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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2021

Fareesa Malik, Richard Heeks, Silvia Masiero and Brian Nicholson

While digital labour platforms are being increasingly studied across the Global South, the existing literature does not conceptualise the theoretical link between such…

Abstract

Purpose

While digital labour platforms are being increasingly studied across the Global South, the existing literature does not conceptualise the theoretical link between such platforms and socio-economic development. This paper theorises such a link drawing on the notion of institutional voids defined, as in Khanna and Palepu (2010), as “the absence of intermediaries to efficiently connect buyers and sellers” in an economy. We frame digital labour platforms as means to fill institutional voids, seeking to create “development” in the form of earning opportunities in contexts of deprivation.

Design/methodology/approach

We draw on an interpretive case study of an online work training project in a deprived region of Pakistan, where members of marginalised communities were trained to become freelancers for global digital labour platforms. We use the notion of market-enabling institutions aimed at filling institutional voids as a lens to study the project's declared goals, examining the extent to which these were met in practice for the workers who participated in the training.

Findings

Our analysis reveals three types of market-enabling institutions–credibility enhancers, aggregators and distributors, and transaction facilitators–through which digital labour platforms seek to fill institutional voids. However, workers' narratives reveal that institutional voids are only partially filled by these platforms, and their perpetuation results in diverse forms of power asymmetries leveraged by clients and owners of the platforms. We also observe the formation of solidarity networks among workers, networks that are intra-familial and societal rather than characterised by formal unionisation.

Originality/value

The paper offers a novel perspective to theorise the link between digital labour and socio-economic development. Applying such a perspective in a Global South context, it also finds the limits of the digital platforms' institutional void-filling potential, highlighting the emergence of power asymmetries and the emerging formation of worker solidarity networks.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Ala'a Hawari and Richard Heeks

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are increasingly being adopted by organisations in developing countries. As in industrialised countries, this adoption seems…

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5906

Abstract

Purpose

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are increasingly being adopted by organisations in developing countries. As in industrialised countries, this adoption seems beset by significant rates of failure, leading to a large waste of investment and other resources. This paper seeks to understand why such ERP failure occurs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper moves beyond factor lists to make use of an overall “design‐reality gap” model. The model is applied to a case study of ERP failure in a Jordanian manufacturing firm, analysing the situation both before and during ERP implementation through a mix of interviews, observation and document analysis.

Findings

The research finds sizeable gaps between the assumptions and requirements built into ERP system design, and the actual realities of the client organisation. It is these gaps – and the failure to close them during implementation – that underlie ERP project failure.

Research limitations/implications

This study shows the relevance and applicability of the design‐reality gap model to understanding ERP failure. Further research can be undertaken applying the model to other ERP cases, including case studies of success.

Practical implications

The paper draws conclusions about good practice in ERP implementation relating to both risk identification and risk mitigation, which must be based on closing design‐reality gaps. It offers examples of both specific and generic actions that help to achieve this. But it also notes limitations existing in some developing country contexts that may continue to constrain the effective use of enterprise resource planning systems.

Originality/value

The paper provides a new model for understanding ERP project success and failure, and for practical risk mitigation. The design‐reality gap model aims to be comprehensive but also contingent; sensitive to the specific conditions of any individual client organisation.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Richard Boateng, Richard Heeks, Alemayehu Molla and Robert Hinson

E‐commerce is diffusing into developing countries (DCs), and is assumed to help deliver the international development agenda. But how can the connection between e‐commerce…

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8663

Abstract

Purpose

E‐commerce is diffusing into developing countries (DCs), and is assumed to help deliver the international development agenda. But how can the connection between e‐commerce and socio‐economic development be conceptualised? The aim of this paper is to analyse that connection by drawing from the development studies discipline to take a broader perspective on e‐commerce than that so far provided by firm‐level research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a literature survey approach, drawing their conceptual foundations from development studies, and supplementing this from the e‐commerce literature.

Findings

The paper develops a new, integrated model that explains the way in which e‐commerce can contribute to socio‐economic development.

Research limitations/implications

This new model can help provide a foundation for future research on e‐commerce in DCs; research on e‐commerce policy as well as impact assessment research.

Practical implications

The discussion and model provide development agencies, governments, consultants and business people working in DCs with a clearer sense of the contribution e‐commerce can make; assisting them in prioritization, planning, and evaluation of e‐commerce projects.

Originality/value

The paper provides the first integrated perspective on the broader contribution of e‐commerce to the growth and development of DCs.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2018

Petr Lupač

Abstract

Details

Beyond the Digital Divide: Contextualizing the Information Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-548-7

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Book part
Publication date: 12 March 2012

Owen G. McGrath

As the World Bank approaches its fiftieth year of involvement in the education sector, its Sector Strategy for Education 2020 focuses on key challenges created in the past…

Abstract

As the World Bank approaches its fiftieth year of involvement in the education sector, its Sector Strategy for Education 2020 focuses on key challenges created in the past decade. With the successes in building up primary education systems, millions of matriculating students in many developing countries will now be seeking secondary and tertiary education. For most observers, this is a crisis: even if enough schools could magically be built in time, there would not be nearly enough trained teachers to staff them. For some observers, this is a crisis that can be coped with: information and communications technologies (ICT) have reached a stage where virtual schools and distance learning can be employed at scale to meet such challenges. Curiously, the Education Sector Strategy 2020 makes no mention of virtual schools or distance learning. In fact, it contains only a single, ambivalent reference to ICT for education. The curious silence belies the World Bank's vital leadership and active involvement over the years in identifying and funding model ICT uses in the education sector. However, this chapter is ultimately not about arguing over the extent to which ICT should be mentioned in the World Bank's Education Sector Strategy. Instead, the goal here is to draw attention to a specific opportunity that the World Bank has before it to shape and guide the many ICT-based virtual school projects that will be undertaken in the coming decade. The crucially important opportunity is one for which the World Bank is uniquely suited: to seed and grow an open e-learning movement based on open source, open educational resources, and open pedagogy for secondary and tertiary education in the developing world.

Details

Education Strategy in the Developing World: Revising the World Bank's Education Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-277-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1988

Paul Nieuwenhuysen

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used…

Abstract

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used in online information and documentation work. They fall into the following categories:

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1989

M. Hayter and M. Heery

In commerce and industry, senior managers are starting to make extensive personal use of microcomputers. Such tasks as diary maintenance, word processing, electronic…

Abstract

In commerce and industry, senior managers are starting to make extensive personal use of microcomputers. Such tasks as diary maintenance, word processing, electronic messaging, spreadsheet applications and even expert systems are becoming commonplace. Are these developments reflected in the way senior library managers in the UK are using IT? A six‐month British Library funded project, based at Bristol Polytechnic Library, has surveyed the UK academic sector and has examined case studies of particularly interesting applications. This paper presents a summary of the project's findings and discusses what needs to be done to encourage more widespread use of microcomputers by senior library managers.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Pradip Thomas

In assessing the contribution made by telecommunications in India by the state and civil society to public service, this article aims to identify the state's initial

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1072

Abstract

Purpose

In assessing the contribution made by telecommunications in India by the state and civil society to public service, this article aims to identify the state's initial reluctance to recognise telecommunications provision as a basic need as against the robust tradition of public service aligned to the postal services and finds hope in the renewal of public service telecommunications via the Right to Information movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This article follows a history of telecommunications approach that is conversant with the political economy tradition. It uses archival sources, personal correspondence, and published information as its primary material.

Findings

The findings suggest that public service telecommunication is a relatively “new” concept in the annals of Indian telecommunications and that a de‐regulated environment along with the Right to Information movement holds significant hope for making public service telecommunications a real alternative.

Originality/value

This article provides a reflexive, critical account of public service telecommunications in India and suggests that it can be strengthened by learnings gained from the continual renewal of public service ideals and action by the postal services and a people‐based demand model linked to the Right to Information Movement.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1988

A.J. Meadows

The Primary Communications Research Centre started its life at the University of Leicester in 1976, closing down ten years later in 1986. Its objective — to study all…

Abstract

The Primary Communications Research Centre started its life at the University of Leicester in 1976, closing down ten years later in 1986. Its objective — to study all aspects of primary communication — was unique at the time. This retrospective survey by the Project Head looks at the thinking behind the foundation of the Centre and assesses its activities.

Details

Library Review, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi and Ravi Kiran

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate e‐governance projects for the social and economic development and citizen services by ten major states of India: Haryana, Punjab…

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2316

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate e‐governance projects for the social and economic development and citizen services by ten major states of India: Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal.

Design/methodology/approach

ICT and e‐governance policy framework of these ten states was captured from their published policy documents/ literature, as well as through the in‐person interviews and discussions with the concerned Secretary/Director/Managing Director level officials at different forums on the basis of a structured questionnaire.

Findings

The results highlight the policy gaps and suggest that there is a need to look at improving such factors as capacity building, common standards, security guidelines, quality, completeness, depth and spread of services, coordination, mindset, etc. In terms of overall performance, four e‐governance projects, e‐Sewa in Andhra Pradesh, Bhoomi in Karnataka, Setu in Maharashtra and Suwidha in Punjab had higher scores than other projects.

Originality/value

The paper introduces the best e‐governance projects which can be role models for other states in improving e‐governance initiatives. This will help policy makers to understand the policy gaps and focus on those parameters which lead to good governance, not only in India but in other similar developing economies as well.

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