Developing a socio-technical process framework for information systems project management in a Public HEI : a case study of Kuwait University

Alhabshi, A 2017, Developing a socio-technical process framework for information systems project management in a Public HEI : a case study of Kuwait University , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The observable variety in Information Systems projects outcomes is a global phenomenon, and IS projects in the State of Kuwait are no exception. The participatory approach of managing IS projects by including key stakeholders (e.g. top and middle managers, IT support, external vendors, consultants, and users) became a commonly accepted fashion both in public and private institutions to improve project efficiency and effectiveness. The consensus is that IS project success relies on interlinked factors that support/hinder those stakeholders in reaching their planned goals. Accordingly, these factors are socio-technical as they continuously affect the interplay between the social sub-system and technical sub-system of the IS project. Aiming to understand the status quo of IS project implementation at Kuwait University, this thesis adopts McLeod and MacDonell’s framework (2011) supported by the Social-Technical Theory (Mumford, 2006). Both led the researcher to explore different factors that affect individual’s actions, development process, project content, and the overall project outcomes in Kuwait University (as a public institution).

The Kuwaiti context is under-researched and required an interpretative research approach to shed light on this developing context and address the expanding west-east digital divide. In doing so, a qualitative case study was best suited to help capture the social construction of those success factors and reveal their constructive influence on the IS project success/failure.

Out of 23 semi-structured interviews, our findings refer to an “event” as a temporal instance that causes turbulence/imbalance between individual’s actions, the development process, and project context. During these incidents, the project outcomes respond differently to the institutional environment. Further, our evidence pointed to two layers of institutional factors that reflect completely different epistemological grounds; country-level versus organisational level. While the former reflects the political factors that shape the outcomes of IS projects in the State of Kuwait in general, the latter reflects socio-technical factors that apply on educational IS systems developed in Kuwait University.

Theoretically, a revised model of educational IS development has been developed to reflect the temporal dimension that shapes the development process and the project outcomes. McLeod and MacDonell’s process-based framework offers a socio-technical view that is untapped in the original framework and helps set out the right policies and practices of IS project management for practitioners and regulators in Kuwait University. Furthermore, the political and cultural insights offered by the research participants would assist western universities while developing IS educational projects in Kuwait through franchise entry mode or distant learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: A Alhabshi
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 10:30
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 10:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42124

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