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ICTs and development in the thai bureaucracy: an examination of decentralization and organizational change

ICTs are frequently looked to as a missing link between traditional bureaucracy and the modernization of public administration and service delivery. Through the empirical research in the Thai public sector, we find that there is a fundamental gap between the design and normative goal of ICTs and their real world implementation. The structures of power are frequently retained or even reinforced by those who hold budgetary administrative, and authoritative roles and consequently get to make decisions about the development and use of ICTs to facilitate their administrative and managerial goals. While on a discursive level ICTs in Thailand have been projected to counter traditional practices and streamline governance as part of a broader administrative reform since the 2000s, we find that the practice is far different. Situating our work in the theoretical traditions of organization studies and computer supported collaborative work, we discuss how the Thai computerization projects add a valuable case to the vast literature on technology adoption. We also use the case to illustrate the value of this literature in growing work on governance and technology adoption within ICTD circles.

 

Chongthammakun, R., & Pal, J. (2012, March). ICTs and development in the thai bureaucracy: an examination of decentralization and organizational change. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (pp. 36-45). ACM.

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