Inquiry into Definitions of Culture in IT Studies

Inquiry into Definitions of Culture in IT Studies

Mark Srite (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA), Detmar Straub (Georgia State University, USA), Karen Loch (Georgia State University, USA), Roberto Evaristo (University of Illinois-Chicago, USA) and Elena Karahanna (University of Georgia, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-064-6.ch003
OnDemand PDF Download:


In reviewing the history of the conceptualization and measurement of “culture,” one quickly realizes that there is wide-ranging and contradictory scholarly opinion about which values, norms, and beliefs should be measured to represent the concept of “culture.” We explore an alternate theory-based view of culture via social identity theory (SIT), which suggests that each individual is influenced by a plethora of cultures and sub-cultures – some ethnic, some national, and some organizational. In information system (IS) research, the culture of subjects and respondents is problematic because it is typically an overly simplistic categorization. IS research nearly always assumes that an individual living in a particular place and time belongs to a single “culture,” e.g., someone living in Egypt is automatically classified as being a member of the Egyptian culture, or, more broadly, the Arab culture. This dearth of clear concepts and measures for “culture” may explain why cross-cultural research has been so exceedingly difficult to conduct. It may also explain why it has been hard to develop and refine theories. Moreover, it may give insight into why reasonable, explained variance in predictive models has not been higher. Finally, it is very possible that much cross-cultural business research could be rightly accused of advancing an “ecological fallacy” by not recognizing the individual makeup of persons with respect to culture.Using SIT (or other theory bases) as grounding for cultural research programs implies the use of certain methodological approaches. Each study would have to establish the salient “cultures” in each individual’s background and include these different “cultures” as independent variables in positivist research. In qualitative research, there would need to be an equally rigorous assessment of the cultural identifiers of each individual.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
M. Lynne Markus, Christina Soh
An important line of research on global information management examines the effects of national culture on information technology (IT) development... Sample PDF
Structural Influences on Global E-Commerce Activity
Chapter 2
Michael D. Myers, Felix B. Tan
Many IS scholars argue that global organizations need to understand cultural differences if they are to successfully deploy information technology.... Sample PDF
Beyond Models of National Culture in Information Systems Research
Chapter 3
Mark Srite, Detmar Straub, Karen Loch, Roberto Evaristo, Elena Karahanna
In reviewing the history of the conceptualization and measurement of “culture,” one quickly realizes that there is wide-ranging and contradictory... Sample PDF
Inquiry into Definitions of Culture in IT Studies
Chapter 4
Elena Karahanna, Roberto Evaristo, Mark Srite
This paper presents a discussion of methodological issues that are relevant and idiosyncratic to cross-cultural research. One characteristic that... Sample PDF
Methodological Issues in MIS Cross-Cultural Research
Chapter 5
Amira El Guindi, Sherif Kamel
Information and communication technologies are impacting today’s organizations and businesses in many diverse ways. The implications are perceived... Sample PDF
The Role of Virtual Multicultural Teams in Corporate Culture
Chapter 6
Ana R. del Aguila, Sebastián Bruque, Antonio Padilla
During the last decades, numerous theoretical frameworks have been developed in the field of general management. Each theoretical framework has... Sample PDF
Lines of Advance in Global Information Technology Management: American/West European Approach
Chapter 7
M. Gordon Hunter, Peter Carr
Technology is providing a positive impact on delivery mechanisms employed in distance education at the university level. Some institutions are... Sample PDF
Alternative Delivery Mechanisms in Distance Education
Chapter 8
Lech J. Janczewski
The protection of privacy is a function of many variables: culture, politics, and point of view. Practically all countries have introduced laws... Sample PDF
New Challenges in Privacy Protection
Chapter 9
Detmar W. Straub, Karen D. Loch, Carole E. Hill
The complex societal beliefs and values of the Arab world provide a rich setting to examine the hypothesized influence of culture on information... Sample PDF
Transfer of Information Technology to the Arab World: A Test of Cultural Influence Modeling
Chapter 10
Abdulwahed Moh. Khalfan, Tom G. Gough
This chapter presents an overview of a national case study exploring the IS/IT outsourcing phenomenon in the public sector of a developing country.... Sample PDF
The IS/IT Outsourcing Phenomenon in the Public Sector of a Developing Country: An Exploration of Critical Issues
Chapter 11
Ana R. del Aguila, Sebastián Bruque, Antonio Padilla
In a global and highly competitive context, the human-machine interaction re-emerges as an important topic of research among IS academics and... Sample PDF
Intangible Determinants in the Introduction and Development of Information Technology: Mediterranean Evidence
Chapter 12
Davood Askarany
This chapter addresses a variety of factors influencing the diffusion of advanced techniques in organizations with particular reference to advanced... Sample PDF
An Overview of the Diffusion of Advanced Techniques
Chapter 13
Chung S. Kim, Dane K. Peterson
This study investigated the perceptions of information systems (IS) developers from the United States and Japan with regards to the relative... Sample PDF
Critical Strategies for Information Systems Development Projects: Perceptions of Developers from the United States and Japan
Chapter 14
Victor W.A. Mbarika
This chapter reviews research from academic and major international organizational literature to examine and synthesize the current understanding of... Sample PDF
The State of Teledensity Diffusion in Least Developed Countries: A Review of the Literature
Chapter 15
Leo Tan Wee Hin, R. Subramaniam
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) hold great potential for promoting socioeconomic development in many developing countries. ICT has... Sample PDF
Information and Communication Technology in Singapore: Lessons for Developing Nations on the Role of Government
About the Authors