The Place of ICT in Global Planning

The Place of ICT in Global Planning

Abel Usoro (University of Paisley, UK)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-43-3.ch010
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Abstract

There is a general agreement in the literature that social, technological, political, cultural, and economic factors encourage a greater number of businesses to globalize their operations and markets. To operate in more than one market or country involves complexity on a larger scale than to operate locally. The complexity is combined with increasing risks, a faster pace of change, and the difficulties of managing an organization in more than one country. Information and communication technologies (ICT) act not only as an imperative to globalize but also as a potential tool to help global managers to plan, and yet there is no conclusive study that these technologies are adequately providing assistance. Indeed, existing studies suggest that there is much room for improvement. At the same time, there is no coherent and well-tested theory to explain or predict the use of information and communication technologies for global planning. To bridge the knowledge gap, this paper presents a causal model that groups predictor variables of the use of ICT in global planning under organizational, ICT, personal, and infrastructural factors. It also reports on a pilot study in which one hundred questionnaires were distributed to multinational companies in the United Kingdom (UK) and in South Africa (SA) to collect information to examine the role of ICT in global planning using the model. The result suggested among others that the Internet forms the most popular platform for building global planning tools. Factors most important to managers include the provision of timely information, provision of report and presentation facilities, and support for group working and alternative (highly summarized and detailed) views of information. On the other hand, managers appear not to be very satisfied with the provision of technology for global planning, partly because it does not adequately provide for creativity needed in global planning. Recommendations are made based on the findings, and areas for further research to enhance the validity of the model are highlighted.

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