A phenomenological study in the behavioural patterns of users in the adaptation of enhanced information system applications : the case of a South African University
In this thesis, the author explores the phenomena of attitudinal behaviour of some users (management and administrative support personnel) in the adaptation of enhanced information system applications (EISAs) during the last decade of the programme lifecycle of the Student Enrolment Management System (SEMS) programme at a South African university, hereinafter referred to as the University. Using the qualitative approach through Case Study Methodology and IPA in this research, the author uses research methods such as observation, content analysis, semi-structured interviews, case studies, or focus groups based on the lived experience of the interviewees. The outcome reveals that EISAs do not fail the users; instead the users of the systems failed to achieve the objectives of the EISAs at the University. It is found that personal beliefs and attitudes must be divorced from what the institution-wide objectives of the EISAs are. The notion of continually challenging and reworking previously agreed concepts and strategies is counter-productive and can become a very expensive exercise. This is evident if the total amount of money and effort spent on the SEMS programme is evaluated over the last decade. The general consensus reached at the conclusion of this research is that user attitude impacts the functionality of an application system. One of the fundamental issues highlighted is the state of mind of the people utilising EISAs in their daily work-related activities. It is found that a majority of administrative staff utilising the EISAs are physically present at the University but psychologically and emotionally absent whilst performing their daily student administrative duties. It would be useful to determine if they (the users) would be willing and able to radically change their behaviour to fit the ideal of rational discourse.