I have reviewed your comments in request of a revision. Unfortunately, the “possibilities” which are included in your revision request and in the follow-up message appear all to be new instructions. The detailed list of possible applications for IT adaptation which you have included here and the request for a discussion about security applications are both newly introduced instructions. I had not been given these specific instructions prior to the assignment. In addition, the message submitted prior to the assignment’s completion requesting discussion of user fears makes no mention of these concerns either. I do believe that the assignment has satisfied the original instructions correctly. If you would like a full discussion on the new subjects here introduced, please place an order for the appropriate assignment and request me to complete the work. I will be happy to assist you then. Thanks so much.
I have commented on the message board. While you have expressed concern about overcoming fears, it should only be briefly, Then moving on to the possibilities of what applications and how they are used by other churches needs to be included. Thats the real research part – What are churches using in the area of Information Technology and managing knowledge within their churches? Some examples, Programming that ties accounting, membership, activities,etc. together. Using webcast to have the minister preach to a group miles away, using blogs to stimulate knowledge and thought sharing, etc. The possiblities are limitless – Using the Web to find information about demographics. Webpage for marketing purposes, Sites to download ipod casts of sermons and seminars. etc. These all need to be mentioned.
Modest IT Solutions for a Traditional Church
The church up for discussion here is an organization with very traditional procedural practices. Most of these are based on its interests as a spiritual organization, which comes inherently with a status in the fields of education, discipline, community and, by some necessity, finance and politics. Therefore, it is important that even the most traditional of these organizations take advantage of all tools and resources at their disposal in order to optimize their service in these capacities. For the church at the center of our discussion, this should actually be seen as a pressing issue. Particularly, its absence of a phone or computer system presents us with an organization that is somewhat isolated aside from its reach as a stationary member or the community. With regard to its capacity for recruitment, outreach and interaction in or outside of itself, the church would find itself a greatly more flexible organization were it to adopt a meaningful Information Technology (IT) system that include telephone and computer outlets. Such a system, however, would need to be considered in light of a number of aspects of technology adoption which are inherent, such as organizational fit, personnel resistance and the orientation to be taken toward the purpose of such adoption.
Personnel resistance and organizational fit will tend to have a fairly close relationship. Namely, with regard to even the modest level of IT adaptation and process adaptation which are discussed here, we should recognize that a cause of failure for the implementation of new technologies is quite often a “resistance to change within the organization.” (Parth & Gumz, 2003, p. 4) And with the prospect of older parishioners, church employees or clergy, their may well exist this type of resistance which can serve to splinter rather than unify the organization. It is therefore a concern that efforts to technologically improve overall communications may actually stratify the church into adherents and non-adherents to the new technologies. With consideration of our research and the subject at hand, therefore, we are driven to consider that perhaps organizational fit may be an important consideration in determining whether or not the church is, in fact, suited for this type of retrofitting.
However, even as the researchers here posited that organizational resistance could be a likely consequence of poor organizational fit, the research has also produced no strong evidence that resistance is a condition widely present in instances of implementation failure. However, researchers in the Parth & Gumz case did concede the a number of conditions containing the study could be subjected to scrutiny, thus calling into question the definitiveness of any findings ruling out the correlative circle between the independent and dependent variables as effected by the moderator of organizational resistance. This is especially true in the case of organizational resistance, which hypothesis inclines the research here to deduce should be subjected to further study under the premise of an as yet undetected causality. Namely, for the church, it is important to understand to exactly what extent resistance is likely to emerge and, consequently, to what extent it can be expected to impact the implementation effectiveness of the process. This is a primary question that will demand answering as we proceed to devise how best to execute the insertion and a cable, computer and phone system in the church.
This is demonstrative of the nuanced and difficult job of the pastor in this circumstance, who is in the position of being both an organizational and a spiritual leader. With a staff of between 25 and 30 church employees, it is necessary to establish a first procedural and organizational control over an institution upon whose efficiency so many rely. In contending with the question of developing a meaningful and functional inter-office Information Technology solution, the church leader is also forced to consider the special place which morality, value and principle occupy in such a context. The pastor, who must take a leadership role in deciding how best to move the congregation forward to its own benefit, has the responsibility to ensure that in addition to such changes, its Mission and Vision are carried out to their fullest potential. Therefore, it would behoove the whole institution to establish a sense of consistency with regard to the need to reflect moral standards authored by the Bible even in evaluating technology improvement decisions. This will mean that such choices as what provider to utilize, what systems to employ and what level of sophistication to which to aspire will ultimately be underscored by an inherently moral perspective. This will inform ideas about justice in commerce and the pursuit of only necessity, rather than technology.
This contributes to an important discussion on exactly that which represents the goals of IT system adoptions. That is, in our case for example, we might consider that the church’s purpose is to help make itself more identifiable, accessible and active within the community. Additionally, it should be seen as a goal for the church to achieve a certain degree of balance between the efficiency and the modesty of its adoption of technologies. In light of such concerns as the possibility of organizational resistance or the threat of poor organizational fit, as addressed here above, there is cause to critically evaluate the actual necessity of an IT adoption for the church. With the information we are given, we are most compelled to make this recommendation not due to the apparent presence of some organizational problem demanding change. Instead, the mere fact that phones and computers are not employed by this organization suggests that it must inherently be missing out on opportunities available to a church in terms of public image, community interaction, participation in the presence of a broader network of churches, fundraising prospects and a host of other matters of prime importance to the modern church. With these opportunities in mind, we must consider the prospect of bringing some appropriate IT strategy to the table.
Certainly, even in addition to the promise of organizational resistance is the concern that IT strategies are only intended for larger and more modern organizations. This, our research tells us, is a misunderstanding of modern IT circumstances, which have come to imply something far more instrumental to the process. Namely, the research at our disposal argues that as result of IT strategies have becoming a standard in primary business operation, the focus of its purpose has changed from just speed and efficiency to the protection of information. (Pearlson, 1) The primary text supports the argument by contending that by permeating markets almost universally, IT solutions may no longer be considered credible avenues to achieving a competitive edge. Instead, they must be regarded as necessary tools to participation in the current business climate. This informs what he describes as the need for a new strategic direction for organizations seeking to implement new IT infrastructural programs. He determines that these should be geared to low risk and high efficiency approaches. This, of course, speaks quite directly to the needs of the church, which must necessarily be thought of as basic, simple and owing nothing to the interest in a competitive edge. Such is to say that Information Technology enhancements should actually be seen as a way for the church to simply remain relevant and connected to the vast array of religious, charitable and community organizations that at the very least, most certainly use telephone contact, and more often than not today, computer technology, in order to operate effectively.
Among the suggestions of our primary text, the most universally acceptable one is that which suggests that emphasizing solutions to apparent vulnerabilities should be considered a top priority of those investing in new IT solutions. It has been the experience of most organizations in the modern place of business that even as open-source computer, network and internet technologies radically enhance our ability to do our jobs effectively, they also open organizations up to fraud, hacking and breaching of important organizational data such as those effecting the personal information of our parishioners, employees and finances. It is crucial, with the standardization of many technologies, that IT decision-makers remain abreast of the current tide of security concerns. An appropriate understanding of IT security breaching notes that it is an evolving practice in which old technology becomes obsolete quickly. It is up to business decision makers to retain up-to-date IT technology that endorses innovation through well-funded research and development to isolate and eliminate evolving threats. This should therefore factor into the nature of the system, even as we consider the church to be a low-interest security risk. This is part and parcel of the adoption of modern phone and internet systems.
Therefore, the recommendation here is for the church to adopt a fully integrated and highly efficient computer and phone system with high-speed internet access and the intent of outsourcing the creation of a webpage. Ultimately, when stewarded properly, such modest technology will help to improve the very traditional and long-standing goals of the church. Therefore, with the proper leadership and the appropriately restrained approach to implementation, IT solutions should be used to accommodate and strengthen the church.
McAfee, Andrew. Mastering the Three Worlds of Information Technology.
Harvard Business Review, November 2006.
Parth, F. R. & Gumz, J. (2003). Getting your ERP implementation back on track. Project Auditors. Online at
Pearlson, K.E. & Saunders, CS. (2005). Managing and Using Information Systems. Wiley Press..