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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Volume 24, Issue 2
It gives me great pleasure to welcome our readers to Volume 24 Number 2 of Journal of Enterprise Information Management (JEIM), and thank them for their continued support during the past several years. Similar to 2009, the year 2010 also represented yet another period of growth for the JEIM. The continuous update of the journal’s scope to promote theory and practice has led to an increase in regular research paper submissions and viewpoints, and more importantly, for this issue we have quality of submissions and viewpoints focusing on a multiplicity of angles, providing a mixture of conjectural and practical contributions. Notwithstanding, JEIM continues to identify and select “best” papers from leading conferences.
This issue of JEIM starts with a Viewpoint article from Yifan Xie, Steve Culley and Frithjof Weber. In their Viewpoint, the authors discuss the current research and development status and future directions of context-aware systems (CAS) in the aerospace industry. For the purpose this research and as a part of the research methodology, the authors apply a layered framework to analyse the current status of research and development of CAS in the aerospace industry from the perspectives of middleware, applications and business users. The approach is based on discussion and recent development of CAS in the general research domain. The resulting discussion presented in the paper is based on the authors’ knowledge in both academic and industrial research. Their findings from the empirical analysis suggested that the key challenges for a wider adaptation of CAS in the aerospace industry are the high cost of context modelling and a lack of understanding of their potential business value. The authors propose future research to invest in the development of a more systematic research, to focus on a modular based technology configuration and to investigate how to evaluate CAS performance in the aerospace industrial setting. From novelty point of view, this paper provides insight on issues that are preventing the wider adaptation of CAS in an industrial setting and outline potential future research to resolve these issues.
Then we have another Viewpoint focusing on investment decision making under fuzziness by Cengiz Kahraman. The author aims to discuss the applicability of investment decision-making techniques under fuzziness. In doing so, the author attempts to explain how fuzzy sets can be used in investment decision-making. The author claims that any classical investment analysis technique can be converted to it fuzzy case easily. From the novelty point of view, the author asserts some clear indications that illustrate the necessity of usage of the fuzzy set theory in case of incomplete information.
These two Viewpoints are followed by an investigative study based on the results of a comprehensive compilation of literature and on factors influencing ERP implementation in Indian manufacturing organisations – a study that focuses on micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs). The authors, Parijat Upadhyay, Saeed Jahanyan and Pranab K. Dan, attempt to assess empirically which factors are most critical in the ERP implementation process from the perspective of Indian MSMEs. Their research is potentially aimed to being useful to MSMEs as a guideline so as to ensure a positive outcome of the implementation process. From research design/approach point of view, this paper tries to explore the factors affecting implementation across the stages of ERP implementations using the responses from 98 MSMEs engaged in manufacturing activities. Minimum number of factors explaining the maximum variance in data is determined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The factor analysis is performed on SPSS with the principal component method using the Varimax rotation technique. From the pragmatic analysis, the results of this study highlight four crucial factors that influence the ERP implementation process in the Indian MSME segment. Broadly these factors may be encapsulated under the following heads:
project execution competency;
product and vendor perspective;
organisational climate; and
The authors of this research claim that the findings would be beneficial for MSMEs for proper utilisation of their limited resources and to pay adequate attention to those factors that are most likely to have an impact upon the implementation of the ERP system.
Following the ERP implementation research as above, Wendy L. Currie and David J. Finnegan present an institutional analysis by focusing on the policy practice nexus of electronic health records adoption in the UK’s NHS. This paper reports the findings from a seven-year study on the NHS on the introduction of an electronic health record for 50 million citizens. It explores the relationship between policy and practice in the introduction of a large-scale national ICT programme at an estimated value of £12.4bn. Using a longitudinal research method, data is collected on the policy-practice nexus. The authors apply institutional theory using a conceptual model by Tolbert and Zucker on the component processes of institutionalization. Their findings suggest that institutional forces act as a driver and an inhibitor to introducing enabling technologies in the health-care environment. A process analysis shows that as electronic health records force disruptive change on clinicians, healthcare managers and patients, culturally embedded norms, values and behavioural patterns serve to impede the implementation process. Their research is limited in its generalisability to national, regional and local ICT implementations due to the complexity of the policy and practical issues at stake. Despite the longitudinal research approach, the use of institutional theory can only offer a flavour of how institutionalised values, norms and behaviours influence health IT policy and practice. The authors in their research demonstrate the complexity of translating centralised ICT policy in healthcare to practical solutions for clinicians and other stakeholders. It shows how a large-scale ICT programme based on procurement of technology is unlikely to succeed where important issues of user engagement and a sound “business case” have not been achieved. The authors claim that their research contributes to the theoretical literature on institutionalism by addressing the dichotomy between institutional and technical environments. While technology is often discussed in isolation of an institutional process, it may become embedded in organisational practices reaching a process of sedimentation (institutionalisation) or it fails to take hold and fades from view.
Then we have Vishanth Weerakkody, Ramzi El-Haddadeh and Shafi Alshafi, empirically exploring the complexities of e-government implementation and diffusion in a developing country such as the state of Qatar, including some lessons learned. In doing so, an empirical case study using an interview-based research agenda was adopted for their research. After reviewing the extant literature on e-government, the authors initially propose a conceptual model, which is consequently used to explore empirically within the state of Qatar the key challenges influencing e-government implementation and diffusion from organisational, technological, social and political perspectives. The conceptual model proposed in this study offers a comprehensive overview of the implementation and diffusion challenges of e-government through identifying various factors associated with organisational, technological, social and political perspectives from the literature. Through adopting an empirical research strategy focusing on developing countries that are not in an advance state of e-government development, this study offers a holistic view in understanding e-government implementation and diffusion complexities for the benefit of similar countries. Their research merely focuses on empirically exploring the implementation and diffusion challenges facing e-government in one developing country and does not investigate how these challenges may influence citizens’ adoption of these services in that country or in a wider context. From practical implications viewpoint, the conceptual model proposed offers practitioners, policy makers and researchers a comprehensive overview of the implementation and diffusion challenges of e-government projects, particularly in developing countries. The key findings of this study show that irrespective of strong financial support and resources, governments must be prepared to tackle a number of challenges related to the complexity of e-government implementation and diffusion. In addition, the study indicates that better alignment of national ICT strategies with various local level e-Government projects, clear legislation, implementation guidelines and standards are imperative for e-government success. The core contribution of this research adds to the growing body of knowledge concerning the implementation and diffusion of e-government in developing countries. In particular, the conceptual model formulated through the synthesis of the extant literature offers researchers and practitioners a lens to better appreciate the key challenges that require consideration when implementing and diffusing e-government.
Finally, we have Farhana Sajjad, Habin Lee, Muhammad Kamal, and Zahir Irani aiming to gauge the feasibility of workflow technology as a potential solution to facilitate citizen participation in policy-making processes. The gaps and future direction of a current workflow models to be used to automate policy-making processes are discussed. To extract the core constructs of the processes, the authors conduct a thorough review of the principles and philosophies of policy-making processes and process models. This is followed by a critical analysis of existing workflow models to identify gaps of the models to be used to support policy-making processes. An e-participation perspective is also taken to identify additional modelling constructs that are required when large numbers of citizens are involved in a workflow task for opinion gathering. The authors assert that while workflow technology has been adopted in the public sector, the use of the technology is mostly limited to supporting administrative business processes, leaving the potential to automate policy-making processes. There are some studies that take a life-cycle approach for policy-making and they can be the starting point of applying workflow technology to policy-making process automation. The application of workflow technology to policy-making processes is expected to facilitate participation of citizens in the processes through automatic delivery of relevant policy issues into citizens’ lives. A new type of workflow model is required to reflect public-sector specific factors, including rules for role resolution, considering large-scale citizen participation and modelling constructs to penetrate into citizens’ everyday lives for proactive stimulation for e-participation. Analysis based on a literature review and empirical data collection can complement the analysis results of the paper and, and is included in the future research agenda. The findings provide policy makers with a stimulus for adopting workflow technology in the public sector. The gap analysis and future directions of a workflow model for policy making processes are expected to be informative for any practitioners who are intending to develop workflow management systems in the public sector. The authors claim that this paper is one of the first efforts to gauge the potential of using workflow technology from an e-participation perspective to engage a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including citizens, in policy-making processes.
This issue of JEIM offers an eclectic picture of the enterprise information management landscape. I do hope you enjoy reading this issue!
Zahir IraniEditor-in-Chief (Zahir.Irani@brunel.ac.uk)