Saturday, June 23, 2007

Research Capsule Proposal -1

I. Program / Project Title:


II. Proponent:

Institute of Computing
RANDY S. GAMBOA – Project Leader

III. Significance of the Project/Study:

Several sectors of society will benefit from this study. In general, this study will be significant to the academic community in Region XI.

Specifically, this research will be significant to:

· Administrators of SUCs. The results of this study will guide the administrators of SUCs in selecting IS leaders in their SUC.

· Researchers. Since there are only few studies related to gender in relation to IS Leadership in Region XI and the Philippines, this study will lead to future related researches. Thus, eventually making this topic thoroughly researched.

· NCRFW. The results of this study will provide the NCRFW additional information about gender equality and/or differences.

· Stakeholder of SUCs. The results of this study will provide stakeholders of SUCs to assess their IS leaders’ competency as well as development of the IS leaders.

IV. Objectives:

This study has the basic intention of collecting empirical information about IS leadership roles. These information will be processed so that gender differences on IS leadership will be determined.

Specifically, this study is conducted to:

1. Determine the profile of the Information System leaders of SUCs in terms of:
· Age;
· Gender;
· Educational attainment;
· Organizational years;
· IT years; and
· Position years

2. Determine the extent of the participation of IS leaders of SUCs to the following social aspects of leadership
· Informational Role;
· Decisional Role; and
· Interpersonal Role

3. Determine the extent of the participation of IS leaders of SUCs to the following technical aspects of leadership
· Chief Architect;
· Change Leader;
· Product Developer;
· Technology Provocateur;
· Coach; and
· Chief Operating Strategist

4. Determine the significant difference in the IS leadership roles when grouped by gender

V. Review of Literature

IS Leadership Roles

IS leadership functions have been studied by a number of academics. Among the studies made was that of Harvey Mintzberg wherein he came up with a Mintzberg topology. It suggests that all leaders play three kinds of roles which are considered as social aspect – informational, decisional and interpersonal. CSC (1996) also came up with a study suggesting that in order to execute IS’s future agenda, technical aspects of IS leader are required, namely: chief architect, change leader, product developer, technology provocateur, coach and chief operating strategist.

Information Systems Leadership should gain credibility in order to achieve business growth goals, rather than creating technical impediments to implementing business strategies. It must determine how to reduce product development and launch cycle times, create better strategic and operational decision making, support increased productivity, and improve client services.

A more precise focus on IS leadership role is given by the six leadership roles defined by the Computer Science Corporation in 1996.

Chief Architect- The primary work of the chief architect is to design and evolve the IT infrastructure so that it will expand the range of future possibilities for the business, not define specific outcomes. The infrastructure should not provide not just today’s technical services, such as networking, databases and desktop operating systems, but an increasing range of business-level services, such as workflow, portfolio management, scheduling, and specific business components or objects.

Change Leader – The essential role of the change leader is to orchestrate all those resources that will be needed to execute the change program. This includes providing new IT tools, but it also involves in place teams of people who can redesign roles, jobs and workflow, who can manage beliefs about the company and the work people do, and who understand human nature and can develop incentive systems to coax people into new and different behaviors. The role is somewhat akin to that of a reengineering team leader before reengineering-like change became the norm in most industries, however, the contribution of the change leaders is in leadership, rather than management of the process.

Product Developer – It helps the organization to understand key pieces of the emerging digital economy. They introduce business partners to the opportunities of creating profitable new IT-based products and services. For example, a product developer might recognize the potential for performing key business processes over electronic linkages such as the internet. The product developer must sell the idea to business partner, and together they can set up and evaluate business experiments, which are initially operated out of IS.

Technology Provocateur – It works with senior business executives to bring IT and the realities of the IT marketplace to bear on the formation of strategy for the business. The technology provocateur is a senior business executive who understands both the business and IT as deep enough level to integrate the two perspectives in discussions about the future course of the business.

Coach – Coaches have two basic responsibilities: teaching people how to learn, so that they become self-sufficient, and providing team leaders with staff able to do the IT-related work of the business. Coaches are solid practitioners of the competence that they will be coaching, but need not be the best at it in the company. They are motivated to keep up with the discipline, and pursue their vision of how the competence is evolving. Coaches assemble and promulgate a consistent set of best practices in the discipline they are coaching. Coaches also encourage staff within the center to share experiences and information, and help each other improve their work.

Chief Operating Strategist – the top IS executive who focuses on the future agenda of the IS organization. It has parallel responsibilities related to helping the business design the future and then delivering it. The chief operating strategies is primarily a conceptual thinker and strategist, as opposed to an active doer. They are responsible and accountable for assembling the IT capabilities. They are responsible for determining the sourcing strategy.

The CSC typology could be compared to others, notably the study of D.F. Feeny in 1997 entitled “The Five year Learning of ten I/T Directors”. He stated that Technical Virtuoso (chief architect) focuses on technology, technical infrastructure and technical competence. Relationship Builder (Change leader, coach-mentor, chief operating strategist) builds relationship with senior management, within department, across organization and with relevant outside parties, and develop share IT understanding. The Systems Thinker (Technology Provocateur) position IT within the larger context of the business, and plan and support business development, business transformation and business process re-engineering in a holistic manner. The Supply Manager (Product Developer) focus on IT delivery and operations.

Henry Mintzberg’s Typology of Management Functions

Within the past twenty years the idea of managerial roles has become popular. Henry Mintzberg (1975), a professor at McGill University in Canada, decided that Fayol’s functions did not tell the whole story. He developed a more detailed framework consisting of ten managerial roles that managers play, involving interpersonal, information, and decisional activities.

Interpersonal Roles
· Figurehead. The manager performs ceremonial duties, such as giving visiting dignitaries tours of the facilities
· Leader. The Manager maintains the unit by hiring and training the staff and providing motivation and encouragement.
· Liaison The manager makes contacts with persons outside the manager’s own unit-peers and others in the unit’s environment for the purpose of attending to business matters.

Informational Roles
· Monitor. The manager constantly looks for information bearing on the performance of the unit. The manager’s sensory preceptors scan both the internal activity of the unit and its environment.
· Disseminator. The manager passes valuable information along to others in the unit.
· Spokesperson. The manager passes valuable information along to those outside the unit - superior and persons in the environment.

Decisional Roles
· Entrepreneur. The manager makes rather permanent improvements to the unit, such as changing the organizational structural.
· Disturbance Handler. The manager reacts to unanticipated events, such as the devaluation
of the dollar in a foreign country where the firm has operations.
· Resource Allocator. The manager controls the purse strings of the unit, determining which subsidiary units get which resource.
· Negotiator. The manager resolves disputes both within the unit and between the unit and its environment.

Mintzberg believes that all managers perform all roles, but the orientation is different on each level. One of the decisional roles is that of negotiator. He gives the examples of a top-level manager negotiating merger, and a lower-level manager negotiating a delivery date with a supplier. Both negotiate, but with different orientations. Mintzberg found in his study of CEOs that they did not spend equal amounts of time discharging the decisional roles. They concentrated on making long-range, entrepreneurial improvements to the firm and responding to unanticipated disturbances, while leaving much of the resource allocating and negotiating to managers at lower levels.

Gender and Development

A concern for gender and development emerged on the international scene in the 1970s. As this concern matured, linkages developed between this and other major development concerns such as science and technology (S&T), development information, and, most recently, information systems, as a focus in the development community.

According to the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, gender is defined as being as "the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes." Hence, in the international scenario, gender equality is being promoted in almost all aspects including that of leadership roles.

In the Philippines, by virtue of Presidential Decree 633, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) was formed to review, evaluate and recommend measures, including priorities, to ensure the full integration of women for economic, social and cultural development at national, regional and international levels to ensure further equality between men and women. However, the roles that both gender play as subordinate or leader are not very well looked into not only by the NCRFW but also by the different schools and universities such as the SUCS in Region XI.

VI. Analytical Framework/Methodology

A descriptive-evaluative method of research will be used in the study. A descriptive method of research involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of the present condition, composition or processes of phenomena. The focus is on prevailing conditions or how a person, group or thing behaves or functions in the present (Calderon, 1993). It is valuable in providing facts on which scientific judgment may be based (Calmorin, 2001).

A researcher-made survey design will be used in describing the profile of the SUCs IS leaders. There are also items in the survey that captures the perception of the IS leaders. In a survey, the researcher seeks verbal or written responses to questions or statements. Surveys can be very effective in gathering data about individual preferences, expectations, past events, and private behaviors. The versatility of this method is its greatest strength. According to Emory (1980) survey can be the only practical way to learn many types of information and the most economical way in many other situations.

To validate and clarify further some items in the survey, interviews will be performed by the researchers to some of the respondents to further validate some answers. Secondary data will also be collected from the SUCs. These data are necessary in explaining the organizational characteristics like revenue and personnel.

The main instrument in the study is the researcher-made questionnaire. Part I of the questionnaire, Personal Profile, aims to gather data pertaining to the position and individual characteristics. Part II (Organizational Characteristics) determines the level of implementation of information system. On the other hand, Part III, Leadership roles aims to find out the leadership roles that IS Leaders are performing.

This is to be pre-tested to faculty members of the Institute of Computing of the University of Southeastern Philippines, Barrio Obrero Campus, Davao City. All were chosen on a convenience basis since they are in close contact with the researcher. This pre-test will be conducted in order to: a) elicit comments from the respondents regarding the questions; b) clarify ambiguous questions; and c) determine the time allotted in the actual survey. The responses will be collected and modifications in the wording of questions, appearance of the survey, and general flow of the questionnaire will be made in accordance with the respondents’ suggestions.

VII. Expected Outputs

The expected output presents the findings on a) individual characteristics of information system leaders of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Region XI; b) position characteristics of information system leaders in terms of personnel and level of reporting; c) position characteristics of information system leaders in terms of the level of operating and strategic responsibility; d) organizational characteristics of SUCs in terms of revenue and number of personnel; e) organizational characteristics of SUCs in terms of IS usage; f) organizational characteristics of SUCs in terms of information system stages; g) extent of participation of information system leaders of SUCs in terms of the social and technical aspects of leadership roles; h) gender differences of IS leadership roles among State Universities and Colleges in Region XI.

VIII. Workplan

Preliminary plan for the project implementation consist of 5 work tasks which will be fulfilled for a period of 1 year

WT1. Conceptualization of the Study
· Collection of Related Literature and Studies
WT2. Writing the Proposal
· Background of the Study
· Objectives
· Review of Literature
· Analytical Framework/Methodology
· Significance of the Study
· Drafting of the Survey Instrument
WT3. Data Collection
· Distribution of Questionnaire
· Collection of Questionnaire
WT4. Processing of Data
· Data Encoding
· Preparation of Tables, Chart, Graphs, etc.
· Data Analysis
WT5. Submission of Final paper
· Writing the Final Paper
· Submission of Edited Copy
· Submission of Terminal Report

X. Budget

Personnel Services
Project Leader - 12,000.00
Researcher - 8,000.00
Supplies - 2,000.00
Communication/ Transportation - 2,000.00
Documentation and Reproduction - 4,000.00
GRAND TOTAL - 28,000.00