| || || Public administration -- Information technology -- Fiji|
| || || Towards effective IT governance structures in developing economies : evidence from the Fiji Islands|
Author: Samuwai, Jale
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Information technology -- Government policy -- Fiji, Public administration -- Information technology -- Fiji, Internet in public administration -- Fiji
Call No.: Pac HC 79 .I55 S26 2014
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The adoption of IT in business for the purpose of improved business performance in developing economies is increasing. Organisations are committing substantial amounts of financial resources to IT investment. Established evidence, however, indicates that organisations in developing economies still find it difficult to capitalise on their IT investment to generate business values (Avgerou 2008). There is a need to improve understanding in developing economies on how best to use IT so that it contributes to the financial performance of organisations. For IT to contribute to financial return, effective IT governance (ITG) structures must first be implemented (Weill 2004). Today, ITG is a top business priority for many profitable organisations (Gartner 2013[b]). The understanding of ITG is established in literature. The study, however, defines ITG as the “leadership and the organisational structures and processes that ensure that the organisation’s IT sustains and extends the organisation’s objectives and strategies” (ITGI 2003, p.10). Literature has also established the nature of ITG structures that can source business values in organisations. These studies, however, tend to focus more on developed economies. The relevance and the fit of these ITG structures to organisations in developing economies is unclear as ITG structures are context specific (Agarwal and Sambamurthy 2002). Moreover, the ITG understanding in developing economies is minimal. The study contributes to the general research effort that addresses this literature gap by investigating the nature of ITG structures that are effective in developing economies. The study adopts a mixed research approach to address the research question. The first stage used an interpretive research approach to gather information about the nature of ITG structures in organisations that are perceived to be successful adopters of IT in a developing economy context. Fiji a developing economy in the South Pacific serves as the research context of the study. Twenty three individuals holding senior management positions in the business and IT departments of 17 leading vi companies in Fiji were interviewed. The questions in the semi-structured interview focused on the nature of the ITG structures that are currently in place or that should be in place to enhance the use of IT in these organisations. Results of the interpretive approach indicated four broad themes that serve as ITG structures for organisations in developing economies: an organisational-wide IT strategy committee; a cross-functional IT operational committee; hierarchical and lateral communication systems; and cross-functional training. A more comprehensive model of ITG is needed as these ITG structures per se are of little value to organisations in developing economies. Organisations should be able to assess the contribution of their ITG structures to their overall performance. As IT-related initiatives do not directly contribute to business values (Melville et al. 2004) the study suggested that the effectiveness of the ITG structures should be assessed against the measures of business values at the business process-level of an organisation. Finally the model linked the improvement in business processes performance to the financial performance at the firm-level. The second stage of the study used a field survey to gather data that will validate the relevance and the validity of the model of ITG structure suggested by the study. A new survey instrument was developed to measure the ITG structure constructs suggested by the study as these constructs were considered to be different from established measures of ITG structures. This instrument was validated using established guidelines. The final survey instrument was distributed using dual mode to various private sector organisations in Fiji which garnered 160 valid and complete responses. Analysis of the survey responses indicated a strong relationship between the suggested ITG structure and improved business process performance. Moreover, a strong relationship was also indicated between improved business process-level performance and firm-level performance. The results therefore supported the vii relevance and the validity of the study’s model of ITG structure in a developing economy context. The study makes an important contribution to theory and practice by identifying the nature of ITG structures that will promote the effective use of IT in developing economies. Future research should build on the findings of the study and investigate other related ITG issues in developing economies.