Business user impact on information system projects

Bradford Eichhorn, Oya Tukel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: There are differing views and results in the literature regarding whether the user’s participation has a positive or negative impact, if any, on the success of an information system (IS) project. The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive model with four main hypotheses to test the relationships between seven constructs using survey data conducted in the USA. Design/methodology/approach: The authors develop a structural equation model (SEM) with four constructs defining the activities the user participates in and three constructs defining user satisfaction as a measure of project success. As such, the proposed SEM is the most comprehensive among the models offered in the literature to date, and includes, for the first time, a presentation requirement construct as a specific system requirement for possible user participation. Findings: The authors find that a business user’s participation in functional requirements benefits project outcome, whereas business users should not participate in gathering presentation requirements unless they are experienced middle managers. Research limitations/implications: This study surveyed many industries across the USA and provided a solid statistical base for analysis. Future research should consider exploring IS projects in other countries since various cultures can differ in how they approach to such projects. Additionally, industries are known to have dissimilar needs; therefore, a study exploring specific industries would add to the available research. Practical implications: The authors find that when the general business user participates in certain activities that relate to presentation of the system, his/her involvement negatively impacts the project success. However, if that business user is a middle manager, he/she has a positive impact on the project success. Similarly, when the business user participates in managing the projects, that involvement negatively impacts the project outcome (although the amount of negative impact is relatively small). These results should have an influence on the way the IS project managers allocate business resources to activities, and their decisions regarding whether and where the business users participate. Social implications: The authors expect higher levels of business user satisfaction on IS projects if they are allocated to a limited subset of project activities that has a positive impact on project outcomes. Originality/value: The authors believe these findings contribute to this research domain considerably since they are based on a large sample size on a new comprehensive model of business users that can be generalized across industries. The separation of business requirements into functional and presentation requirements has suggested that there are differing impacts to the project depending on the type of business user involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-316
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


  • Business requirements
  • Comprehensive
  • Functional requirements
  • Presentation requirements
  • Project management
  • Project success
  • User participation


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