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IT-enabled rationalization of public administration in developing countries: essays on Ghana’s customs modernization

Addo, Atta (2017) IT-enabled rationalization of public administration in developing countries: essays on Ghana’s customs modernization. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.7ty0qua61inu

Abstract

Through a series of three standalone yet related essays, this thesis theorizes effects of the government administration context in developing countries on situated IT-enabled practices. It develops arguments on the capacity of the institutional logics perspective for explaining complex interactions between the broader social context and IT-enabled practices carried out by situated actors in the public administration of developing countries. We theorize IT-enabled rationalization—a process through which inefficiencies, and dysfunctional institutionalized practices are transformed through IT—as the hybridizing outcomes from the resolutions in practice of often incompatible institutional logics of administration with those introduced by IT. Through a case study of IT modernization initiatives at Ghana’s customs organization, these arguments are developed by identifying historically formed administration logics and the consequences of their interplay with idealtypic public administration logics introduced through IT. We find that rather than forcing out dysfunctional practices and replacing them with IT-driven ones i.e., replacing old logics with new, as is often an implicit goal of IT adoption in such settings, the two sets of incompatible logics are instead comingled in practice through a process identified as blending. This suggests that IT adoption in the public administration of developing countries might enable rationalization, although not independently of countervailing broader institutional context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Atta Addo
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Avgerou, Chrisanthi
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3563

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