Center for Technology in Government

Agency championship refers to the existence of a single person within the agency who is committed to introducing the information sharing initiative to the agency. In information systems that require the participation of several organizations, the presence of an internal sponsor in each participating organization is very important to provide the necessary leadership, as the existence of a system-wide executive sponsor and a project champion is not always sufficient (Volkoff et al. 1999). Garfield (2000) showed that the presence of a network of site champions was important for the success of networked systems.

She discovered that two types of champions – user and technical – existed within each organization. User champions guided the use of the system, promoted the system to other users, and facilitated organization-wide acceptance of the system. Technical champions, who ensured that the system operated smoothly and effectively, were found to be more important than user champions in terms of user buy-in. Moreover, Norris (1999) found that the existence of a champion was one of the most important facilitators in the adoption of technologies by local governments.

The study showed that that the presence of a champion within the agency was another factor that affected local agency participation in this initiative. It was found that in participating agencies there was an individual who understood the benefits of the system and provided leadership in pursuing it. An informant from the state agency mentioned that it was very difficult to obtain participation from local agencies without the existence of an enthusiastic and committed individual who would play a vital role in overcoming resistance and promoting the implementation of the project.

References

Chau, P. Y. K. and Tam, K. Y. (1997). Factors affecting the adoption of open systems: An Exploratory study, MIS Quarterly, 21 (1), 1-24 Dawes, S. (1996). Interagency Information Sharing: Expected Benefits, Manageable Risks. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 15, 377–394. , Dawes, S. , Pardo T. , Connelly, D. , Green, D. , & McInerney, C. (1997). Partners in State-Local Information Systems: Lessons from the Field, Albany, NY: Center for Technology in Government