A strategic approach for IT use in the Egyptian banking industry

Kamhawi, Emad M. E. Ali (1998) A strategic approach for IT use in the Egyptian banking industry. Doctoral thesis, University of North London.


An empirical study that explored the information intensive Egyptian banking industry is featured in this project. Information Technology (IT) use in the Less Developed Countries (LDCs), has drawn some research attention in the last decade. However, few studies have examined the organisational issues of IT use in these countries. The aim of this study was to identify the organisational practices that contribute to and enhance the level of sophistication of IT use, at the business unit (the firm) level in a LDC context.

Multiple sources of information were used to collect data about IT use and its organisational context from the major firms dominating the Egyptian banking industry. Sources included written and interview based information; all the available planning documentation; reports; and financial statements of these firms. Evidence was sought for the relationship between the level of sophistication of IT use and seven selected organisational factors. The selected organisational factors (the independent variables) and their constructs were identified through a literature review and refined by a pilot study.

The study revealed that "chief executive support" was the central organisational factor enabling these firms to achieve their current levels of IT use, and also had an influence in some other significant organisational factors such as: "IT management climate" and "IT managerial knowledge". Some other factors, which have been considered important by the research community such as: "firm-wide planning", "IT organisational design", "IT planning", and "the integration between IT and business groups" were found to contribute in an insignificant way to the degree of IT use in these firms. The study concluded with a working model that conceptualises the organisational context of IT use in terms of its components and behaviour in the different levels of IT-based transformation process.

The framework developed in this thesis has implications for both researchers and practitioners. For researchers, the conceptual model extends understanding of the components of the organisational context of IT use in the Egyptian banks as a LDC case study. It suggests the nature of the relationships between the organisational variables and the IT use variable. Practitioners, on the other hand, can use the model to refine their thinking about IT use activities and their related organisational practices. In particular, the model could be used as a starting point for building the required information systems capabilities for strategic IT use in organisations.

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