Information Technology and Organizational Learning: Managing Behavioral Change through Technology and Education, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Information Technology and Organizational Learning

Managing Behavioral Change through Technology and Education, 2nd Edition

By Arthur M. Langer

© 2010 – CRC Press

384 pages | 59 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415875837
pub: 2010-11-10
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Since the publication of the groundbreaking first edition, the increasing rate of change in today’s business landscape has amplified the value of information technology (IT) in driving adaptive responses. Focusing on the critical role IT plays in organizational development, Information Technology and Organizational Learning: Managing Behavioral Change through Technology and Education shows how to employ action learning to improve the competitiveness of your organization.

Defining the current IT problem from an operational and strategic perspective, the book presents a collection of case studies that illustrate key learning issues. It details a dynamic model for effective IT management through adaptive learning techniques—supplying proven educational theories and practices to foster the required changes in your staff. It examines existing organizational learning theories and the historical problems that have occurred with companies that have used them, as well as those that have failed to use them.

Here’s a sample of what’s new in this edition:

  • A new chapter on Virtual Teams and Outsourcing
  • Updated case studies that cover noteworthy developments since the publication of the previous edition
  • New material on infrastructure improvements and social networking as an improved method for team building
  • Up-to-date coverage of virtual mentoring and how to better manage at the micro level across departments and the organization

Seamlessly integrating IT and business issues, the text devotes a chapter to case studies—including a comprehensive case study that spans eight years of the author’s research. This complete resource also highlights valuable best practices to supply the understanding needed to transform your company into a more competitive and technically proficient organization.


Langer shows us through compelling case studies and the use of research findings what organizational learning looks like when it is happening and the processes and culture necessary to support it. … a book for and about leadership … draws on core knowledge about leading change, business strategy, and organizational design. It provides a view of the executive role in managing organizational transformation that is relevant not only to the chief information officer but also to every occupant of the C-Suite [the offices designated for those executives whose title starts with "Chief," such as chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), etc.].

—David A. Thomas, H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

A must read for any technology leader.

—J. Chris Scalet, Executive Vice President Global Services & Chief Information Officer (CIO) Merck & Co., Inc.

Langer provides a comprehensive analysis of how information technology continues to dramatically change organizational life. His theories and applications of the strategic and cultural uses of technology are fundamental to understanding the principles and concepts of organization design in the 21st century.

—Charles C. Snow, Mellon Foundation Professor of Business Administration, Smeal College of Business, Penn State University

Table of Contents

The "Ravell" Corporation

A New Approach

The Blueprint for Integration

Enlisting Support

Assessing Progress

Resistance in the Ranks

Line Management to the Rescue

IT Begins to Reflect

Defining an Identity for Information Technology

Implementing the Integration: A Move Toward Trust and Reflection

Key Lessons

Defining Reflection and Learning for an Organization

Working Toward a Clear Goal

Commitment to Quality

Teaching Staff "Not to Know"

Transformation of Culture

Alignment With Administrative Departments

The IT Dilemma

Recent Background

IT in the Organizational Context

IT and Organizational Structure

The Role of IT in Business Strategy

Ways of Evaluating IT

Executive Knowledge and Management of IT

IT: A View From the Top

Section 1: Chief Executive Perception of the Role of IT

Section 2: Management and Strategic Issues

Section 3: Measuring IT Performance and Activities

General Results

Defining the IT Dilemma

Recent Developments in Operational Excellence

Technology as a Variable and Responsive Organizational Dynamism

Technological Dynamism

Responsive Organizational Dynamism

Strategic Integration


Cultural Assimilation

IT Organization Communications With "Others"

Movement of Traditional IT Staff


Technology Business Cycle






Drivers and Supporters

Information Technology Roles and Responsibilities

Replacement or Outsource

Organizational Learning Theories and Technology

Learning Organizations

Communities of Practice

Learning Preferences and Experiential Learning

Social Discourse and the Use of Language




Linear Development in Learning Approaches

Managing Organizational Learning and Technology

The Role of Line Management

Line Managers

First-Line Managers


Management Vectors

Knowledge Management

Change Management

Change Management for IT Organizations

Social Networks and Information Technology

Organizational Transformation and the Balanced Scorecard

Methods of Ongoing Evaluation

Balanced Scorecards and Discourse

Knowledge Creation, Culture, and Strategy

Virtual Teams and Outsourcing

Status of Virtual Teams

Management Considerations

Dealing With Multiple Locations





Externalization Dynamism

Internalization Dynamism

Combination Dynamism

Socialization Dynamism

Dealing With Multiple Locations and Outsourcing

Revisiting Social Discourse




Synergistic Union of IT and Organizational Learning

Siemens AG



Five years later


IT History at HTC

Interactions of the CEO

The Process

Transformation From the Transition

Five Years Later


Toward Best Practices

Chief IT Executive

Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension

Variables in the Chief IT Executive Best Practices Arc

Maturity Stages

Performance Dimensions

Chief Executive Officer

CIO Direct Reporting to the CEO


Centralization Versus Decentralization of IT

CIO Needs Advanced Degrees

Need for Standards

Risk Management

The CEO Best Practices Technology Arc

Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension Variables in the CEO Technology Best Practices Arc

Maturity Stages

Performance Dimensions

Middle Management

The Middle Management Best Practices Technology Arc

Definitions of Maturity Stages and Dimension Variables in the Middle Manager Best Practices Arc

Maturity Stages

Performance Dimensions


Ethics and Maturity


Glossary of Terms



Each chapter begins with an Introduction

About the Author

Arthur M. Langer has more than 25 years of experience in managing the strategic development, support, and marketing of software and computer systems. His professional expertise encompasses IT strategy, outsourcing, operations management, feasibility analysis and techniques for developing and marketing systems, management of IT staff, IT cost/benefit analysis, systems selection/migration, Year 2000 implementation, computer downsizing, and software re-engineering of enterprise systems to Client/Server using Object Oriented Methods. Select clients include Prudential Insurance, Corcoran Group, Citibank, Purina Mills, NET/Thirteen, System Software Associates, Global Turnkey Systems, TIAA/Cref, France Telecom, and Buelli and Rasero (Italy’s largest insurance agents).

In addition to corporate consulting, Dr. Langer presents seminars throughout the world on analysis, design, and software management. Dr. Langer is Chair of Faculty and Curricular Development in the Information Technology Programs of Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education and teaches courses in the MBA program of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia. A specialist in issues of distance education, mentoring, and workplace learning, he has more than 15 years of experience in adult higher education. At Columbia, he is responsible for developing overall curricular direction, as well as individual courses, for graduate-level adult education program. He is also responsible for program administration, including faculty hiring and student recruitment.

As a researcher, Dr. Langer has authored various papers on information systems design and management. His current research focuses on the mentoring of adult learners and the design of technology-based curricula for corporations and universities. Dr. Langer is also the author of The Art of Analysis (Springer-Verlag, 1997; second edition 1999), used in the United States and abroad by universities and professionals in the industry.

Dr. Langer holds a BS in computer science, an MBA in accounting/finance, and a Doctorate of Education from Columbia University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
EDUCATION / Computers & Technology