Applying change theories on the implementation of an ambulance despatch system Essay

1. Introduction

Change is inevitable and to heighten the efficiency of the services that a company offers, alteration is really necessary. The universe is altering everyday. This is attributed to the promotion in engineering, globalization in add-on to many other factors. There is an inducement for all concern and economic establishment to alter in order to profit from the promotion in information engineering. This is one of the factors that motivated the Metropolitan Ambulance Service ( MAS ) in Melbourne to implement a province of the art exigency dispatch and communicating system in 1994. In the late 1980 ‘s, the MAS received unfavorable judgment based on hapless ambulance response times ( Darren,2004 ) .In an mean twenty-four hours, MAS ambulances attends to more than 600 medical exigencies and are besides involved in transporting about 400 patients ( Darren, 2004 ) . Therefore, the determination to better old system as a consequence of holds is acceptable and necessary to supply a timely, appropriate, and professional response to all calls for exigency aid ( Darren, 2004 ) .

However, the underlying determination to implement this system and the schemes utilised to implement this information system affected the efficiency to present coveted services. The new CEO, John Farmer, intended to alter the manner the MAS operated through the use of computing machine engineering in two countries: direction of exigency calls and direction of fundss ( Darren, 2004 ) . This determination in concurrence with political relations and other schemes were the accelerator for the failure to implement alteration in the MAS. This paper is set to analyze the instance survey written by Prof Darren Dalcher in 2004 ( Emergency: Implementing an Ambulance Despatch System ) .The instance survey highlights the narrative of the debatable execution of a computerised dispatch system for the Metropolitan Ambulance Service ( MAS ) in Melbourne, Australia ( Darren, 2004 ) . The purpose of this paper to analyze how information system execution attacks, opposition theories and alteration theories such as Lewin ‘s Three Step Change Theory, Lippit ‘s stages of alteration Theory and the Social Cognitive Theory can be applied to the instance survey to convey about necessary alterations.

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2.LITERATURE Reappraisal

The literature reappraisal is divided into 3 subdivisions. The first subdivision explains the four attacks designed for implementing I.T systems. The 2nd subdivision explains opposition theories. The 3rd subdivision explains change theories.


There are four attacks available for implementing an I.T information system. These attacks include

2.1.1 Plunge attack:

The dip attack means implementing a system in an pressing manner, by stoping the old system at a peculiar twenty-four hours and get downing the new system the following twenty-four hours. This attack minimises passage cost and operation cost. However, the dip attack is hazardous and could easy take to system failure. ( Efraim & A ; Linda, 2010, p 533 )

2.1.2 Parallel attack:

The parallel attack means runing the old and the new system at the same clip. Although the parallel attack is dearly-won to run, it is good in the long tally because major jobs about the new system would hold been identified and solved. If the new system fails, the old system acts as a backup for accomplishing the corporate end. ( Efraim & A ; Linda, 2010, p 533 )

2.1.3 Pilot attack:

The pilot system means runing the new system in another geographical country or a specific subdivision of the administration in survey. Conducting the pilot survey to analyze the impact of alteration will avoid unobserved complications ( Anderson,1985 ) .

2.1.4 The phased attack:

The phased attack is applicable to both parallel and plunge attack. It focuses on implementing every faculty or version of the system as it is developed and tested. Efraim & A ; Linda, 2010, p 533 ) .The cost of application varies with the methodological analysis. ( Efraim & A ; Linda, 2010, p 533 )

2.2 Resistance theories:

2.2.1 The people oriented theory:

The people-oriented theory suggests that opposition to systems is created by factors internal to users as persons or groups. ( James, Waleed, and Gary ( 1999 ) ) . Gardner, Dukes and Discenza ( 1993 ) supports the impression that certain features ( e.g. , age, gender ) every bit good as changing background, value and belief systems contribute to an person ‘s attitude towards engineering.

2.2.2 The system oriented theory

The system-oriented theory postulates that opposition is induced externally by factors built-in in the design of the system or the engineering being used ( James, Waleed, and Gary ( 1999 ) .Such factors include user interface and other system ‘s features ( e.g. , realisation of demands, public presentation, dependability, and the grade of centralisation, distribution, or decentalisation ) ( James, Waleed, and Gary ( 1999 ) .

2.2.3 The Interaction oriented theory:

The interaction theory explains that systems get different political and societal significance in different scenes and that different users perceive the effects of the same system otherwise ( James, Waleed, and Gary,1999 ) . Resistance may, for illustration, manifest itself as a consequence of switching power relationships ( James, Waleed, and Gary,1999 ) .

2.3The alteration theories

2.3.1 Kurt Lewin ‘s planned alteration:

The Lewin ‘s planned alteration theory argues that planned alteration occurs by design where each and every procedure is planned. This is every bit opposed to self-generated alteration or alteration by accident. The position quo is disrupted and consequences into some instability of forces. The two forces that are largely present are the driving force and the restraining force. The driving force Acts of the Apostless as a incentive in gesture towards a positive way or a end that has been set. The keeping force opposes the motion towards a bound end. When the opposing forces are overcome, another equilibrium place is reached ( Bessie, 2003: p.167 ) . The three stages that are identified include: dissolving the position quo, achieving a new province ( traveling ) and refreezing to do the alteration permanent.

The first stairss are informing stakeholders of the needed alteration and agree on the importance of the alteration. Harmonizing to Miller ( 1982 ) one of the most hard undertakings is acquiring people to accept a alteration. Change is disputing and the stakeholders or users may experience as if they have lost control of everything but it is of import to promote them. The persons will so take clip to implement the existent alteration. This might take quite sometime but the procedure should be gradual. Freezing makes the procedure to stabilise and the procedure can now be implemented into the system.

2.3.2 Lippit ‘s Phases of Change Theory

In Lippit ‘s Phases of Change Theory, an extension of the Lewin ‘s Change Theory is done. Seven stairss are developed that focus more on the alteration agent than on the alteration itself. This involves exchange of information throughout the procedure. The alteration begins by a diagnosing of the job and so look intoing the motive that the alteration will convey and the capacity of the alteration to do a difference from the current state of affairs. The alteration agent should besides be examined so as to make up one’s mind if the necessary capacity that is required is available ( Alicia, 2004: p.1 ) . The schemes that will be used to carry through the alteration are chosen and each agent of alteration is assigned and alerted of the alterations that are expected from his portion. Experts and facilitators may be required at this phase and may be portion of the alteration agents. The establishment implementing the alteration should guarantee that the alteration is maintained. This can be achieved by efficient communicating, coordination and feedback on every activity that takes topographic point. When the alteration has been implemented and the employees have adopted the new civilization, the alteration agent can now retreat from the procedure.

2.3.3 Social cognitive theory:

Harmonizing to the societal cognitive theory, persons can alter their behaviors depending on the environmental factors that surround them, the personal factors of the persons and the properties of the behavior itself. The persons must believe that they have the capacity to execute the new behavior and they must besides see the importance of following the new behavior. If the persons see the effects of the behavior to be positive, they will be willing to follow the new behavior and frailty versa. This means that societal acquisition will take topographic point where the persons can comprehend the positive outlooks to surpass the negative outlooks ( Alicia, 2004: p.1 ) . If the persons can visualise the positive benefits and see the importance of the alteration, they are likely to be motivated and to hold more morale to transport out the alterations in the behavior. Self-efficacy is the most of import facet in this procedure and can be increased by: giving clear instructions that will let the alteration to be achieved, supplying proper preparation that will enable the persons to develop the accomplishments required for the alteration to be achieved and seeking to pattern the coveted behavior.

3. Analysis of the Case Study

The MAS was established at the terminal of the 19th century. The purpose was to offer exigency medical conveyance particularly in transporting patients in critical conditions to infirmaries every bit fast as possible. They offer first assistance services to persons that require the first assistance services as they move them to topographic points where they can be attended to. They provide first assistance instruction to the populace for free and in add-on, they provide particular installations that can be used by persons who require these particular conveyance services in order to acquire to the infirmary.

In the late eightiess, MAS experienced intense unfavorable judgment with the imperativeness analyzing major events where the company ‘s response to calls was really hapless. The private sector had besides tried to go really active and had started actively viing with the MAS. The fiscal position of the MAS had besides been really hapless. The service was entering losingss every twelvemonth. The relationship that existed between MAS direction and the ambulance brotherhoods was non good. Many work stoppages, misgiving and tensenesss had ever prevailed in the part and the media produced some articles on how the ambulance had been unequal in covering with some instances. In 1992, it was found that MAS was utilizing some systems that were non integrated in footings of engineering. As a consequence, the new authorities which was elected was concerned with the manner the service was utilizing the fundss that the authorities had allocated to it. A reappraisal that was formed in 1992 to turn to the issue concluded that the MAS should reconstitute its direction and construction so that it could concentrate on improved technological systems so that the despatch of ambulances could be strengthened. A John husbandman was elected as the Chief executive officer and he wanted to utilize computing machine engineering in pull offing exigency calls and in the direction of fundss. X-consultants were given the contract for supplying the exigency system and were offered about $ A32 million by the Victoria State Government. In 1994, the media produced records of holds by the company and the deceases that occurred as a consequence of those holds ( Darren, 2004: p.1 ) .

The execution scheme was flawed from the start because stakeholder had different aims. The means the authorities was more focused on cut downing cost than using the right agent for the undertaking. The X-consultants agreed to an unrealistic timeframe in which to present the system ( Darren, 2004 ) . Implementation was scheduled to continue in a Big Bang mode, with a switch over to the full system scheduled for 24 August 1995 ( Darren, 2004 ) . The timeframe was evidently excessively short for the information system to be developed, tested and reviewed for farther corrections. The fixed deadline imposed by the clients, without dialogue, became a major restraint on the undertaking and proved to be a hard hurdle for X-consultants ( Darren, 2004 ) .

The CEO decided to utilize the dip attack in implementing the new system in order to cut down cost. The methodological analysis backfired and resulted into the failure of the new system. Other attacks such as analogues, pilot and phased attack should hold been considered. Although these other attacks will non necessary minimise cost, the gait of the system execution would hold allowed for adjustment period to the new system ( Zuboff, 1988 ) .

By May 1995, it became clear that X-consultants were unable to run into contract deadlines, while the media uncovered grounds of frequent system shut downs. ( Darren, 2004 ) . MAS officers began kicking to X-consultants and a het row developed between the two administrations. ( Darren, 2004 ) .The obvious truth was that the ambulance brotherhood would hold liked their members to make the despatching, instead than non-paramedic X-consultants ‘ civilians. ( Darren 2004 ) .This means the importance of the alteration has non been decently communicated. Resistance had developed within the administration because MAS was non consulted about the demand for alteration. The alteration was enacted by force alternatively by audience from the stakeholders and users. The trade brotherhoods were ignored alternatively of been consulted to treat alteration. The authorities and the CEO did non recognize the inability of sophisticated engineering to get the better of human and organizational issues ( Darren, 2004 ) .

The authorities in concurrence with the CEO should hold appropriate schemes to advance credence of the information system. They should hold Involve employees in development of new systems to promote a feeling of ownership ( Mumford, 1979 ) . Open lines of communicating between employees and direction should hold been established ( Land, 1992 ) .The employees should be provided with information sing system alterations to continue ownership ( Jager, 1994 ) . Morale-boosting activities should hold been initiated, for illustration, company parties and newssheets, to advance community ( Nord and Tucker, 1987 ) . Standards could hold been documented so new processs are easy to larn and cite ( Nord and Tucker, 1987 ) . The Chief executive officer should hold established in progress the limits of authorization that will be following conversion to clear up function definitions ( Martinsons and Chong,1999 ) . The Chief executive officer could hold upgrade work environment following alteration e.g. more infinite and design for comfort, to better atmosphere ( Swanson, 1988 ) . Job rubrics could hold been altered to reflect increased duty to clear up occupation functions ( Rivard, 1984 ) . Show sympathy and be receptive to ailments following transition to keep user contact and trust ( Nord and Tucker,1987 ) . Conduct orientation Sessionss to fix for alteration ( Rivard, 1984 ) .Give occupation reding to assist users adjust ( Holmes and Holmes, 1970 ) . Organize group therapy to assist users adjust ( Hussain and Hussain, 1984 ) . Retrain employees to be effectual users of the new system ( Aggarwal, 1998 )

Harmonizing to Lewin ‘s planned theory, the first procedure that ought to hold been discussed was if the alteration to privatize and outsource the exigency dispatch system was necessary. If it was found to be necessary, the procedure of converting the MAS of the importance of the alteration would get down. This would hold taken sometime but at the terminal of the twenty-four hours, the persons would hold been convinced and would hold embraced the demand for alteration. The following procedure would hold been placing the drive forces and the restraining forces. When all these are identified, the ends that are destined are identified ( Bessie, 2003: p.168 ) . This will assist in placing the methods that will be used in accomplishing the corporate ends. The authorities together with the MAS could hold sat down and negotiated on the demands that would ensue in efficient distribution of the exigency services. Different companies that would hold supplied the demands would hold been identified and the best one chosen. The barriers towards accomplishing these ends would besides hold been evaluated and ways of get the better ofing them designed.

In dissolving the position quo, the direction together with some authorities functionaries will believe of the specific countries that need alteration and these countries will finally be destabilized. This will name for some procedures that will affect the planned alterations. The clip that will be taken to set up the alteration may besides be noted so that people may work and give their attempts towards accomplishing the greater end ( Bessie, 2003: p.313 ) . Much opposition should be expected as usual since some persons will see the alteration as being nerve-racking and may look to lose focal point. Reaching the equilibrium is non that easy and every member should be determined to do a alteration. This manner, it will take less clip to make the bound end.

In despatching the system, opposition is one of the outlooks as persons are non trained in working with computing machines and particularly in the new package. The best preparation should be given to employees to guarantee that they are confident in working with the new system. Appropriate package besides ought to be developed so that there is no confusion in the package.

The Lippit ‘s Phases of Change Theory could besides hold been used to turn to the issues that existed in the instance survey. Before taking any action, the authorities ought to hold taken sometime to sit down with the MAS and see if there was a manner that the job could hold been solved by doing some alterations. The first necessary procedure could hold been naming the job and cognizing why there were holds in let go ofing the ambulances that led to the decease of many people. If a alteration was deemed tantrum for the procedure such as the proposed usage of computing machines in call pickings, the motive and capacity for alteration could hold been necessary before implementing it. Some agents like facilitators and experts could hold been identified to assist in the procedure of alteration. Determination of the capacity of the alteration agent to achieve the needed alteration is besides necessary when utilizing the Lippit ‘s Phases of Change Theory ( Alicia, 2004: p.1 ) . The power, staying power and committedness to alter are of import and hence, the company should be really acute in choosing the alteration agents. The schemes that were to be used to assist carry through the alteration could hold been identified and the alteration agents assigned the functions that they should play in the procedure. Proper communicating between the alteration agents and the members of the company is necessary as it will let the members to acquire the inside informations about the alteration.

4. Decision

The Victoria authorities in concurrence should hold applied better I.T information system execution attacks and better schemes to implement credence. Before suggesting alteration, an analysis ought to hold been done to find if the alteration was necessary and if the capacity for alteration was available. Most of the procedures failed because the companies together with the authorities ne’er attempted to analyse the job in manus before suggesting the alteration. Again, after suggesting the alteration, no analysis was done to see if the execution of the alteration was possible and if so, whether the alteration would hold any impact on the current procedure.


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