Elements influencing IS success in developing countries : a case study of organisations in Papua New Guinea

Kelegai, Limbie K. (2005) Elements influencing IS success in developing countries : a case study of organisations in Papua New Guinea. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Since the introduction of computers in to organisations in the 1950s, computer information systems have become powerful organisational instruments. The uptake of information technology including information systems (IS) and the impact of these technologies have been phenomenal, particularly in the least developed countries (LDCs). Organisations in these countries have continued to utilise IS as a development tool with the belief that it will enhance business processes, in many instances accelerated by foreign assistance. IS can have a positive effect on users, organisations and national development, measured economically or otherwise at the individual, organisational, and national levels. Yet IS implementation and the measure of its success is characterised by a high rate of failure and disagreement among scholars and practitioners.

The success of organisational IS is influenced by a fabric of many variables, including contextual elements. In this regard IS can be influenced by both the organisational context in terms of strategies, structures, politics and culture, and by the wider political socio-economic, cultural, and technological climate within which organisations exist. Understanding the contributing variables and the barriers that impede IS success, would better prepare organisations to overcome the inherent difficulties.

There is a large body of work documenting the usefulness and consequences of IS. However, these studies have been concentrated in the developed countries (DCs), hence, little is known about IS implementation in LDCs. DCs and LDCs differ in their contextual and social settings, and a uniform analysis may not be applicable in their disparate settings. Indeed the paucity of research and data in the IS domain indicates that the study would benefit an LDC such as Papua New Guinea (PNG) and contribute to knowledge in understanding IS implementation in an LDC environment.

This thesis reports on a study that examined IS implementation success in PNG organisations in the context of an LDC. Computers were introduced to PNG in the 1960s, however, no studies have been undertaken to date in this domain that the author is aware of. Hence, the objective of this study was to provide detailed analysis of IS, the context in which it was implemented, its interaction with organisational and external settings, and elicit the underlying elements associated with its success. It also explores the emphasis placed on each of the elements and the extent to which organisations effectively addressed these elements to ensure IS success.

The exploratory study employs a multi method design - beginning in Stage 1 with case studies, followed by a survey in Stage 2. Stage 1 adopted a multiple case study approach. Eight case studies were undertaken, however, results of only four case studies are reported in this thesis. Data obtained in the case studies provide a useful basis for the survey. The study in Stage 2 consolidated and expanded on the case study findings from the perspective of a wider population. All the organisations contacted but not involved in the Stage 1 study contributed by participating in the survey.

The study identified more than fifty elements that contributed to the success of IS in PNG organisations. There were significant similarities to the findings of studies in other DCs and LDCs despite the disparate contextual conditions. Several elements, not identified in prior studies, were also revealed. Based on this study, a set of principles pertaining to IS implementation and management in PNG were postulated. Similarly a set of recommendations were also outlined.

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ID Code: 16169
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Middleton, Michael
Keywords: Information Systems (IS), Information Systems Management, Information Systems Success, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Least Developed Countries (LDC)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Information Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:44

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