A critical theory approach to information technology transfer to the developing world and a critique of maintained assumptions in the literature

Al-Mabrouk, Khalid and James, Kieran (2009) A critical theory approach to information technology transfer to the developing world and a critique of maintained assumptions in the literature. In: Information systems research methods, epistemology, and applications. Information Science Reference (IGI Global), Hershey PA, USA, pp. 73-87. ISBN 978-1-60566-040-0


This chapter reviews some of the existing Information Technology Transfer (ITT) literature and suggests that it has fallen victim to the well-known limitations of an economic rationalist and positivist worldview. In particular we challenge the extensive use of the term 'success' in the ITT literature, arguing that it is problematic for several reasons. Mainstream ITT research portrays ITT as primarily linear, incremental, and progressive in line with the economic rationalist belief that a 'rising tide lifts all boats.' We suggest Marx's theory of dialectical materialism as an alternative to the dominant hegemony and encourage researchers in ITT to accept the fact that internal contradictions are part of a dialectic system. We encourage ITT researchers to view local resistance more sympathetically. Concerted efforts
should be made to understand and dialog with the Other. Overall we recommend more interview based case study research in preference to mass-mail out surveys which may prove ineffective in reaching a broad segment of the population in non-Western locations. The existing literature has a preoccupation with educated urban elites and Transnational Corporations may also prove to be a hindrance to both our increased understanding and radical social change.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 4. Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions. See the Website location above for details.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Information Systems
Date Deposited: 17 May 2010 03:19
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 00:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical theory; dialectical materialism; information technology transfer; success; technological rationality
Fields of Research : 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0899 Other Information and Computing Sciences > 089999 Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220203 History and Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160505 Economic Development Policy
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 89 Information and Communication Services > 8999 Other Information and Communication Services > 899999 Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/4729

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