Organisational Change Capabilities for E-Business Transformation in a Financial Institution

Author: Van Zyl, Gerry
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J A Watkins
Date: March 2004

Change has become a way of life in modern day organisations, whether the change is planned or unplanned. The primary reason for planned change within organisations is to keep up with technology and to improve processes, thus serving as an enabler. In certain instances organisations are forced to change, be it to address customer needs, business competition or in terms of legislation. E-business serves as an example whereby technology creates a new business environment forcing the organisation to adapt to meet not only the demands of technology, but also of users as a result thereof. Furthermore, organisational transformation is critical to the evolutionary role of e-business, which culminates in the creation of and transition to new organisational models for information technology business units, supply chains, virtual market places, application service providers, outsourcing partners and related infrastructure.

More often than not, e-business change initiatives within organisations fail, impacting adversely upon organisations who have adopted the concept. More specific, not only is bottom line profitability impacted upon by a failed organisational e-business change initiative, staff morale, workflow, productivity and client services are equally affected. Against this background, the research problem in this dissertation reads as follows: “The adverse impact of failed e-business change initiatives in a South African financial institution.”

Forming the crux of the research in this dissertation, the research question reads as follows: “How can Project and Programme Management principles influence the organisational change capabilities of a financial institution to mitigate the adverse impact of failed organisational e-business change initiatives?”

For any change to be successful and effective, there should be an integrated approach of structural, technical (work processes), and behavioural strategies. It has become evident that it is easier to change the processes and structures of the organisation, than changing the behaviour of individuals, groups or departments within the larger organisation. People are key to facilitate, implement and manage organisational change effectively in order to improve effectiveness. It is therefore important to the success of any change initiative that effective leadership exists, and that the change be effected based on a structured approach as provided by accepted Project and Programme Management principles.