Endogenous Adaptation: The Effects of Technology Position and Planning Mode on IT-Enabled Change*


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    We thank Al Dexter, Barrie Nault, the University of Alberta/University of Calgary colloquia participants and the Decision Sciences review team for helpful suggestions. We also thank the University of Calgary's Informatics Research Centre and Starter Grant Fund for their support.

Corresponding author.


The redesign of information technology (IT)-enabled work processes often necessitates fundamental design changes to the intended work process, the IT platform hosting the work process, or both. Research suggests that such design changes often can be traced to earlier decisions involving endogenous adaptation or internal organizational change. Two such decisions are a firm's technology position and planning mode. This study examines the relationship between technology position and planning mode in predicting the magnitude of design change in process redesign projects. The conceptual frame applied in examining these relationships involves a synthesis of Miles and Snow's adaptive cycle with elements central to concurrent engineering. Our results indicate that the magnitude of design change is related to differences in technology position and planning mode. To effectively implement organizational change, firms must leverage their IT platform by carefully timing IT investments in accordance with their adopted technology position. Directing the trajectory of a firm's IT platform and deploying it so as to complement the firm's technology position reduces design uncertainty, promoting reengineering success.