment to an organisation (cf. Doherty and King, 2001). This
definition implies that two fundamental activities of IS evaluation are the collection of
evaluation-specific data and, based on this, the ascertainment of value (cf. Wittmann,
1985:263). It also indicates that on the whole the organisation as total, not individuals or
groups alone, is supposed to be the primary beneficiary of any IS investment. As a
shortcoming in the above definition, the "nicely ambiguous" (Veryard, 1991:3) character of
the concept "value" necessitates further delimitations that are presented in detail in Chapter
2.3. Essentially, it is understood as the sum of positive ("benefits") and negative
consequences ("sacrifices") of an IS investment that can be of both a financial and non-
financial nature (cf. Renkema and Berghout, 1997:2).
Several taxonomies of IS evaluation are suggested in the academic literature. According to
the timing, evaluation before (ex-ante evaluation) and after (ex-post evaluation) the
implementation of an IS project is generally differentiated (cf. Remenyi, Money and
Sherwood-Smith, 2000:25). A categorisation into formative and summative evaluation is also
proposed. The former involves monitoring the processes and products of system development
and gathering user feedback for use in the refinement and further system development
whereas the latter focuses on assessing the impact, usability and effectiveness of the system
(cf. Remenyi, Money and Sherwood-Smith, 2000:27).
Research and practice have developed a variety of evaluation approaches. To delimitate an
evaluation approach from mere planning techniques, the following definition of ex-ante
evaluation approaches is proposed. An ex-ante evaluation approach describes a procedure
prior to the implementation of an IS in which criteria for the evaluation (as defined above) of
an IS investment are prescribed or can be generated. Several requirements of evaluation
approaches have been suggested in the IS literature (cf. Schumann, 1993:168-169). They
should facilitate an analysis of cost-savings, productivity increases and competitive advantage
associated with an IS investment, in order to make the approach applicable for appraising
substitutive, complementary and innovate information systems. Different types of investment
impacts should be envisaged including quantitative financial, quantitative non-financial and

qualitative factors. In addition, risk as well as the indirect effects involved in IS investments
should be considered.
Academics have approached the topic of IS evaluation from diverse research perspectives,
ranging between two extreme positions: the formal-rational perspective and the interpretive
perspective (cf. Serafeimidis, 2001:66-67). The formal-rational perspective seeks the worth of
an IS in a system's performance and financial profitability whereby it emphasises the
economic and technical aspects. In contrast, the interpretive perspective focuses on the
analysis and understanding of the social and subjective nature of IS evaluation. Particularly,
the interaction of the technology with organisational structures, culture and stakeholders is
addressed. Both perspectives correspond to distinct models of organisational decision-making
(Daft, 1989 in Renkema, 2000:137; Schäfer, 1988:192). In the rational model, evaluation is
regarded as a means to optimise corporate actions by selecting efficient and effective choice
options. The members of the organisation are commonly pursuing organisational goals and
decision power is centralised. In contrast, the political model attributes pluralistic objectives
to the organisational members and power is distributed across shifting interest groups.
Evaluation is viewed as a disorderly process of mediating between heterogeneous coalitions
that tend to use and withheld information strategically. As key difference, evaluation aims to
determine objective value irrespective of context in the first model and context-specific
understanding by the exploration of different views in the second model.
As Table 2 illustrates, different types of evaluation approaches are related to both
perspectives. It should be noted that the views are given as ideal types for illustrative purposes
and to draw the attention to their contrasts. In practice, IS evaluation may take place between
both extremes, reflecting in varying proportions their characteristics.
Overall, this dichotomy of perspectives reflects in a sense the influence of two research
paradigms on the field: the positivistic and the interpretive paradigm (cf. Serafeimidis,
While the interpretive perspective follows the interpretive paradigm and considers
Risk (incertitude) refers to situations in which decision-makers know (do not know) the probabilities for the occurrence of certain events
(cf. Bamberg and Coenenberg, 2002:19).
The interpretive position assumes, in contrast to the positivistic side, that our knowledge of reality is a social construction of human actors
and that value-free data cannot be obtained. Thus, it denies the assumption that hypotheses or theories can be tested by "objective" data (cf.
Walsham, 1995:376).

the partly political context of evaluation, the formal-rational perspective disregards, like the
positivistic paradigm, the context of evaluation.
Formal-rational approaches
Interpretive approaches
Concerned with IS evaluation methods irrespective
of context
Concerned with context in which IS evaluation takes place
Traditional mechanistic methods prevail
New interpretive methods can be applied
Economic factors dominate
Social factors dominate
Legitimises IS evaluation process
Engages with stakeholders in process to understand
assumptions and views
Espouses single objective view
Seeks multiple-stakeholder subjective views
Claims to be apolitical
Recognises IS evaluation as a political process
Official, organisational view of IS evaluation
Unofficial, stakeholder view of IS evaluation process
Tab. 2: Ideal type characterisations of approaches to IS evaluation (Adapted from: Jones and Hughes,
The usage of evaluation approaches induces the question of who to assign as evaluators.
Several authors argue for an active participation of key stakeholders in the IS evaluation
process (cf. Avgerou, 1995:435) by asserting that their involvement would create the right
level of commitment needed for a successful project implementation (cf. Renkema, 2000:138;
Markus, 1983:441).
Essentially, three classes of key stakeholders are distinguished in the IS
literature (cf. Remenyi, Money and Sherwood-Smith, 2000:17-19; Buss, 1983:120; Khalifa et
al., 2001; Fitzgerald, 1998:25): (a) information technology (IT) professionals including
internal staff, contractors and consultants, (b) business managers, and (c) end-users. However,
the actual selection of evaluators is a research field in its own rights which is for reasons of
space and time not further regarded.
The literature has acknowledged several reasons for evaluating IS investments prior to their
implementation. From an formal-rational standpoint, it should be, at least in theory, a natural
concern of management to estimate the worth of an investment in order to enable an optimal
Stakeholders can be defined as "all those parties who affect or are affected by a corporation's actions, behavior, and policies" (Jurison,

allocation of scarce resources (cf. Smithson and Hirschheim, 1998:160; Farbey, Land and
Targett, 1993:12). With regard to the large amounts of organisational funding consumed by IS
investments (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett, 1999:203), the determination of the relative merits
of alternative projects competing for resources becomes even more important (cf. Ballantine,
Levy and Powell, 1998:242). Furthermore, situation-specific evaluation is required because
research has so far failed to provide general evidence that organisations can gain productivity
increases through the use of information systems. Instead, empirical findings are very mixed,
leading to the "productivity paradox" debate, where in some cases productivity increases,
while in others it declines (cf. Smithson and Hirschheim, 1998:161). Moreover, ex-ante
evaluation can provide insight to the interface between the technology and fundamental
organisational processes (cf. Hirschheim and Smithson, 1988:21). It generates a set of
measures to exercise control over the implementation and usage of an IS by estimating
resource requirements and benefits to be gained (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett, 1992:110).
Furthermore, measures for the degree of goal achievement by an IS investment can be
produced through evaluation procedures (cf. Irani and Love, 2001:184). Additionally, it
facilitates feedback and learning in order to improve IS evaluation practices and IS
development capabilities (cf. Irani and Love, 2001:184; Farbey, Land and Targett, 1992:110).
Regarded from the interpretive perspective, evaluation can act as a mechanism for gaining
commitment and, in highly politically influenced environments, for legitimisation (cf. Powell,
1992:33). The achievement of understanding and consensus among decision-makers can be
promoted by making often implicit evaluation criteria explicit (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett,
1993:12). Evaluation procedures can also be a part of a regular justification process for
investments (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett, 1992:110) and can function as a political
instrument to rationalise already-made decisions (cf. Schäfer and Wolfram, 1987:37).
Furthermore, having a demonstrable record that a "legitimate" ex-ante evaluation procedure
has been followed can mitigate the people involved if the system does not live up to
Evaluation can fulfil diverse functions within the IS life cycle presented in Figure 1 (p.5).
While ex-ante evaluation takes place in the first three phases of the cycle, ex-post evaluation
is conducted in the last three.
In each phase, the focus of appraisal activities differs in terms
of evaluation objectives, objects and criteria (cf. Farbey, Land and Targett, 1993:16-21;
Ex-post evaluation is considered here to show the complete life cycle and to indicate links between ex-ante and ex-post evaluation.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
968 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Bielefeld – Wirtschaftswissenschaften
2003 (Juli)
iv-controlling it-controlling informationssystem wirtschaftlichkeit nutzen

Titel: Approaches to the Ex-arte Evaluation of Information Systems