Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Management and Information Systems

Committee Chair/Advisor

Grover, Varun

Committee Member

Moore , DeWayne

Committee Member

Purvis , Russell


The failure rate of information systems development (ISD) projects continues to pose a big challenge for organizations. The success rate of ISD projects is less then forty percent. Factors such as disagreements and miscommunications among project manager and team members, poor monitoring and intermediary problems contribute to project failure.
Agency theory and leader member exchange (LMX) theories offer potential explanations for project failure. In particular, three monitoring strategies - control strategy, decision rights, and influence tactics were found to be effective in promoting project success. LMX theorists suggest that achieving congruence between the manager and subordinate regarding each other actions and values may increase chance of project success. Specifically, two types of congruence - communicational congruence and perceptual congruence are suggested. Thus integrating the views from both agency and LMX theories this study develops a congruence framework to examine congruence with respect to the three monitoring strategies.
Prior research notes that ISD projects suffer from intermediary problems which if addressed can enhance project performance. Thus an intermediate outcome variable, control loss, is developed to capture the problems occurring during the project lifetime. The emphasis is laid on three dimensions - people, processes and resources.
The hypotheses are developed concerning the impact of achieving congruence between the project manager and team members on control loss. A total of 113 matched-pair survey responses are collected from project managers and team members associated with ISD projects. This sample represents a variety of organizations, industries, and project types. Polynomial regression analysis and response surface graphs are used to test the proposed hypotheses.
The study contributes to the understanding of the information systems project management by providing insights to promote ISD project success. It offers an outcome variable control loss which can be used to capture the problems occurring during the project lifetime. The three dimensions - people, processes and resources can be used as levers to manipulate project progress and ensure the project is on the right track. It further contributes by integrating complementary theories to get a robust understanding of the exchange relationship. The communicational and perceptual congruencies can be used to deal with challenges such as high uncertainty presented by the diverse and aversive work environment. Finally, the two types of congruencies can be used to influence stakeholder behaviors in order to enhance effectiveness of monitoring strategies.



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