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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

Pak‐Hang Wong

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an interpretive approach to examining the relation between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the good life…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an interpretive approach to examining the relation between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the good life, based on Michael Walzer's view of (connected) social criticism.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a discussion of Michael Walzer's view of social criticism, an interpretive approach to normative analysis of ICTs and the good life is introduced. The paper also offers an additional argument for the indispensability of prudential appraisals of ICTs in normative analysis of ICTs and the good life, which in turn strengthens the basis for the Walzerian approach proposed in the paper.

Findings

It is argued that an interpretive approach to normative analysis of ICTs and the good life, i.e. the Walzerian approach, is as viable as – if not superior to – a theory‐driven approach. It is also argued that actual appraisals of ICTs and the good life must be taken into account in the normative analysis.

Originality/value

It is only recently that “the good life” has become more visible in normative analysis of ICTs. This paper continues this relatively new line of research and proposes an alternative approach – as opposed to a theory‐driven approach – to this research programme.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are…

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1278

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are technologies that are human centred, environmentally sustainable and socially desirable.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's approach is based on a qualitative discourse that justifies the introduction of Slow Tech as a new design paradigm.

Findings

The limits of the human body, and the need to take into account human wellbeing, the limits of the planet and stakeholders' interests in decision making, all suggest the need for a new paradigm, Slow Tech, in the design of ICT and ICT systems. Three scenarios are described as case studies.

Practical implications

In order to prepare the next generation of researchers and computer professionals, many different actions need to be taken. Universities and colleges need to redesign education programmes for computer scientists and engineers by introducing subjects related to the social and ethical implications of computing (currently, only few countries, like the UK, have already done this), and computer professionals' associations need to introduce a code of ethics or ethical analysis into their members' career development. As a result, future computer professionals who are familiar with the Slow Tech approach will be able to collaborate much more easily across the kind of cross disciplinary teams suited to design human centred, sustainable and desirable technologies.

Social implications

Rather than simply focusing on the role of computer professionals, all members of society are called to play a new role in the design of future ICT scenarios. Starting a societal dialogue that involves computer professionals, users, researchers, designers, ICT industrialists, and policy makers is very much needed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is in its call for reflection followed by action. Based on an holistic approach to the design of new ICT systems, the paper advocates a new starting point for systems design: it should be based on a long-term view of the desirability and social importance of technologies, their environmental impact and sustainability, and the fairness and equity of the conditions of workers involved in the computing manufacturing processes.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi and Ravi Kiran

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to find out whether the new information and communication technologies can make a significant contribution to the achievement of…

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1977

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to find out whether the new information and communication technologies can make a significant contribution to the achievement of the objective of good governance. The study identifies the factors responsible for creating a conducive environment for effective and successful implementation of e-governance for achieving good governance and the possible barriers in the implementation of e governance applications. Based on the comprehensive analysis it proposes a strategic policy framework for good governance in Punjab in India. Punjab is a developed state ranked amongst some of the top states of India in terms of per capita income and infrastructure.

Design/methodology/approach

The study designs a framework for good governance by getting the shared vision of all stakeholders about providing good quality administration and governance in the Indian context through “Participatory Stakeholder Assessment”. The study uses descriptive statistics, perception gap, ANOVA and factor analysis to identify the key factors for good governance, the priorities of public regarding e-services, the policy makers’ perspectives regarding good governance to be achieved through e-governance.

Findings

The study captures the good governance factors mainly contributing to the shared vision. The study further highlights that most Indian citizens in Punjab today believe in the power of information and communication technology (ICT) and want to access e-governance services. Major factors causing pain and harassment to the citizens in getting the services from various government departments include: unreasonable delay, multiple visits even for small services; poor public infrastructure and its maintenance in government offices. In the understanding of citizens the most important factors for the success of e-governance services are: overall convenience and experience of the citizens; reduction in the corruption levels by improvement in the transparency of government functioning and awareness about the availability of service amongst general masses.

Originality/value

The present study has evolved a shared vision of all stakeholders on good governance in the Indian context. It has opened up many new possibilities for the governments, not only to use ICTs and help them in prioritizing the governance areas for focused attention, but also help to understand the mindset of the modern citizenry, their priorities and what they consider as good governance. The study will help policy makers focus on these factors for enhancing speedy delivery of prioritized services and promote good governance in developing countries similar to India.

Details

Program, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2015

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Lisbeth Hedelin and Carl Martin Allwood

A total of 41 top executive managers in large organizations/enterprises were interviewed about factors affecting their demands on, attitudes towards and use of…

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5969

Abstract

A total of 41 top executive managers in large organizations/enterprises were interviewed about factors affecting their demands on, attitudes towards and use of, information and communication technology (ICT) when making strategic decisions in their work. Poor knowledge management, i.e. poor possibilities to store, reuse, and share knowledge in an organized and disciplined way due to inefficient ICT, was reported to be an obstacle in supporting the decision‐making process effectively. Problems with accessibility, accuracy and trust of the information in the ICT‐systems were prevalent. Furthermore, ICT did not provide much help with respect to the necessary social interactions in the decision‐making process. Implications of these findings are discussed for the design of future decision‐support systems.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 102 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2020

Rebecca Müller and Conny H. Antoni

Virtual teams are on the rise and many companies are implementing them to compete for the most talented experts. However, the use of information and communication…

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual teams are on the rise and many companies are implementing them to compete for the most talented experts. However, the use of information and communication technology (ICT), on which virtual teams depend, often ends in communication chaos. Research has shown that shared mental models (SMM), which are knowledge structures on team level, enhance team communication. In teams, which use ICTs, shared mental models of ICTs (ICT SMM) seem to be important. However, few studies that investigated ICT SMM have used different measurements that restrict their generalization. The purpose of this study is to define ICT SMM as well as develop and validate an ICT SMM scale.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a cross-sectional questionnaire in two different samples (N1 = 117 students and N2 = 165 employees).

Findings

The results of item and factor analyses indicated that ICT SMM contain at least two facets, ICT functionalities and task-specific ICT use and are distinct from teamwork, taskwork and temporal SMM. The ICT SMM scale reached good validity and reliability. On an individual level, ICT SMM were positively associated with perceived team performance and coordination and negatively with ineffective communication, workload and frustration.

Research limitations/implications

Future research using teams as sample to validate the ICT SMM scale seems to be promising.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that developed and validated a rating scale to measure SMM of ICT in different samples.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Slow Tech can support the celebration of the 20-year series of ETHICOMP conferences, with its ethical and societal focus…

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1167

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Slow Tech can support the celebration of the 20-year series of ETHICOMP conferences, with its ethical and societal focus, building on earlier descriptions of Slow Tech. The paper takes Slow Tech’s ideas a step further to explore how a roadmap and concrete checklist of activities can be developed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a thought leadership or conceptual piece. Its approach is based on a normative, qualitative discourse. It, nevertheless, indicates a shift towards concrete actions.

Findings

Extracting from a brief historical overview, the paper lays out the means of building a Slow Tech roadmap and a Slow Tech checklist of actions. It also investigates a number of the challenges that might face Slow Tech in the future.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has implications for stakeholder fields as far-ranging as corporations, computing professional associations, universities and research institutions and end-users.

Originality/value

As with other investigations of Slow Tech, the value of this paper is in its call for reflection followed by action. It provides a useful complement and counterbalance to an earlier paper by the same authors: “Slow Tech: a quest for good, clean and fair ICT” published in Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (Vol. 12, issue 2, pp. 78-92).

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of…

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2242

Abstract

Purpose

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Slow Tech approach in order to explain how to create a suitable bridge between business ethics and computer ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper’s approach is discursive. It provides a viewpoint. Its arguments are based in an examination of literature relevant to both business ethics and computer ethics. Justification is produced for the use of Slow Tech approach. A number of potential future research and application issues still to be investigated are also provided.

Findings

Slow Tech can be proposed, and used, as a bridging mechanism between companies’ strategies regarding computer ethics and business ethics. Three case studies illustrate the kind of challenges that companies have to tackle when trying to implement Slow Tech in concrete business context. Further study need to be undertaken to make progress on Slow Tech in applied, corporate settings.

Practical implications

ICT companies need to look for innovative, new approaches to producing, selling and recycling their services and products. A Slow Tech approach can provide such insights.

Social implications

Today’s challenges to the production and use of good, clean, and fair ICT, both conceptual and concrete, can act as incentives for action: they can further applied research or encourage social activism. Encouraging the study, and the application, of Slow Tech provides a first step in the potential improvement of a society in which information technology is totally embedded.

Originality/value

The value of this paper in not only for academics and researchers, but also for practitioners: especially for personnel working in ICT companies and for those involved with designing, developing and applying codes of conduct at both European and globally.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Shalini Singh and Bhaskar Karn

The purpose of this paper is to study the evolution of Freedom of Information/Right to Information from an international perspective and analyse it as an indispensable…

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1343

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the evolution of Freedom of Information/Right to Information from an international perspective and analyse it as an indispensable tool for good governance through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) with special reference to India.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the worldwide occurrence of Right to Information with reference to International Covenants, the genesis of RTI Act in India and the use of ICT in India as a tool for empowering the citizen's.

Findings

The study demonstrates that RTI has far reaching impact and it clearly contributes to a better and informed citizenry however the use of ICT in India can further facilitate the access of such records.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on the genesis of RTI from an international perspective but the use of ICT for further facilitating the use of RTI is limited to Indian context.

Practical implications

The paper will outline a detailed analysis on the present usage of ICT and the initiatives taken for facilitating information dissemination and further provide suggestions for the benefit of civil society towards good governance.

Originality/value

The study is the first to address the issue of the implementation of right to information act through the use of ICT and also suggests methodology for its further improvement. Also, the study comprehends the genesis of RTI both from the international as well as Indian perspective.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Cheryl Klimaszewski and James M. Nyce

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a field study in Viscri, a village in Transylvania, Romania, to investigate the current state of information and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a field study in Viscri, a village in Transylvania, Romania, to investigate the current state of information and communication technology (ICT) development in the village.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers interviewed villagers in May 2007. Ethnographic methods were used to collect data and to assess villagers' information needs. The information landscape in Viscri is presented and analyzed in local and national contexts. The national policies shaping Romania's emerging information society are discussed and literature on the impact of ICT development at the community level is also reviewed.

Findings

Romania's ICT policy goal of universal access needs to be better targeted. In Viscri, few adults showed interest in learning about or using computers. However, villagers understood that a good education that included computer education was necessary to assure better economic futures for their children. In light of the demographics, social conditions and cultural beliefs in Viscri, the most appropriate access point for ICT initiatives there should be programs aimed at school‐aged children.

Research limitations/implications

The paper describes and discusses the information needs of one village. Further field investigation at the community level is necessary to discern the relevance of the findings to other villages both in Romania and elsewhere.

Practical implications

Further research, especially in the most underserved communities, will help to identify ways in which the information society and related policies can be more equitably implemented in Romania. What is learned in Romania can have implications for ICT development policy elsewhere.

Originality/value

The paper assesses critically the rhetoric of universal access. If universal access is going to remain an ICT policy goal, more research is needed at the community level in order to ensure that policy emphasis on access for all actually translates into equitable, meaningful ICT access for underserved communities.

Details

New Library World, vol. 110 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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