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Challenges to ICT implementation in multinationals

Nurit Zaidman (Department of Business Administration, Ben‐Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)
David G. Schwartz (Graduate School of Business Administration, Bar‐Ilan University, Ramat‐Gan, Israel)
Dov Te'eni (Faculty of Management, Tel‐Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel‐Aviv, Israel)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 3 October 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges to information and communication technologies (ICT) implementation in multinationals. The paper focuses on contextual variables relevant to the understanding of the implementation of ICT in organizations operating in the Middle East, such as organization culture and power relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on interviews with 31 employees of a multinational company that operates in the Middle East. In addition, 60 days of electronic mail of two senior managers were studied and random samples of messages from the computers of six participants collected. Altogether 200 e‐mail messages, spanning seven months were surveyed.

Findings

It was found that the transplantation of ICT was based on the construction of technology as symbolizing the value of modernity. Although employees did not resist the implementation of ICT tools, several problems related to language and access to data had an impact on their work. Furthermore, the ICT tools implicitly assumed a utilitarian discourse that values computer‐mediated more than face‐to‐face communication, but the organization rejected this aspect of the tools.

Practical implications

We argue that more flexible designs of ICT should take into account the particular discourse system employed in order to achieve a better fit between the ICT tools and the users.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on a neglected area of research, the implementation of ICT tools in culturally diverse organizations and discusses contextual variables relevant to the understanding of the implementation of ICT in organizations such as organization culture and power relations which have not been extensively discussed in the literature.

Keywords

Citation

Zaidman, N., Schwartz, D.G. and Te'eni, D. (2008), "Challenges to ICT implementation in multinationals", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 267-277. https://doi.org/10.1108/17537980810929984

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited