A Qualitative Study of Green IT Adoption Within the Philippines Business Process Outsourcing Industry: A Multi-Theory Perspective

A Qualitative Study of Green IT Adoption Within the Philippines Business Process Outsourcing Industry: A Multi-Theory Perspective

Alexander A. Hernandez (De La Salle University, Philippines) and Sherwin Ona (De La Salle University, Philippines)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5201-7.ch019
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This study explores the green IT adoption experience of organizations within the business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines using a multi-theory perspective. Through a multiple case study with three organizations, it presents a holistic account of the factors in green IT adoption. This study shows the usefulness of complementarily deploying adoption theory and offers important theoretical and practical implications for organizations as they extend their BPO operations globally. In this study, the authors discovered that technological and organizational context factors have greater positive impact on Green IT adoption within BPO organizations while environmental context factors have lesser impact in decision-making processes.
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Global warming and climate change are serious problems faced by humanity (Mowery et al., 2010). It was caused by business activities such as the exploitation of natural resource (Pavlakis, Alexandry and Sieber, 1996; Walsh, 2011), rise in energy generation and consumption (Platt, 2007; Salehfar and Benson, 1998), carbon emission (Fuchs, 2008) and toxic waste disposal (Harris and McCartor, 2011). The Information Technology (IT) industry is a notorious contributor to the environmental problems, which consumes nearly 40 million gigajoules of energy that produces 8 million tons of carbon dioxide annually (Ranganathan, 2010). Significantly, more than 50 million tons of toxic IT waste is improperly disposed of yearly, significantly contributing to pollution (Karin, 2009).

Although IT is a problem to the natural environment, it can also play an important role to solve the growing environmental problems. For example, using telecommuting to replace commuting can reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gasses physically (Fuhr and Pociask, 2011). The United Parcel Service has used IT for route optimization to reduce the traveling distance of its delivery trucks (Watson, Boudreau, Li and Levis, 2010). At this point, there is increasing consideration to address the global environmental problems resulted from IT, decrease the environmental challenges and shift towards sustainability (Jenkin et al., 2011). With the need to address the problems caused by IT and the potential of IT as a solution to environmental problems becoming more widely recognized, Green IT has become an emerging agenda, gaining increasing attention from both researchers and practitioners (Lei and Ngai, 2012). Green IT refers to the practices and processes enabled by information systems (IS) that can enhance the economic and environmental performance of an organization (Melville, 2010). Green IT covers wide range organizational activities such as human and managerial practices relating to the whole cycle of an IT infrastructure (Molla, Cooper, and Pittayachawan, 2011).

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