IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis

IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis

Clive Sanford (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Anol Bhattacherjee (University of South Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-138-4.ch020
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This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a three-year case analysis of an IT project in a city government in Ukraine. We employ the concept of technological frames of reference as an analytical tool for articulating the group-level structures related to the implementation context from the perspectives of key stakeholders and examine the degree of conflict between these frames using a Fishbone diagram. We report that conflict between technological frames held by key stakeholders in large-scale system implementation projects often create an unexpected, dysfunctional, and politically charged implementation environment, ultimately leading to project failures, even if the project enjoys a high level of financial and management support. This, in turn, creates unique challenges for technology implementation projects in developing countries that are often overlooked in the traditional academic and practitioner literatures based on experiences from developed countries.
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Information technology (IT) has long been viewed by central planners in the developing world as an important tool for achieving rapid economic and wage growth, improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, and enhancing political participation and transparency. However, achievement of these objectives is often thwarted due to incentive structures that are based on existing rules and organizational structures. Improvements in administrative capacity can only be expected when there is a sound institutional base that is supported by operational, technical, and infrastructural facilities. Therefore, planning for the diffusion of IT into a developing country’s administrative strategies presents a challenge that is significantly different from that encountered by developed countries.

The UN Secretary-General has stated, “information technologies can give developing countries the chance to leapfrog some of the long and painful stages of development that other countries had to go through” (Annan, 2002). In other words, IT has the potential to support the development strategy of bypassing some of the processes of the accumulation of human capabilities and fixed investment in order to narrow the gaps in productivity and output that separate industrialized and developing countries (Steinmueller, 2001). Recently, there is also the indication that the creation of an information society and, in particular, e-government implementation would lead to better (or good) governance (Ciborra & Navarra, 2005). However, the public and businesses in developing countries often have a mistrust of governments that are entrenched in hierarchical structures that are often politicized and corrupt, and are rife with cumbersome processes that stunt economic growth and discourage investment in productive business activities. Efforts to restructure government are either in direct conflict with institutional archetypes or have proven difficult for countries with unstable governments to adopt. In addition, government agencies in developing and transitional countries often try to install IT infrastructures that have been designed for private sector firms and/or for governments in other countries.

Globalization, democratization, and economic liberalization have prompted initiatives with IT as the primary lever to stimulate dramatic changes in the role of the state. New freedoms and opportunities, especially prevalent in developing countries, have raised the expectations of individual citizens, and emerging and increasingly vocal and proactive civil societies now do not hesitate to call governments to account. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that IT in many public sectors has not delivered the value expected (Bellamy & Taylor, 1994; Lenk, 1990; Margetts, 1999; Margetts & Willcocks, 1993; Willcocks, 1994). The literature on IT in developing countries generally reports on planned systems, pilot studies, and failures, and seldom discusses the outcome of projects that are even partially functional (Cecchini & Raina, 2005). Further, even when systems are operational, sustaining operations in an ongoing manner is difficult (Frasheri, 2003).

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
Chapter 1
Alexander Y. Yap
Why are some countries successful with e-commerce while others flounder? This chapter is an update of an earlier research study that the authors... Sample PDF
A Composite Model for E-Commerce Diffusion: Revisited
Chapter 2
Robert M. Davison, Yuan Li, Carol S.P. Kam
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Data Collection in China
Chapter 3
Jaymeen R. Shah
Privacy laws for the Internet are difficult to develop and implement domestically and internationally. A clear problem is how such laws are limited... Sample PDF
Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals
Chapter 4
Hongxin Zhao, Seung Kim, Taewon Suh, Jianjun Du
This study attempts to examine empirically how social institutional factors relate to Internet diffusion in 39 countries. Based on nine-year... Sample PDF
Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis
Chapter 5
Somya Joshi, Michael Barrett, Geoff Walsham, Sam Cappleman
This article investigates how, and with what success, global organisations design computer-based systems for knowledge sharing which aim to balance... Sample PDF
Balancing Local Knowledge Within Global Organisations Through Computer-Based Systems: An Activity Theory Approach
Chapter 6
Kevin K.W. Ho, Byungjoon Yoo, Seunghee Yu, Kar Yan Tam
While previous studies on buy-it-now (BIN) auctions focus on the impact of BIN format on economic performances, our study focuses on factors that... Sample PDF
The Effect of Culture and Product Categories on the Level of Use of Buy-It-Now (BIN) Auctions by Sellers
Chapter 7
Shirish C. Srivastava, Thompson S.H. Teo
Though policy makers and governments are interested in understanding the returns from e-Government implementation, there are relatively few... Sample PDF
A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government
Chapter 8
Juan Juan Zhang, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
This article studies the role of international spillover of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth. We examine the... Sample PDF
A Time Series Analysis of International ICT Spillover
Chapter 9
William Wresch, Simon Fraser
Studies summarized by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development continue to show that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing... Sample PDF
Technological Hurdles to Caribbean E-Commerce: Responses by Innovative Managers
Chapter 10
Robert M. Davidson, Carol S.P. Kim, Maggie Y. Li, Yuan Li, Carol X.J. Ou
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Surveys in China
Chapter 11
David Gefen, Tsipi Heart
Deliberate exploitation of natural resources and excessive use of environmentally abhorrent materials have resulted in environmental disruptions... Sample PDF
On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs
Chapter 12
Steven Hornik
The horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism are an important characteristic of cultures. These dimensions have many... Sample PDF
Culture's Impact on Technology Mediated Learning: The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Individualism and Collectivism
Chapter 13
Tamara Dinev, Massimo Bellotto, Paul Hart, Vincenzo Russo, Ilaria Serra, Christian Colautti
The study examines differences in individual’s privacy concerns and beliefs about government surveillance in Italy and the United States. By... Sample PDF
Internet Users' Privacy Concerns and Beliefs About Government Surveillance: An Exploratory Study of Differences Between Italy and the United States
Chapter 14
Shaobo Ji, Qingfei Min, Weihe Han
The purpose of this study is to review current research activities concerning information systems (IS) in mainland China. We thus examined Chinese... Sample PDF
Information Systems Research in China: An Empirical Study
Chapter 15
John Lim
Two seemingly disparate phenomena, advancement in computing technologies and rise in complexity of business negotiations owing to globalization... Sample PDF
A Study in the East Asian Context on Computer Support of Pre-Negotiation and Negotiation Stages
Chapter 16
Sang-Woo Lee, Myeong-Cheol Park, Dan J. Kim
This study relies on a customer demand-based view to examine how mobile number portability affects competition in the Korean mobile... Sample PDF
Mobile Number Portability in an Asymmetric Telecommunications Market: Korea Case
Chapter 17
Hazel Taylor
As outsourced and multinational IT projects become more common, managing risks for these projects is increasingly important. The research reported... Sample PDF
Vendor vs. Client Risks in Outsourced IT Projects: An Agency Theory Perspective
Chapter 18
Susan K. Lippert, John A. Volkmar
Research to date on information technology (IT) adoption has focused primarily on homogeneous single country samples. This study integrates the... Sample PDF
Cultural Effects on Technology Performance and Utilization: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Users
Chapter 19
Thompson S.H. Teo
The Internet can be used for different purposes ranging from simple Internet presence to using the Internet for business transformation. This study... Sample PDF
Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective
Chapter 20
Clive Sanford, Anol Bhattacherjee
This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a... Sample PDF
IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis
Chapter 21
Susan A. Sherer
This article investigates IT investment management processes in the U.S. and Portugal. In Portugal compared to the United States, we find less... Sample PDF
Comparative Study of IT Investment Management Processes in U.S. and Portugal
Chapter 22
Ruey-Lin Hsiao
This article examines e-marketplace adoption difficulties from a contextualist perspective. The analysis of industrial characteristics will unearth... Sample PDF
Misaligned Market: The Importance of Industry Context in Technology-Mediated Exchanges
Chapter 23
Syaiful Ali, Peter Green
Information technology plays a significant role enabling organisations to achieve their objectives. Accordingly, the governance mechanisms over the... Sample PDF
IT Governance Mechanisms in Public Sector Organisations: An Australian Context
Chapter 24
Shirley Chan
In most parts of the world, it is generally considered impolite or even rude to pick up an incoming mobile phone call and to have a longer (and... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone Communication Innovation in Multiple Time and Space Zones: The Case of Hong Kong Culture
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