Towards a contingency theory of control in Information systems development projects

Towards a contingency theory of control in Information systems development projects

Tinaikar, Ranjit; Flora, Paulo R.

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The main objective of this article is to provide a contingency theory of control for informing the project management of information systems development (ISD). Control is characterized by levels of formality. The theoretical framework provides a propositional inventory by bringing together the three central constructs of control, context and consequence. Six types of control mechanisms which can be used in various mixes are identified and classified under an informal/formal continuum. The context is hierarchically arranged into three levels and provides the various contingency factors which may affect the control of ISD projects. Finally, the consequences are further divided into three perspectives, each of which provides a new angle to study the outcome of ISD projects. The broad propositions linking the three constructs should provide the basis for future research on the management of ISD projects.


information systems, contigency theory, systems design, ISD


O principal objetivo deste trabalho é o de fornecer uma teoria contigencial de controle para a informatização do gerenciamento de projetos de desenvolvimento de sistemas de informação (DSI). Controle é caraterizado por uiveis de formalidade. O modelo teórico traz conjuntamente a construção central para controle, contexto e consequências. Seis tipos de mecanismos de controle, que podem ser usados em várias combinações, são identificados e classificados. O contexto é arranjado hierarquicamente em três níveis e fornece os vários fatores contigenciais que podem afetar o controle de projetos DSI. Finalmente, as consequências são divididas, ainda mais, em três perspectivas, cada uma fornecendo um novo angulo para estudar as saídas de projetos DSI. As amplas propostas unindo as três construções deve fornecer uma base para futuras pesquisas em gerenciamento de projetos DSI.


sistemas de informação, teoria contigeiicial, projeto de sistemas, DSI


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