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The efficacy of information systems in the public sector: Issues of context and culture

Raymond A. Hackney (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Neil K. McBride (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 November 1995



In recent years local authorities and hospitals within the UK have been subjected to substantial change, which has resulted in an explosion in the use of information systems (IS). IS managers, personnel and executives within local authorities and hospitals were interviewed in order to determine the effect of context and culture on the take‐up of IS. Context was considered at an external and internal level. Cultural issues were particularly important in the take‐up of IS. In both local authorities and hospitals the IT culture clashed with the subcultures it was supporting. Highlights three issues: the cultural decentralization of IS, which resulted in an unplanned proliferation of disparate systems; the over‐emphasis on operational systems by the IS function to the detriment of management information systems; and the reinforcing of barriers between subcultures through incompatible IS. Suggests that IS departments within the public sector need to be proactive in their support of subcultures and to enrol them in a common goal of the provision of integrated IS within the organization.



Hackney, R.A. and McBride, N.K. (1995), "The efficacy of information systems in the public sector: Issues of context and culture", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 8 No. 6, pp. 17-29.




Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited

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