Assessing the Forest Service's Implementation of an Agency-wide Information System

An Exploratory Study

by Cathy Stasz, Tora K. Bikson, Norman Shapiro

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This Note describes the implementation of a new agency-wide information system in the United States Forest Service (USFS) and explores the impact of the system on individuals and the organization by analyzing the contributions of three major factors — characteristics of the organization, characteristics of the technology, and characteristics of the implementation process. The study identifies the following effects of the new USFS information system: (1) clerical and computer staffs have been reduced, and information tasks redistributed across jobs; (2) the system has changed the performance of information tasks; (3) electronic mail has improved communication within and across organizational units; and (4) the top-down implementation process has produced varying local systems.

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