The Stage Hypothesis and the S-Curve: Some Contradictory Evidence

By Henry C. Lucas, Jr.Jimmy A. Sutton
1974| Working Paper No. 217

This paper presents the results of a study testing the s-shaped budget curve of Nolans stage model of computer development in an organization. Research on the data processing budgets of California counties fails to support the s-shaped curve or the use of budgets as a basis for a stage model. However, the results do not invalidate the concept of a stage model. The analysis suggests an alternative model of budget growth and a separation between models of budgeting growth and growth stages in the development of the computer resource.