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EVINCE: Evaluating IT-related Change


EVINCE was initially conceived in the aftermath of another IT-change project where the technology setup had been smooth, and yet the project outcome had not been the success envisaged.

The project involved a collaboration of the University of Reading, the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, the University of Southampton and Brunel University, and the Executive Summary outlines what EVINCE brought:

EVINCE Methodology

In order to capture the complex features of IT-related change, often labelled "cultural factors", EVINCE has developed an innovative methodology combining ethnography and Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Ethnography involves participation in, and observation of, particular interactive settings. EVINCE has used three IT-change case studies as settings: Committee papers, reading lists and research expertise information.

The data collected from these case studies has been analysed using insights from STS in order to address theoretical issues and practical recommendations.

EVINCE Audit and Accountability

Because this novel approach is attempting to capture the unknown, it does not easily fit current audit and accountability practices, such as performance measures and benchmarks.

In order to demonstrate the value of the EVINCE Perspective, we have had to develop an alternative approach to audit and accountability. As such, audit and accountability have become themes addressed by the project.

The outcomes, including an accountability relationship developed with HEFCE observers, speak directly to the debate regarding the costs, benefits and consequences of audit procedures within HE.

EVINCE Outcomes

The product of these efforts is summarised via five inter-weaving themes of (information) strategy, success and failure, decision-making, audit and accountability, and utility. These themes provide a range of insights into the way HEIs and the HE sector operate.

In addition, a number of practical aids have been developed via the case studies.

We have found, via dissemination to a broad set of audiences, that the EVINCE Perspective is of direct interest to senior managers, academics, administrators and information professionals.

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