Title: Causes and effects of project switching within IT organisations in South Africa

Authors: Charmaine Schnehage; Nicholas Harkiolakis

Addresses: School of Business, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, L69 3BX, UK ' School of Business, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, L69 3BX, UK

Abstract: Imposed project switching requires project workers (resources) to have strong multitasking skills, but studies show this leads to stress, error rates, slower responses, and disruptions that hamper the completion of daily activities. This qualitative case study investigated the main causes and effects of imposed project switching in information technology (IT) organisations in South Africa. The aim was to gain a profound intellectual understanding on why projects fail and why imposed switching took place with the resultant causes and effects. A survey of nine IT professionals found the top causes of imposed project switching originated from being management imposed, authority, interruptions, multitasking continuum, change, and roles and responsibilities. The effects of imposed project switching were found to be competing constraints and high psychological effects, followed by the resource allocation syndrome and resource-constrained project-scheduling problem. These directly impacted productivity, spreading also to various other company divisions.

Keywords: IT project management; switching; multitasking; over-utilisation; overload.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTCS.2017.084411

International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, 2017 Vol.8 No.1, pp.66 - 89

Received: 24 Nov 2016
Accepted: 13 Feb 2017

Published online: 25 May 2017 *

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