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Explaining 'irrationalities' of it-enabled change in a developing country bureaucracy: The case of Ghana's tradenet

Addo, Atta (2016) Explaining 'irrationalities' of it-enabled change in a developing country bureaucracy: The case of Ghana's tradenet Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 77 (1). pp. 1-22.

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Through a case study of Ghana's TradeNet, a business-to-government (B2G) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) implemented to automate and integrate customs clearance, this article inves-tigates 'irrationalities' of IT-enabled change in the context of a developing country bureaucracy. Our data revealed that despite TradeNet's potential for full automation and integration, bureau-crats sometimes preferred manual, face-to-face, paper-based practices. We explain such out-come-often depicted in the literature as a kind of 'irrationality'-by drawing upon the theo-retical notion of institutional logics to trace underlying logics of TradeNet-enabled change. We investigate two specific TradeNet-enabled practices-Import Declaration Form (IDF) pro-cessing and risk controls-and show that where 'irrationality' was present (IDF processing), the managerial logic of TradeNet contradicted existing bureaucratic logics. We therefore inter-pret 'irrationality' as 'good enough' or satisficing when new logics of IT and old bureaucratic logics contradicted. Our findings move beyond success or failure interpretations typical in In-formation Systems in developing countries (ISDC) and ICT for development (ICT4D) research. We also enhance knowledge of IT-enabled change in developing country bureaucracies by moving beyond the organizational milieu to emphasize broader institutional forces in develop-ing countries such as neopatrimonialism. Such theorization advances ISDC/ICT4D research where reconciling micro with macro accounts remains daunting.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 5 December 2016
DOI : 10.1002/j.1681-4835.2016.tb00565.x
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016 John Wiley & Sons
Uncontrolled Keywords : Institutional logics; Neopatrimonialism; Rent seeking; Managerialism; Bureaucraticreform; IS in developing countries; Trade facilitation; TradeNet; ICT4D
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 09 Jan 2020 13:37
Last Modified : 09 Jan 2020 13:37

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