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

Addo, Atta (2016) Explaining 'irrationalities' of it-enabled change in a developing country bureaucracy: Case of Ghana's tradenet In: ECIS 2016 : European Conference on Information Systems, 2016-06-12-2016-06-15, Istanbul, Turkey.

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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 investigates '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, bureaucrats sometimes preferred manual, face-to-face, paper-based practices. We explain such outcome-often depicted in the literature as a kind of 'irrationality'-by drawing upon the theoretical notion of institutional logics to trace underlying logics of TradeNet-enabled change. We investigate two specific TradeNet-enabled practices-Import Declaration Form (IDF) processing and risk controls-and show that where 'irrationality' was present (IDF processing), the managerial logic of TradeNet contradicted existing bureaucratic logics. We therefore interpret '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 Information 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 developing countries such as neopatrimonialism. Such theorization advances ISDC/ICT4D research where reconciling micro with macro accounts remains daunting.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : June 2016
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2016 The Author
Uncontrolled Keywords : Institutional logics; Neopatrimonialism; Rent seeking; Managerialism; Bureaucratic reform; IS in developing countries; Trade facilitation; TradeNet; ICT4D
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 09 Jan 2020 13:16
Last Modified : 09 Jan 2020 13:16

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