Assessment of Risk on Information Technology Projects Through Moments of Translation

Assessment of Risk on Information Technology Projects Through Moments of Translation

Petronnell Sehlola (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa) and Tiko Iyamu (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/jantti.2012040104
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Many of the IT solutions in an organisation are employed through IT projects. Based on the reliance on IT solutions, organisations’ investment in IT projects have increased tremendously in the past two decades. This is informed and triggered by the premise that IT will help yield solutions that will fulfill or exceed expectations, thereby making the organisation realise the required return on investment. Projects are a means to yield solutions through technological artefacts, such as infrastructure (networks included), applications, databases, or a combination of these artefacts. Technological artefacts are associated with foreseen or unforeseen risks. Hence, proper risk identification and management of IT projects is necessary to ensure that the organisation reaches the desired state. Unfortunately, risks are not easy to identify or manage. Using one case, the study employed actor network theory in the analysis of the data to understand the factors which manifest themselves into risks during the deployment of IT projects in the organisation.
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Research Approach

The case study research approach was employed in the study. Lester (1997) defines case studies as a formal report based on the examination of a prearranged subject. Case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especial when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident and in which multiple sources of evidence are used (Yin, 2002). Case study research is an ideal methodology when a holistic, in depth investigation is needed. It is designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the participant by using multiple sources of data (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991).

According to Blumberg, Cooper, and Schindelr (2008), the most benefit of case studies is that they allow the combination of different source of evidence such as Interview, documentation and observation.

Data was collected using Semi-structured interview to allow the researcher to refine the research questions during the interviews to converge issues that arose during the interviewing process. Documents were also used to add to the information received from respondents. Data were analysed using underpinning theory. Organisation used for case study was financial Institution who provides services to its customer.

The study is underpinned by Actor-Network Theory (ANT). The actor-network theory has been widely accepted and used in many studies. Such of the studies include Hanseth and Monteiro (1997), Walsham and Sahay (1999), and Mitev (2008). Wernick, Hall, and Nehaniv (2008) in their studies focused more on human related aspects and afterwards also covered the participation of non-human entities which illustrate the difference of both human and non-human actors.

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