Schwegman claims that the oversimplified language was used because he knew he was dealing with non-technical people, but the pessimistic tone and the wealth of information shared proved to be poor organizational politics. In contrast to the pessimism of CIOs, other C-level executives and business partners have the tendency to be optimistic. Schwegman overlooked this fact and did not write his letter with a tone that would appeal to such individuals.
According to Finney (1999), "A successful IS professional must determine which environment he or she is operating in-then be sensitive to the unwritten rules and act accordingly. Too often, an eager system builder begins to slip into a state the he or she is working toward the 'greater good', and then lose sight of the information politics. Rather, the IS professional must work from the business client's perspective-even if the longer term objective is to move to a new information political state. Once the current political state has been identified, the politics of change can begin."
The above is what happened in Schwegman's case. ...
This sent off a panic when it was taken externally.
Schwegman thought he was doing the right thing. He was being open and honest about system failures. Furthermore, he had decided to take the heat for them. Had the letter only gone to individuals inside the company, the reaction might not have been so bad. However, the letter went to business partners whom definitely do not want to hear bad news such as that shared in the letter. This is definitely not to say that Schwegman should have lied, but he should have taken into consideration who was going to read the letters and adjusted his language, tone, and amount of information shared according to those facts.
According to Strassman (2005, pg. 1), "If the CIO does not have the authority to set and execute information management policies, information technology cannot be sufficiently important in a company or other organization. Without an empowered CIO, accountability for technology will be diffused and unfocused." Clearly, this is not the case when it comes to Schwegman. He quite obviously has the authority to set and execute information management policies or he would not have the notion to take the responsibility for any problems that have popped up. Furthermore, if he did not have the power, the letter would not have received the reaction that it did.
Take, for instance, the wording of Schwegman's letter (Schuman, 2005, pg. 1):
I'll start by saying that the vast majority of system problems we have are problems related to updates," Schwegman wrote. "These update problems have been manifesting themselves as inventory update failures, missing orders, missing images, incorrect status synchs, etc. At the end of the day, all of