A Phenomenological Investigation of Information and Communications Technology at a Multinational Enterprise from India
Satya Prakash Saraswat
Journal of Global Information Technology Management
This paper applies the method of "phenomenology" to a comprehensive study of information and communications technology (ICT) deployment at one of the largest government sector banks in India. The efficacy of the phenomenological approach for academic investigation of global ICT issues is argued in this paper. The study finds that the emerging architecture of ICT strategy in this corporation contains five dimensions. In declining order of their importance, these dimensions are (1) organizational
... ICT culture, (2) organizational politics, (3) organizational sociology (4) economics of ICT, and (5) ICT infrastructure. The significance of these findings is discussed in the paper and an extended note on the methodology of phenomenology is included. The ranking of ICT strategy dimensions and demystification of phenomenology are the contributions of this research to the Information Systems discipline. INTRODUCTION: With the rapid growth of software development and business process outsourcing (BPO) in the past 10 years, India's software and BPO service providers have become dominant players in the global market. However, India's domestic users have lagged behind in the deployment of information and communications technology (ICT) in their domestic and global strategies. The problem is more pronounced in government sector organizations, although they contribute a large share to India's gross domestic product. Quantitative and empirical methodologies of investigation frequently used in ICT research have been found to have serious limitations for revealing the hidden dimensions of ICT problems in Indian corporations. This paper, therefore, applies the qualitative method of "phenomenology" to a comprehensive study of ICT deployment at a large government sector bank in India. This bank has operations in 15countries and is identified in the study as Indian Public Sector Bank (IPSB) to protect its identity as required by unavoidable Government of India (GOI) regulations when sensitive research is conducted on its undertakings. Government sector global banks from India, such as IPSB, now have operations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US, and are having to compete in their host countries with (a) local banks such as Barclays PLC in the United Kingdom, (b) private sector banks from other countries operating in the host countries such as the Hong-Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Singapore and the UK, (c) private sector banks and financial conglomerates from India such as the ICICI Limited, and (d) other government sector banks from India operating abroad in various host countries such as the State Bank of India in Africa, Europe, and North America. A study of the banking sector in India is thus relevant to understanding the larger issues of ICT deployment in emerging economies.