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Integrated computer-based management information systems: The complexity and diffusion in Rwandan higher education institutions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. University of Rwanda, Rwanda.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9614-7936
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
University of Rwanda, Rwanda.
2019 (English)In: ijEDict - International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1814-0556, E-ISSN 1814-0556, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 55-75Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current trend in universities is marked by integrating information technologies into their service delivery. Particularly in administration and management, processes are being modernized, although not successfully in some institutions. This study aims first to understand the complexity of an integrated educational management information system (UR-IEMIS) at the University of Rwanda and then to evaluate the degree of its diffusion in university services. Complex Adaptive System and Innovation Diffusion theories were used as a conceptual framework for this study. Document survey, observations, and interviews were used for data collection. Findings indicate that complexity features characterize the UR-IEMIS, as it is composed of several different subsystems (Organism, Roles, Objects, Method, and Concept) which emerge, interact, co-evolve, and re-organize to adapt to the disruptive institutional structures. It was also revealed that the UR-IEMIS integration is still at the abstraction level for all subsystems while for only few university functions, the system is diffused at knowledge, persuasion, and decision stages. Concerns related to the current unsatisfactory state of UR-IEMIS integration and proposals for improvement are discussed. Further studies should explore the complexity and diffusion levels for E-learning systems that support pedagogical activities in a similar case study context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 15, no 1, p. 55-75
Keywords [en]
Complex adaptive systems, Higher education, Educational Management, Information systems, Technology integration, Diffusion of innovation, University administration
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168710DiVA, id: diva2:1313910
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencyAvailable from: 2019-05-06 Created: 2019-05-06 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improving IT Integration for Higher Education Institutional Performance: Towards a Contextualised IT-Institutional Alignment Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving IT Integration for Higher Education Institutional Performance: Towards a Contextualised IT-Institutional Alignment Model
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The integration of information technology (IT) into service delivery is currently seen as an innovative strategy to support the modernising of universities worldwide. However, in some institutions in developing countries, including Rwanda, IT has failed to add the intended value to university services, despite huge associated investments in IT. Consequently, IT-organisational alignment continues to be a primary concern for university managers. This alignment is viewed in terms of its strategic, socio-cultural, and technological dimensions. For effective IT-institutional alignment, several antecedents (alignment practices) for creating an appropriate fit between IT and organisations have been suggested in the literature. However, several studies exploring IT alignment focused mainly on general business companies, and similar research with an emphasis on higher education institutions is still scarce. Therefore, the aim of this research was twofold: firstly, it attempted to understand the process of IT integration into universities; and secondly, to propose a contextual model for IT-institutional alignment within a higher education context. A design science research methodology (DSRM) was applied in this research, using surveys and case studies as research strategies. Preliminary findings at the exploration phase of this research indicated a strong misalignment between IT and the university services caused by the lack of clearly defined alignment practices. Furthermore, as the research main outcome, an IT-Institutional Alignment Model (ITIAM) was proposed after reaching an understanding of the current state and challenges related to IT integration into teaching, learning, research and university administration. This model includes 44 alignment practices, related to both technical and non-technical dimensions. These alignment practices were clustered under six categories: (1) Communication, (2) Structure/Governance, (3) Technology Scope, (4) Competence/Value Measurement, (5) Skills, and (6) Partnership. Alignment practices related to institutional structure and governance, skills and communication were found to have a strong positive influence on the institutional performance, as compared to those related to competence and value measurement, partnership, and technology scope. Based on the research findings, the proposed ITIAM, which was iteratively tested and evaluated using case study institutions, was found to be a relevant tool for guiding the implementation of IT systems towards the improvement of institutional performance. Hence, this thesis makes a theoretical contribution by applying the concept of IT alignment within a higher education context and by documenting the empirically tested contextual alignment practices as conveyed in the ITIAM Model. Additionally, as a practical implication, the results can serve as a reference for an effective IT integration process in university services and for how to improve performance through effective use of IT in teaching, learning, research and educational management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 131
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 19-008
Keywords
IT integration, IT alignment, Alignment practices, Design science research, Innovation diffusion, Technology adoption, Institutional performance, Higher education, Artefact Evaluation
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Information Systems Learning Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168811 (URN)978-91-7797-741-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-742-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-06, L70, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2019-08-14 Created: 2019-05-09 Last updated: 2019-08-06Bibliographically approved

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