• Exploring the Impact of Business Intelligence (BI) Use on Organisational Power Dynamics: A National Health Service (NHS) Case Study

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Mahroof, Kamran A.
      The public sector, particularly healthcare organisations are under ever increasing pressure to do more with less. This coupled with the need to keep up to the constant technological changes and ever increasing abundance of information has led to many public sector organisations adopting Business Intelligence (BI) in order to leverage business value and improve decision-making. However, many organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS) continue to fail in their Information Technology (IT) related initiatives. While the rise of BI and its growing influence in organisations has attracted much academic attention, this has largely been from architectural, design and technological perspectives, whilst little is known about how BI is used by various organisational actors to reach decisions, nor much is understood regarding its resulting impact on organisational power dynamics. Thus, there remains an under researched area of discussion in the literature from the perspective of BI users. While studies report how BI can impact organisational effectiveness, facilitate data driven decision making and supposedly overcome intuitive decision making, the extent to which BI impacts and alters power dynamics between organisational actors across the organisation has received little attention. Accordingly, this research adopts a qualitative case study approach to explore power resulting from BI use within a large NHS trust by conducting 30 semi-structured interviews consisting of operational managers and BI analysts. Through taking a human-centric approach, this research uncovers how BI is altering power dynamics between organisational actors, whereby BI analysts are becoming increasingly influential as a result of their analytical skills. It was found that operational managers are becoming more reliant upon data analysts, resulting in the analysts having more and more influence. However, this research finds it is only when the analysts supplement their technical skill-set with their institutional knowledge, that they have the ability to influence and enact power within the organisational settings. The research also offers insights into the contestations and conflicts which arise from the use of BI, between operational managers and analysts as well as between in-house analysts, based in the operation setting and the centralised analysts, operating across the entire trust. Accordingly, this research empirically validates a BI Power Enactment Framework and proposes the BI Power Matrix, which may assist policy makers in identifying determining key factors which are contributory to the success or failure of technological initiatives.