A Phenomenological Study of Critical Success Factors in Implementing Information Governance

A Phenomenological Study of Critical Success Factors in Implementing Information Governance

Author: 
Michael Scott Smith
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
Information Governance (IG) professionals are overwhelmed by the complexities and ever changing regulations regarding data and information. To compound the issues are the increased volume, velocity, and variations of data from social media to corporate applications. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to determine critical success factors in implementing information governance within an enterprise information management program. The logic for using the qualitative method of research was to capture the lived experiences of the participants regarding the implementation of an information governance program. Phenomenology accentuates the subjective experiences and interpretations of the participants. Interviews were conducted with 20 IG professionals. The participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview providing open ended responses. The interviews were transcribed and six major themes emerged from the study that may provide insight into understanding the critical success factors in implementing information governance: (a) executive support, (b) risk management, (c) change management, (d) communication, (e) technology, and (f) strategy and planning. The study recommends further research from the findings of the study. Executive support must be engaged for the long-term IG program and support the IG professional by providing the necessary resources to manage risk, promote change management, and encourage open communication. Recommendations for IG professionals to consider based on this study include nurturing of executive sponsorship, the need to balance risk management with business value, the necessity of speaking the language of internal customers, building collaborative relationships, and leveraging the learning.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this body of work to my family who supported along my doctoral journey. My wife, Chris Smith, for allowing me to pursue my journey, her patience, and encouragement was critical to my success. My children, Insley and Carson, who were supportive of my time commitment and were always curious about my work on the degree, thank you. Their patience, understanding, and encouragement during the past five years has helped me to achieve my scholarly goals that I set while an undergraduate. I would like to recognize my grandparents, Floyd & Ruth Apple, who were not able to see me fulfill my goals but encouraged me to think, challenged me to be a good person, and supported me with everlasting love. They instilled in me an ability to never quit, be persistent, and make sure that I was a servant leader by always treating everyone the same. I wish they could have shared my success with me, but I know that they are proud of me. To my fellow Masonic fraternity brothers, who always supported and encouraged me over the past few years, thank you. My brothers understood my absence from time to time from important events and they were always in my thoughts. I always received kind words of encouragement to continue my journey. Finally, to the many information governance professionals who are on the same journey to build the IG profession. This body of work will stand as one of the first scholarly bodies of work in support of IG. May this research study illuminate your education and experience in the IG profession and encourage you to contribute. I hope this work encourages other scholars to study information governance further by reviewing my recommendations for future research in Chapter 5.
Acknowledgements: 
Thank you to chair and committee members! My doctoral journey would not have been as enjoyable without my “A-Team” who stuck with me since I asked each of them after the Year 2 Residency. Each member of my dissertation team brought specific strengths to assist me along my journey. Dr. Mohan, a successful IT professional, understood my topic and how it relates to the future. Dr. Plough, whose keen research skills and dissertation experience provided me with valuable feedback and encouragement. My special thanks to one committee member who took personal interest in me and my topic and that is Dr. North, who spent countless hours reviewing and providing me excellent feedback and recommendations. I would truly not have been successful without her commitment and encouragement. In addition, I believe she deserves and honorary IST doctorate since she is not in the field but an expert at research and the dissertation process. She seemed to enjoy all of my acronyms about big data! I believe she may now be able to switch careers and go into the IT profession. Thank you very much for your assistance! I would like to acknowledge all of my teachers and professors through my academic life from kindergarten through this terminal degree. Each of you influenced me in some way and those experiences, both positive and sometimes unpleasant, helped to mold me. I truly thank all of them for their commitment to education and their personal influence on me. I have never seen such a highly committed and less appreciated profession. All of you who teach are shaping the future and my sincere thank you for your hard work and passion to help others. vi Finally, I would like to acknowledge my undergraduate professor and mentor, Dr. Donald F. Kuratko, who inspired me to be my best. He instilled in me a quote that has helped me through the past 25 years: “Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (U.S. essayist and poet, 1803-1882).