Our Recent Research Degree Graduates
- Dr Balsam Al-Dabbagh
- Dr Jamal Al Salmi
- Dr Eric Boamah
- Dr Nicole Braun
- Dr Kévin Carillo
- Dr Jocelyn Cranefield
- Dr Hung Van Do
- Dr Nicole Gaston
- Dr Hugo Gong
- Dr Hartmut Hoehle
- Dr Saidatul Ismail
- Dr Sally Jansen van Vuuren
- Dr Carmel Joe
- Dr Lanthom Jonjoubsong
- Dr Mohamed Kinaanath
- Dr Van Le
- Dr Matthew Lewellen
- Dr Maria Molina
- Dr Florence Muinde
- Dr Selenge Nergui
Vision impairment and the transition to University education: The role of ICTs
The transition to university is a crucial process in the lives of young people who pursue tertiary education. It can be stressful experience for all students in general but it is especially challenging for those with disabilities. In recent years the number of students with disabilities enrolled in tertiary institutions has grown steadily. Also, the transition to university has become a topic of interest for policy makers and scholars around the world. However, there is still limited research about the transition to university for students with disabilities and the issues they face when they start their unversity journey. Additionally, very little research has examined the role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in supporting their transition experience.
This research focuses on students with vision impairments, one of the disability groups who have been less studied in academia, and seeks to answer two research questions: (i) what are the factors that influence students with vision impairments' experiences of the transition process to university education? and (ii) how are ICTs used to support this process? The research findings have significant contributions for knowledge and practice. It was found that students with vision impairments are able to develop self-determination skills as they are using and adapting ICTs creatively and innovatively in order to make sense of their transition. This reserach also identified five overlapping transiton stages: exploring, discovering, coping with, readjusting and settling in. Similarly, it includes a description of different transition issues (e.g. academic system, social connections, and financial matters) that have a positive and/or negative impact on the transition experience.
Likewise, the findings show that ICT play a role in the transition to university and that this role varies depending on the transition stage, the transition issues the students with vision impairments deal with and their personal needs. To a large extent, ICTs are embedded in the everyday activities of the students with vision impairments. In addition to using adaptive technologies, they have already incorporated other tools, such as Web 2.0 (e.g. Facebook) and portable devices (e.g. smartphones), and use them for their university activities and transition experience. In this respect, this research suggests rethinking transition in terms of the idea of Transition 2.0, a concept that describes the current escenario of transition to university for students with vision impairments. This study represents a significant contribution from the field of information systems (IS) to research areas such as disability and tertiary education.
E-campaigning: An empirical study of the utilisation of ICTs for election campaigning in the 2008 New Zealand General Election [Repository link here]
E-campaigning refers to the utilisation of information and communication technologies (ICTs), predominantly the Internet, and related applications for election campaigning. At present, scholarly research in this social phenomenon chiefly focuses on how e-campaigning is utilised by political parties or candidates. Also, there is growing research interest in factors that influence e-campaigning utilisation. However, political parties' or candidates' e-campaigning utilisation is largely unexplored and unexplained. This is attributable to several factors, notably, restricted access to phenomenon, the narrow and geographical concentration of existing e-campaigning research, the accessibility of political parties' or candidates' campagin teams as research participants, and a dearth of multidisciplinary research. To that end, this study empirically explores and explains e-campaigning utilisation with a multidisciplinary, multiple-case research approach. Further, this study is situated in the 2008 New Zealand General Election, involving six of eight parliamentary parties.
The findings suggest that political parties' e-campaigning utilisation varied markedly beyond informaton dissemination; although social media was introduced in most parties' e-campaigning, its interactive nature was barely exploited; and innovative e-campaigning appeared to be the exception rather than the norm. This study concludes that e-campaigning is a complex, contextual, diverse, and dynamic phenomenon. As such, it is difficult, if not impossible, to generalise or predict e-campaigning utilisation; also, a multidisciplinary approach is pivotal to investigating the phenomenon.
E-learning in Information Management (IM) education in Sri Lanka: An examination of contextual issues
Information is considered a fundamental resource for improving the quality of governance and promoting socio-economic development in developing countries. In Sri Lanka, under the government's vision of higher education, Information Management (IM) education is seen as important for fostering the development of a high quality market-oriented and knowledge-based society. However, a number of barriers currently restrict access to IM education in Sri Lankan information workers: the provision of education is limited to face-to-face teaching at three institutions in the Colombo (capital city) area, and the country's physical infrastructure makes it difficult for full-time workers to attend classes without missing substantial work time. This results in IM employer reluctance to support education. This research fills the gaps in the literature guided by two questions: (i) what are the contextual factors that affect the introduction and use of e-learning in tertiary-level IM education in Sri Lanka? and (ii) how do these factors affect the introduction and use of e-learning? An interpretive case study research was conducted. Factors that are perceived to have an impact on the introduction and use of e-learning in tertiary-level IM education in Sri Lanka were found at different levels. Macro-level factors included social and cultural factors, governmental factors, and technological factors. Meso-level factors included resistance to pedagogical change, lack of human and other resources, lack of collaboration/partnership among stakeholders and collective perception of e-learning acceptance.
A key outcome of this study is the development of a contextual framework to guide the introduction and use of e-learning in tertiary-level IM education. This study extends education and sociology research involving Fullan's educational change theory, Hofstede, and Minkov's cultural dimensions into a developing country context. In addition to the study contributing to theoretical understanding in education and sociology research, findings of this study have implications for IM educators and practice in the forms of development of policies, implementation of e-learning and prioritization and allocation of resources.
Dr Balsam Nabil Al-Dabbagh
The effect of ICT connectivity on individual work productivity: Investigating the influence of ICT self-discipline [Repository link here]
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the workplace are increasingly connecting employees. This ICT connectivity has mixed effects on individuals' work productivity and raises ongoing concern in literature and in the media. The goal of this research was to investigate ICT self-discipline in this context to better explain the effect of ICTs at work.
A review of existing literature on ICTs in the workplace took place to assist with the development of a conceptual research model to guide this research. The conceptual research model was validated and refined through interviews and focus groups. The key themes were used to develop an online survey instrument, which was conducted to test the research model and address the research goal.
Overall, findings from this research indicated that job requirement for ICT connectivity influences an individual's level of ICT connectivity for work, ICT connectivity positively impacts individual work productivity and ICT self-discipline positively influences individual work productivity. ICT self-discipline can positively moderate the effect of ICT connectivity on individual work productivity for employees with low-interdependent jobs and/or working in large/multi-national firms. Further, ICT self-discipline can negatively moderate the effect of ICT connectivity on individual work productivity for employees with high-interdependent jobs and/or working in small firms. Thus, for enhanced productivity, it is important to assess an employee’s work settings prior to determining how strictly to impose ICT self-discipline.
This research developed the notion of ICT self-discipline – an individual‘s ability to regulate their behaviours towards ICTs – and investigated its crucial influence in the ICT-connected workplace. A model towards theory explaining productive ICT connectivity for work is contributed, going beyond existing theories and contributes knowledge to literature on IS, Communications, Psychology and Organisational Studies. This research provides practitioners with insights on how to deal with communication through ICTs to ensure they are continuously productive at work.
Dr Hung Van Do
Contextual factors affecting the development of Digital Library Education in Vietnam [Repository link here]
In Vietnam the need for digital library education (DLE) has increased significantly in the last two decades. Educating staff to establish and manage digital libraries has become a critical issue. However, there are no DLE programmes offered by library and information management (LIM) education providers in Vietnam and we do not know why this is the case. The aim of this study is to investigate and understand the factors affecting the development of DLE for LIM practitioners in Vietnam.
The interpretive study employed a qualitative approach and its findings are based on the analysis of data gathered in 17 individual interviews and 11 focus groups with key stakeholders, as well as from documentary evidence. An initial conceptual model of factors affecting DLE was developed from three sources: Fullan’s Educational Change theory, Nowlen’s Performance Model in continuing education for practitioners, and Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovations theory.
The study found seven major factors were affecting the development of DLE at different levels and they were also inter-related: the government, the information technology infrastructure, the prevailing social and cultural values, the efforts of change agents, the attitudes of key stakeholders, the characteristics of DLE design, and the nexus of the educational needs of library staff and the libraries in which they were working. Of these the government factor was the most influential.
The initial conceptual model was revised based on the study's findings. The revised model provides a contribution to educational change theories relevant to the identification and understanding of factors affecting professional educational programmes in universities in developing countries. The study’s findings are also of value to governments, libraries, library schools and library associations for developing relevant policies and new curricula for DLE, and for establishing new professional development programmes in DLE for library staff.
The impact of the perceived value of records on the use of Electronic Recordkeeping Systems [Repository link here]
Today's electronic documents and digital records are rapidly superseding traditional paper records and similarly need to be managed and stored for the future. This need is driving new theoretical recordkeeping models, international electronic recordkeeping standards, many instances of national recordkeeping legislation, and the rapid development of electronic recordkeeping systems for use in organizations. Given the legislative imperative, the exponential growth of electronic records, and the importance to the individual, organization, and society of trustworthy electronic recordkeeping, the question arises: why are electronic recordkeeping systems experiencing different rates of acceptance and utilization by end users? This research seeks to address that question through identifying the factors that influence a user's intention to use an electronic recordkeeping system.
Although a significant body of research has been dedicated to studying system use in various situations, no research in the information systems discipline has yet focused specifically on electronic recordkeeping and its unique set of use-influencing factors.
This research creates a new conceptual research model by selecting constructs to represent the technology acceptance literature and adding additional constructs to represent organizational context and knowledge interpretation. It also introduces a new construct: the perceived value of records.
A survey instrument was developed and administered to a sample of public servants from the New Zealand government in order to evaluate the research model quantitatively and determine the relative importance of the factors.
By identifying the factors that impact the use of electronic recordkeeping systems, this research will inform future strategies to improve the capture and retention of our digital heritage. As Archives New Zealand states: Do nothing, lose everything. If no action is taken, public sector digital information will be lost."
Factors affecting the implementation of information literacy education in Malaysian primary schools [Repository link here]
Information literacy (IL) is seen as one of the 21st century survival skills. It focuses on specific individual skills and outcomes such as critical thinking skills, research skills and information skills. The concept of IL originates from a Western perspective. This concept of IL has spread widely, and IL programmes have appeared in many countries in formal settings such as schools and higher education institutions, workplaces, and community and continuing education programmes. Though the Malaysian government claims that IL has been implemented in the country's education system, anecdotal evidence suggests that the extent of IL education (ILE) is uneven across schools.
The purpose of the proposed study was to identify and understand the factors affecting the implementation of ILE in the context of primary schools in Malaysia. Findings from this study are significant to reorient the education and training system in the country so that students are able to develop the knowledge, skills and expertise essential to fully participate in today’s digital environment. Findings also provide insight into ILE implementation in different social and cultural contexts, so contribute new perspectives to existing, Western dominated theory.
On the discovery of semantically meaningful SQL constraints from Armstrong samples: Foundations, implementation, and evaluation [Repository link here]
Databases provide the backbone for many facets of daily life in contemporary society, and are an indispensable part in important systems in business and government sectors. There is no doubt that developing well-designed databases is essential for the systems, but producing such databases for real-world is not a simple task.
This research relates to develop a useful tool for database designers who aim to overcome poorly-designed databases. The nature of tool is to produce Armstrong relations from arbitrary classes of data dependency. Armstrong relations are studied due to their specific characteristics which satisfy data dependencies implied by a given set of data dependencies and violate all other dependencies. Therefore, they form an instance of the design-by-example methodology: the example relation exhibits precisely those data dependencies that the current design perceives as meaningful for the application domain.
This research addresses the following perspectives:
- What are the properties of Armstrong databases for classes of functional and inclusion dependencies over incomplete databases?
- How useful are Armstrong databases for the acquisition of classes of functional and inclusion dependencies over incomplete databases?
RFID on the boundary between the Public and Private Sectors: An ANT/Institutional Theory [Repository link here]
Radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled devices are becoming increasingly common in today’s world, facilitating many things from supply chain efficiencies to medical equipment tracking. The majority of studies into such systems centre on technical and engineering issues associated with their implementation and operation. Research outside of this scope generally focuses on RFID implementation in isolated private sector supply chains. Less common is research on RFID systems within the public sector, and this research generally occurs within the health, defence, or agriculture areas.
Using a combination of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Institutional Theory, this qualitative study examines how RFID is used within the public sector/private sector RFID network. Interactions across public and private sector RFID networks are examined in order to identify common themes within the network, and to determine where the needs of the two sectors diverge. Twelve themes were identified that acted as ANT mediators within the network, across three dimensions. These mediators differed in activity depending on where within the ANT translation they were strongest. A number of the mediators were also found to exert institutional pressures on organisations within the network, contributing to their strength during translation.
The relationship between the two sectors was also examined. Findings indicated that some mediators were stronger within the public sector, particularly with respect to privacy and legislation. It was further found that the relationship between the two sectors was confused by the multiple different roles taken by the public sector within the translation. This multiplicity at times confused both public and private sector partners, leading to uncertainty within the network.
RFID systems contribute to a number of current and emerging computing paradigms, the most common of these being the Internet of Things - where uniquely identified and ubiquitous RFID enabled devices connect seamlessly to each other, organisations and humans. This thesis considers the place of RFID systems within various computing paradigms, finding that while the Internet of Things is a valid paradigm, it has not yet been fully realised within the public/private RFID system context.
This study contributes to research by addressing a gap in understanding of RFID systems in the public/private sector context. It also provides practitioners with a guideline as to which mediators should be addressed when contemplating an RFID implementation within this context, as well as indicating possible reasons the relationship between organisations in the two sectors may be challenging. In addition, the unusual combination of ANT and Institutional Theory contributes to theory by pointing towards a possible new way to investigate complex technology systems at the organisational level.
Participation in Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities: An individual learning perspective [Repository link here]
Attracting a large number of new contributors has been seen as a way to ensure the survival, long-term success, and sustainability of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities. However, this appears to be a necessary, but not a sufficient condition, as the well-being of FLOSS communities also relies on members performing behaviours that nurture and protect the community.
Despite a large body of research on FLOSS communities, few studies have been undertaken to explore the influence of a participant’s socialization experience on their contribution behaviour. In addition, there has been relatively little research that has adopted a community-level view of FLOSS community participants’ contribution that goes beyond the mere notion of writing lines of code.
The purpose of this study is to develop and rigorously test a socialization model that predicts contributor behaviour in the FLOSS community context.
An exploratory study involving eleven FLOSS community leaders, managers, and experienced members was first conducted, to investigate the key variables that characterize FLOSS community newcomer socialization experience as well as the various instances of citizenship behaviours that are specific to the FLOSS community context. The analysis of the interview data revealed the existence of six socialization variables: task segregation, task purposefulness, interaction intensity, mentoring, joining structuredness, and supportiveness. Two sets of FLOSS community citizenship behaviours (CCB) were identified drawing on the citizenship behaviour literature. The first set, labelled CCB-I, comprised citizenship behaviours directed towards the benefit of individuals. The second set, CCB-P, included citizenship behaviours directed towards the benefit of the project. The findings were integrated in the two conceptual models.
Subsequently, a research instrument was developed, following an extensive purification process that consisted of card sorting and expert review rounds, and a survey pretest. A pilot study assessed responses from 46 FLOSS contributors from two large FLOSS communities. Overall, the scales demonstrated high reliability and showed adequate construct validity. The analysis of the pilot study suggested the existence of a third CCB dimension, named CCB-C that characterizes citizenship behaviours that are oriented towards the benefit of a project’s community.
The main study was based on an online survey involving 327 respondents from twelve large FLOSS communities. Using Partial Least Squares (PLS), the collected data was used to test the two models. The results showed the overall superior predictive capability of the model hypothesizing the mediating effect of both social identification and social integration.
Task performance was found to be directly predicted by task purposefulness as well as by interaction intensity and supportiveness through the mediation of social identification. Meanwhile, CCB was found to be impacted by the direct effect of task segregation and task purposefulness, and by interaction intensity and supportiveness through the mediation of both social identification and social integration. The existence of the third CCB dimension, CCB-C, was confirmed.
Electronic Theses and Dissertations Programmes in the Arab Gulf States: Exploring factors affecting their adoption and development [Repository link here]
An increasing number of academic institutions all over the world have begun to adopt and develop electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) programmes. The adoption and development of these programmes is influenced by many factors. Despite considerable discussion on these factors in different countries, little has been written on the adoption and development of such programmes in the Arab Gulf States. Moreover, there has been no in-depth research-based investigation into the enablers and barriers that may have an impact on the adoption and development of ETD programmes in the Gulf States.
Using a sequential exploratory design and mixed methods, this study attempts to fill this knowledge gap. The study explores the perceived enablers and barriers influencing the adoption and development of ETD programmes in the Arab Gulf States. It also develops a framework that outlines the factors influencing the adoption and development of ETD programmes in the Gulf States. The study is primarily qualitative, using semi-structured, face-to-face interviews in conjunction with the analysis of relevant documents to identify, develop an understanding of, and create a picture of the situation in the Gulf States in terms of the factors affecting the adoption and development of ETD programmes. The interviews cover the key stakeholders, which include postgraduate students, library managers, system administrators, postgraduate officers and academic staff. Forty-five participants from five universities in the Gulf States were interviewed.
The results of the interviews provided the necessary information to undertake the second phase of the study (online survey). The primary aim of this was to test and explore, in a larger sample, the issues identified in the interviews. Three hundred and nine participants from four universities in the Gulf States completed the online survey. The results of the survey helped to confirm and complement the findings of the interviews.
The research findings revealed that several factors were perceived to affect the adoption and development of ETD programmes in the Gulf States. These included the appreciation of the benefits of ETD programmes, the availability of the required resources to support ETD programmes, the perceived complexity of the technological processes as well as a number of social factors.
The revised framework is intended to provide guidance for universities and academic institutions in the Gulf States in adopting and developing ETD programmes. It is also hoped that by understanding the influencing factors, universities and academic institutions will be better placed to plan for and make informed investment decisions regarding the adoption and development of ETD programmes and that this will lead to their successful adoption and development in the Gulf States.
Please contact me to discuss any aspects of this research at email@example.com
Towards effective management and preservation of digital cultural heritage resources: An exploration of contextual factors in Ghana [Repository link here]
History and traditions are considered an important part of any country, because these uniquely identify the citizens as a distinct group of people. Put together, these traditions, history, activities and the evidences they provide, form the country's national heritage as well as its memory for the future. Hence, there is the need for nations to develop and co-ordinate actions to effectively manage and preserve such cultural heritage resources. In the modern world cultural heritage institutions, particularly in developed countries, are seeking ways to create national digital memories for the future of the citizenry. However, the fast developing technologies and their concomitant technological obsolescence put the future memories at risk. The challenge is even overbearing in developing countries that, when compared to their developed counterparts, lack adequate resources and technology for effective digital resources management and preservation. As a developing country, Ghana appears ready to face the challenges of effective digital resources management, with a programme and policies on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Accelerated Development. But Ghana does not appear to be effective in managing or preserving digital cultural heritage resources and it is unclear what is hindering progress or what might enable it.
A qualitative case study method is used to explore and understand the various contextual factors that can influence the management and preservation of digital cultural heritage resources in Ghana. A preliminary model of factors is developed, based on theory and literature to guide the exploration, and is refined by data collected from fieldwork to assist Ghanaians in understanding the various contextual factors that can enable or hinder effective digital heritage information management and the establishment of a national digital memory for Ghana.
Please contact me to discuss any aspects of this research at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric is a lecturer in Information and Library Studies at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Information studies with Linguistics from the University of Ghana in 2005. He won the European Commission Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to study International Masters in Digital Library Learning (DILL), and obtained his Master of Arts in 2009. That same year he won the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Research Scholarship to do his PhD in the broader area of Digital Preservation and Cultural Heritage at Victoria. Eric’s research interest is in International and Cross-Cultural IT issues with specific interest in IT policies and strategies implementation practices and other contextual factors that influence ICT in developing countries.
An exploration of the factors influencing home users' Cybersecurity behaviours [Repository link here]
Cybersecurity has been a concern for businesses and governments since their initial uptake of the Internet in the 1970s. As more and more people started using the internet for personal use, cybersecurity has become an important concern for home users as well. However, most research on cybersecurity has been undertaken at an organisational rather than at the individual level. Individual behaviours online have became increasingly important as the line between home and business use has blurred and users’ actions on their home computers has begun to have more wide ranging implications. There appears to be a lack of agreement on how to approach the topic of internet security outside of an organisational perspective. This research focuses on the individual home user perspective and seeks to (1) identify factors relate to users’ cybersecurity behaviours, and (2) examine how the identified factors relate to users' cybersecurity behaviours.
Contextualising information behaviour: the example of Laos [Repository link here]
Research in cognitive psychology, education, and sociology support the theory that individual cognitive processes are contextually variable, and predominantly socially determined. These contextually variable cognitive processes include the ways in which an individual interacts with information; however, little scholarly enquiry has occurred thus far into the exploration of the contextual nature of information behaviour, or the development of a process for contextualising human information behaviour models. This lack of scholarly enquiry into the contextual nature of information behaviour results in a lack of understanding of the iterative and interdependent nature of an individual's context and his or her basic human needs, which are often resolved through information practices. As basic needs are resolved, more advanced needs can be addressed. Underpinning this continuous cycle of basic needs and everyday information behaviour lies the deeper cognitive environment of the individual, embedded within the individual's context, influenced by numerous primary and secondary factors.
Although contextualised understandings of information behaviour may contribute to the relevance of human information behaviour models in developing countries, existing models have thus far been developed and applied primarily from Western perspectives and without consideration for contextual variation.
My research explores how contextual factors influence everyday information behaviour of individuals in Laos, a non-Western society in Southeast Asia, and develops a procedure for contextualising information behaviour that may be applied in other contexts. In the case of Laos, the primary contextual factors to emerge effecting information behaviour were the cultural and social context, followed by interdependent secondary factors including socio-economic status, personal, situational, physical, and educational factors.
Please contact me to discuss any aspects of this research at email@example.com
The use of ICT and e-Education in developing higher education for Small Island Developing States (SIDS): The case of Maldives [Repository link here]
This research will contribute to the higher education literature where higher education is vital to the development of Maldives. This study will provide an understanding of the issues faced in the higher education sector in utilising e-Education in Maldives and will play an important role in bridging the digital divide. The proper use of ICT tools within the higher education sector is of huge importance and this research will fill the gap. The purpose of this research would be
To conduct a study in the use of ICT in education (e-Education) for higher education and to explore the existing situation of ICT usage in the higher education sector of Maldives.
Design a relevant and workable e-Education model for higher education of Maldives. This model would enable improvement and expansion of the higher education sector which enables easy communication between islands and creates opportunities for students and relevant personnel.
Supervisors: Associate Professor Hans Lehmann & Alastair Smith
Understanding the effectiveness of cross-cultural video-mediated communication [Repository link here]
In this globalising world, people are increasingly using advanced communication technologies such as videoconferencing to collaborate across geographical boundaries and time zones. This is a challenging task because cultural values, attitudes, and behaviors influence how a given group of people perceives, understands, interprets, and communicates information and knowledge. This study explores how cultural differences of participants, among other factors, affect their perceptions for the effectiveness of cross-cultural communication that occurs during videoconferences. The study identifies factors that influence the effectiveness of cross-cultural video-mediated communication. Knowing these factors will help practitioners to: 1) make efficient use of resources while designing and facilitating videoconferences; and 2) incorporate cultural factors in assessing the effectiveness of cross-cultural distance learning events.
The context of the study is the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN), which spans the world with more than 120 distance learning centers and facilitates communication for development through videoconferencing technology. Research data for this multiple-case cross-cultural study has been collected in six GDLN affiliates located in four countries: Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Selenge's home country -- Mongolia.
Supervisors: Dr Brian Harmer & Senior Lecturer Alastair Smith
Coordination in agile software development projects [Repository link here]
Agile software development offers a deceptively simple means to organise complex multi-participant software development, while achieving fast delivery of quality software, meeting customer requirements, and coping effectively with project change. However, there is little understanding of how agile software development projects achieve effective coordination, a critical factor in successful software projects.
Agile software development provides a unique set of practices for organising the work of software projects, and these practices seem to achieve effective coordination. Therefore, this research takes a coordination perspective to explore how agile software projects work, and why they are effective. The outcome of this research is a theory of coordination in co-located agile software development projects.
Please contact me to discuss any aspects of this research at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Allan Sylvester
An investigation into organisational learning by public officials creating and maintaining multi-channel service delivery information systems in the New Zealand public sector [Repository link here]
Public sector organisations in New Zealand increasingly use multi-channel service delivery strategies to achieve better, faster and cheaper services to citizens. Within these organisations, public sector officials envision, define and implement complex service delivery information systems. This study examines the organisational learning mechanisms that those officials use. This provides a deeper insight into the role that organisational learning plays in multi-channel service delivery systems definition in the context of the New Zealand Public Sector.
A constructionist multiple-case study was undertaken with twenty nine officials from six public sector agencies that explores and characterises the learning mechanisms and knowledge transfer mechanisms that they use to understand and deliver services via physical and virtual channels. In addition, the research led to the development of a candidate conceptual model that integrates organisational learning, information systems and the unique organisational aspects of public sector service delivery.
Supervisors: Dr Beverley Hope & Professor Miriam Lips
Dr Tony Thistoll
A grounded theory of preneurial agency in technology creation
[Repository link here]
In the practitioner community, single individuals or entrepreneurs endeavouring to bring a technology based innovation into being and widespread use realise that they cannot do so by themselves. How these entrepreneurial actors go about securing and using the resources they need, in order to act upon the entrepreneurial opportunity and achieve their aim, is at the core of the phenomena investigated. Technology Innovation research has largely focused on adoption and diffusion issues associated with technology use and acceptance, but there has been no comprehensive investigation into what occurs prior to a technology innovation being created and brought into existence. This research addressed the gap by explaining the vital stages and processes which occur prior to a technology creation first coming into existence. The entrepreneur through his/her actions (or agency, as it is commonly referred to) are located in and participate in social structures such as personal social networks and firms. In these social structures they interact with other people in order to secure and combine the resources required to bring their entrepreneurial vision into being.
These interactions were a specific focus of the research study, which developed theory associated with entrepreneurial agency and technology creation. By gaining a better understanding of the factors impacting on the social interactions, entrepreneurs and managers within entrepreneurial firms become more skilled, efficient and effective in their activities and processes needed to bring technology creations into being.
Retaining the knowledge of older experts in an organisational context and the role of ICT [Repository link here]
The oldest members of the baby boomer generation are soon nearing retirement or planning to reduce their participation in the workforce. This signals significant implications for the western world, especially for organisations relying on knowledge workers' expertise and experience. The problem is twofold; Generation X is numerically only half the size of the baby boomer cohort, and organisations will lose valuable knowledge if they do not act to remedy the impacts of this demographic phenomenon. Organisations do not necessarily know what is meant by "knowledge". It may not be clear where expertise is located, how it is accessed, or who the experts are. Information and communications technologies exist that support knowledge-related activities such as capture and storage, facilitating access, and sharing and dissemination. This action research study focused on how organisations view the types of knowledge that will be lost when older and more knowledgeable workers leave. This was followed by an exploration of the knowledge transfer processes and methods that can be used to address the problem. Finally, the study addressed the question of how ICT can support knowledge transfer for knowledge sources and seekers.
This research study complements a rise in practitioner efforts to address knowledge loss concerns overseas. The planned contributions to research are a theory that explains the nature of the knowledge that organisations value, how this knowledge can be transferred, and how ICT supports the knowledge transfer imperative. The organisations benefit through an improved knowledge transfer process or model, supported by appropriate ICT. Their participation in the action research project will provide them with the experience to extend their response to the workforce problem, as well as with a robust process for diagnosing and solving other business problems.
Consumer intentions to use electronic banking channels: the role of task channel fit [Repository link here]
The increase in electronically mediated self-service technologies in the banking industry is changing the way banks service consumers. Despite a large body of research on electronic banking channels, no study has been undertaken to explore the importance of the fit between electronic banking channels and banking tasks. Nor has there been research into how "task-channel fit" and other factors influence consumer intentions to use electronic banking channels. This research proposed a theoretical model addressing these gaps. An exploratory study was first conducted, investigating industry experts' perceptions towards the concept of "task-channel fit" and its relationship to other electronic banking channel variables. The findings demonstrated that the concept was perceived as being highly relevant by bank managers. A research model was then developed drawing on the existing literature.
To evaluate the research model quantitatively, a survey instrument was developed and validated, administered to a sample of consumers, and the resulting data used to test both measurement and structural aspects of the research model.
Inter-organisational knowledge sharing in the public sector: The role of social capital and information and communication technology [Repository link here]
Governments around the world are actively engaged in the concept of Joined Up Government (JUG). In New Zealand, the State Services Commission has introduced six development goals that will support its aim of developing a system of world class State Services. One of these goals focuses on Coordinated State Services, whereby public sector agencies work together, sharing information, resources and responsibilities to achieve defined outcomes. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives such as the Public Sector Intranet and the development of shared workspaces are seen as significant tools in enabling Co-ordinated State Services.
The purpose of this research was to better understand how information and knowledge is actually shared in interagency projects in the New Zealand public sector, and how this supports the Government's goal of developing Co-ordinated State Services.The study aimed to provide empirical evidence on knowledge sharing behaviours in the sector, and enhance and inform planning of inter-agency projects in an environment where the occurrence of cross-agency projects is on the increase.The findings should also enable funding to be directed to areas where it will provide most benefit.This is particularly important in terms of major investment in ICT which, on many occasions, has been unable to meet the benefits hoped for. Although social capital has been a focus of government in the context of economic growth, communities building and citizenship, there is considerable potential for it to assist in sharing knowledge.
Investigation of factors affecting the adoption of Information and Communication Technologies for communication of research output in research institutions in Kenya [Repository link here]
The main purpose of this study was to identify factors affecting ICT-enabled research dissemination by and for researchers in research institutions in specific fields within the natural and applied sciences that are Kenya's current key economic recovery focus. Individual face-to-face interviews and document analysis were used to identify, understand and explain key factors affecting ICT-mediated research communication with a view to coming up with a contextual ICT-adoption framework that will assist the Kenyan research community in more effectively adopting ICT-enabled research dissemination practices.
This study should support Kenya’s national development goals and contribute to the existing knowledge base and serve as a useful reference point in research communication debates and policy deliberations.
Supervisors: Professor Gary Gorman & Dr Chern Li Liew
Digital genre: A mechanism for knowledge sharing and reuse in business clusters [Repository link here]
The purpose of this study was to identify the knowledge transfer mechanisms in project bidding for two clusters in New Zealand and how ICT plays a role in facilitating a "virtual space" for creation, exchange and re-use of knowledge and information. Genre Theory was adopted as the theoretical framework to guide this inquiry because genres are precisely the knowledge transfer mechanisms that communicate information and knowledge to members of the community following specific social rules.
This study followed a qualitative research methodology known as action research to direct the data collection and analysis, and validate how the study was carried out. It comprised of one action research cycle, which was divided in four stages: Diagnosis, Planning, Development, and Evaluation.
Online communities of practice and professional change: A three-tier view of the knowledge embedding process [Repository link here]
This research project identified how online communities of practice (CoPs) facilitate the transfer and embedding of professional knowledge. It aimed to move beyond looking at 'knowledge sharing' in online CoPs to better understand the processes through which knowledge becomes more deeply 'embedded' (or 'sticky'). This project elucidated the nature of the knowledge embedding process, and identified the technologies, roles, and other factors that contribute to this process, and was guided by the question: How can online CoPs facilitate the transfer and embedding of professional knowledge? using interpretive case research strategy.
The context for this study was a nationwide programme for New Zealand schools that aims to integrate ICT into teaching, in order to help build 'effective' teaching practice. The programme exists within a larger climate of transformative change in school education, in which the traditional role of the teacher is being challenged.
Dr Silke Retzer
Inter-organisational knowledge transfer among research and development organisations: Implications for information and communication technology support [Repository link here]
Using a mixed method approach of case research and social network analysis, Silke's research project conducted an in-depth investigation into collaboration around organisations in three research and development networks in the environmental sector in New Zealand with the purpose of identifying potential for the improved use of collaborative information and communication technology (ICT). Therefore, the study analysed structures of knowledge exchange among organisations and from these findings identified where ICT could be utilised for continuous online knowledge exchange and learning.
This study applied Media Synchronicity Theory to identify possible ICT support by study participants' preferred media characteristics such as quick transfer and reprocessability of knowledge. In addition, this research project applied and refined methods of social network analysis (SNA) to investigate knowledge exchange in social networks.
Dr Kate Thornton
Blended action learning: Supporting leadership learning in the New Zealand ECE sector [Repository link here]
The purpose of this research was to explore how ICT can be used to support leadership development in the New Zealand Early Childhood Education sector. A case research approach was used in this qualitative study and the research data generated through action learning groups. Kate's role as an interpretive researcher included facilitating a number of action learning sets using a combination of face-to-face meetings and online interactions, and collecting data in the form of interviews, online reflective journals, emails, forum entries and observations.
The role of the online facilitator and the most appropriate technologies for use in online action learning were of particular interest in this study. Read more >
Supervisors: Professor Pak Yoong and Professor Cedric Hall
Dr Lanthom Jonjoubsong
An integrated knowledge management model for community enterprises: A case study of a rural community enterprise in Thailand [Repository link here]
This study explored the characteristics, organisational culture, and traditional knowledge management practice and capabilities of a community enterprise (CE) in terms of knowledge management (KM), and proposed a plausible model in which KM could enhance traditional KM practice of the CE. The model was based on the enterprise's unique characteristics, culture, and KM limitations. "Pare Pun", an enterprise producing hand weaving products in northeast rural Thailand, was selected as a representative case study.
This was narrative research with three main ethnographic techniques -- document study, narrative inquiry and participant observation -- employed to investigate the characteristics, culture, and abilities in KM of the enterprise.
Supervisors: Professor Gary Gorman and Dr Brian Harmer
Dr Hong Sinh Nguyen
A contextual model for planning continuing education programmes for university library practitioners in Vietnam [Repository link here]
Continuing education (CE) for Library and Information Management (LIM) practitioners is not a new phenomenon but an ongoing issue in the profession. CE is a priority for enhancing the ability of practitioners and upgrading the capability of libraries to meet the demands of higher education as well as to meet the demands of socio-economic development of the country.
The purposes of the study were (1) to identify factors affecting CE in order to develop a contextual model for CE for university library practitioners in Vietnam and (2) to identify and prioritise CE needs for the practitioners that will assist CE providers in designing and implementing more effective CE programs for the practitioners in Vietnam. To achieve these purposes this study employed a preliminary model for CE developed specifically for the Vietnamese context. The study also prioritised the learning needs for university library practitioners in Vietnam.
Supervisors: Professor Gary Gorman and Dr Dan Dorner
Masters by Thesis (MCom/MCA/MA) Graduates
Factors affecting the adoption of information and communication technology in the tourism sector of the Maldives [Repository link here]
For many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like the Maldives, tourism is a significant area of business. The increasing reliance on information and communication technology (ICT) in the tourism industry has become one of the major challenges facing developing countries, especially the SIDS. The success of the tourism industry in SIDS is closely associated with the use of ICT applications and e-business techniques.
This research studied the extent of utilisation of e-business and the issues that arise in its adoption and use in the organizations that make up the tourism industry of the Maldives. A theoretical framework was developed to identify the issues pertaining to use of ICT and e-business. The research was qualitative in nature and used a combination of grounded theory and multi-grounded theory approaches for data analysis in order to develop a new theoretical framework. This inductive process resulted in three emergent themes: representing three domains Country, Sector, and Information Systems (IS). ICT or e-business adoption and integration in the tourism organizations is affected by Sector, which is by and large influenced by the Country, which in turn impacts on the IS domain. These three complementary themes formed a new theoretical framework, generating a set of factors and institutional forces affecting the adoption and integration of ICT or e-business in the tourism organisations of the Maldives. This study contributes to our understanding of e-business in developing countries, in particular to small island developing states with islandness, like the Maldives.
A multi-method study of the impact of SAP in a large organisation [Repository link here]
The latest Gartner report states that in 2012, the figure for global Information Technology (IT) spending amounted to US $3.6 trillion and a predicted $3.8 trillion in 2013. Achieving an effective measure of IS success and impact of information systems has been a goal for information systems researchers for decades.
Numerous methods exist for measuring the quality, value and impact of information systems in organizations, including benchmarking, ISO standards, and user surveys. However, typically, often due to restricted access to data, researchers only use one type of measure.
This study uses a single-organization case study investigating measures of the quality, value and impact of the SAP system in the largest telecommunications organization in New Zealand, using and comparing a range of methods and perspectives. The researcher also evaluates the best possible measures for organizations to adopt by comparing multiple methods.
MCom degree awarded with Merit; Supervisor: Dr Mary Tate
End-User Awareness of and Adherence to Crisis Preparedness of the Information Systems in New Zealand Organisations [Repository link here]
A crisis is a specific, unanticipated, and non-routine event that generates high levels of uncertainty and jeopardizes high value priorities such as life, economic well-being, or physical infrastructures. Some scholars observe that our computing environment has dramatically changed and is now defined by greater use and dependence on technology, while simultaneously it is hampered by technological failures and security vulnerability, which have perhaps led to an increase in the incidence of organisational crises. Because of the high occurrence of crises and the increased dependence on information systems (IS) in organisations, one would assume that most firms would have established measures to counteract these events, however the literature indicated otherwise. The purpose of this research was to explore and understand the factors that contribute to crisis preparedness of the information systems.
The academic value of this research is the review of discourse in the fields of crisis preparedness and Information Systems, and the application of some of the theoretical concepts from those fields. These were necessary to test the research hypotheses and their findings can be used to explain the crisis-preparedness phenomenon in future studies. The practical value of this research is the development of a tool that can be used by managers and senior executives to undertake informed decisions with regard to the status or progress of the crisis preparedness of the information systems initiatives in their respective organisations from the end-user perspective.
MCom degree; Supervisor: Dr Philip Calvert
Community Archives: Factors in sustainability [Repository link here]
Throughout New Zealand there are collections of community or local archives. These archives are part of the heritage of all New Zealanders and therefore essential to our culture and identity. Without them, or without appropriate management of them, New Zealanders lose the ability to understand where they have come from. Regimes for their management and preservation must therefore be enduring and sustainable. Archives held within structures or environments that are not sustainable are potentially as much at risk as those which are never identified and preserved. Small community archives, often run by volunteers with little knowledge, few resources and inadequate facilities, are particularly at risk.
This research looked at what factors, such as funding, governance, skill/expertise, are most likely to ensure sustainability of community archives.
MA degree; Supervisor: Dr Gillian Oliver
"It isn't all about you": The management of ICT and non-ICT information resources via human information behaviour [Repository link here]
This study evaluated the performance of the World Wide Web as an information resource in the domain of international travel. The theoretical framework underpinning our approach recognizes the contribution of models of information seeking behavior and of information systems in explaining World Wide Web usage as an information resource. Specifically, a model integrating the construct of uncertainty in information seeking and the task-technology fit model is presented. To test the integrated model, 217 travelers participated in a questionnaire-based empirical study.
Results confirmed that richer (or enhanced) models are required to evaluate the broad context of World Wide Web (the Web) usage as an information resource. Use of the Web for travel tasks, for uncertainty reduction, as an information resource, and for mediation all have a significant impact on users' perception of performance, explaining 46% of the variance. Additionally, the study contributed to the testing and validation of metrics for use of the Web as an information resource in a specific domain.
MCA degree awarded with Merit; Supervisor: Dr Mary Tate
Measuring e-learning readiness across the Forestry Research and Development Agency (FORDA) of Indonesia [Repository link here]
E-learning is seen as an efficient and effective tool to allow swift information and knowledge sharing throughout the organisation in real-time. The systems can support collaboration, training delivery, and dissemination in a research and development (R&D) organisation involving a large number of participants across dispersed areas. Several studies have developed instruments to assess e-learning readiness for target respondents including policy makers (managers, CIOs), providers (e-learning providers), enablers (lecturers, tutors, facilitators), and receivers (individual learners or trainees).
Since most instruments were developed to only assess specific target respondents and/or for developed countries, this study proposes a comprehensive organisational e-learning readiness instrument (COERI) which can be used to assess all target respondents by combining several existing instruments.
MCA degree awarded with Merit; Supervisor: Professor Pak Yoong
Developing ontological evaluation methodology: Cognitive measure of quality [Repository link here]
Ontologies are formal explicit specifications of shared conceptualizations. They provide a common vocabulary to share information in a domain, and provide concepts to structure and represent knowledge about a domain. Developing good ontologies is becoming very important for Information Systems (IS) researchers and developers, since recent software applications require a more complete set of precise concepts for enabling progress in e-commerce and software integration.
Two experiments were conducted, each evaluating SUMO ontology and WordNet with an experimental method, as demonstrations of the multi-method evaluation methodology. The motivation of the multi-method technique is that it allows us to add more confidence in the findings, assuming the results from both evaluation techniques converge. The research will contribute to practitioners such as Web developers and system integrators with a more adequate tool for the development and deployment of the applications, by ensuring the quality of the ontologies adopted.
MCA degree awarded with Distinction; Supervisor: Dr Joerg Evermann