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Determinant Factors of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Adoption by Government-owned Universities in Nigeria: A Qualitative Approach
Sunday C. Eze Business and Management Research Institute University of Bedfordshire Luton UK Hart O. Awa Department of Marketing University of Port Harcourt Port Harcourt Nigeria Joseph C. Okoye Department of Public Administration Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra Nigeria Bartholomew C. Emecheta Department of Management University of Port Harcourt Port Harcourt Nigeria Rosemary O. Anazodo Department of Public Administration Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra Nigeria NOTE: affiliations should appear as the following: Department (if applicable); Institution; City; State (US only); Country. No further information or detail should be included Corresponding author: Sunday C. Eze Corresponding Authors Email: Sunday.eze@beds.ac.uk Please check this box if you do not wish your email address to be published Acknowledgments (if applicable): n/a Biographical Details (if applicable): n/a Structured Abstract: Purpose - Recently, Nigerias university/college system has witnessed unprecedented competition following the influx of private universities, most of whom have better ICT base. In spite of this and the potential benefits of ICT in building competitiveness, adoption by government-owned institutions has remained very low. Of course, there are several socio-economic, technology, idiosyncratic and organization factors that hinder or drive ICT adoption. The primary objective of this paper is to specifically investigate and prioritize the effects of 13 factors in determining ICT adoption in Nigerian universities. Design/methodology/approach - The constructs of theoretical framework of technology-organization-environment (T-O-E) underpins the survey. The survey adopted in-depth unstructured and semi-structured interviews with 30

Type header information here senior executives drawn purposefully from at least one university in each of the five state capitals in the South-eastern Nigeria. The unstructured interviews explained the current states of ICT adoption by the schools beyond what extant theories can offer; and semistructured interviews validated issues resulting from unstructured interviews. Thematic Analysis Techniques (TAT) was used and more specifically, latent level inductive coding was used to categorize the factors whereas Nvivo software facilitated the coding of data into the appropriate categories. Findings - Evidence from the study shows that irrespective of the perceived competitive pressures and perceived benefits of ICT solutions, government-owned universities are yet to exploit its full potentials in their operations. This behaviour is informed by incessant corrupt practices; irregular energy supply and internet connectivity/accessibility; lack of financial capacity, expert skills, managerial and technical flexibility/support; and poor regulatory policies and government supports. Research Limitations/Implications - Taking a sample of universities in the south-eastern Nigeria limits the surveys power of generalization. Therefore, extended data and measures are required by replicating this study in other geographic locations in order to improve validity and reliability, and possibly build theories. While the factors investigated accord differential weight(s) of influence; the paper advised on creating policy framework spanning supportive and regulatory machineries. Originality/Value - The postulate of most ICT theories that advanced technologies target large firms because of their financial and technical capabilities rarely applies to Nigerian universities. Therefore, this paper is one of the early inquiries that offer interesting insights into adoption of ICT solutions from Nigerian universities, and attempt to validate such ICT theories. The paper raised some challenges that will serve as points of departure to future researchers and provides university management, government, policy makers, and other stakeholders the bases for encouraging ICT adoption. Keywords: ICT, adoption, universities, government Article Classification: Research paper For internal production use only Running Heads:

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Determinant Factors of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Adoption by Government-owned Universities in Nigeria: A Qualitative Approach Introduction ICT adoption research has received enormous global attention (Benbasat and Barki, 2007; Kannabiran and Dharmalingam, 2012) with interest spanning different systems and applications in different contexts/settings (Venkatesh et al., 2007). Despite this, home-based scholarly inquiries seem almost silent on the critical factors that constantly inhibit and/or drive ICT adoption in government-owned universities (Oyeyinka and Adeya, 2004). Studies in this area are critical because education significantly drives socio-economic growth, and ICT is a strategic tool (Ongori, 2009; Orlikowski and Lacono, 2001) that creates integrative and collaborative community (Alberto and Fernando, 2007; Alba et al., 2005) culminating to transparency, value-added knowledge sharing, network externalities, operational efficiency and flexibility, and improved competitiveness (Ongori and Migiro, 2010; Raymond and Bergeron, 2008). ICT is a capital project; it involves, and even absorbs more, risks (Pan and Jang, 2008) and often changes how colleges work and/or learn. With ICT, universities access and disseminate information real-time; and up-date curricula, teaching, and research in order to achieve ideal academic goals (Babalobi, 2010). In the developed world, ICT has helped colleges to compete academically within and beyond; in emerging economies such as china and India, it is gaining much attention; but in developing nations like Nigeria, only very little attention goes to it. The general assumption of most ICT theories is that advanced technologies target large firms because large firms are financially strong and have technical capabilities to identify alternative technologies that would suit their operational requirements (Ongori, 2009; Scupola, 2009; Yesbank, 2009; Kannabiran and Dharmalingam, 2012). But extant literature (Oyeyinka and Adeya, 2004; Babalobi, 2010) shows that though government-owned universities are treated as large organizations in Nigerian context, they seem to lag behind in exploiting ICT solutions to the fullest. Perhaps, the sluggish diffusion of internet from 0.1 % in 2000 to 7.4% in 2009 especially amongst those living in urban cities (Babalobi, 2010) explains that Nigerian colleges seem to stand out from the general theories of adoption. Further, in categorizing the stages of ICT adoption in Nigerias education sector into four- emerging, applying, infusion and transformation, Babalobi (2010) emphasized that only few sectors in Nigeria have implemented ICT beyond the emerging stage. For instance, the current statistics shows that

90% of colleges are still at the emerging stage, 7% in applying stage and 3% at infusing and transformation stages (Babalobi, 2010). The government of Nigeria has launched laudable programmes to encourage ICT adoption especially in universities. Amongst such programmes are Education Trust Fund (ETF), National Telecommunications Policy (NTP), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Satellite Systems Programme (NSSP), and Science and Technology Policy (STP). Yet the consensus is that the acute government interference and bureaucratic bottlenecks of these agencies limit the ideal diffusion of ICT solutions (Oyeyinka and Adeya, 2004; Eze et al., 2011). If well supported, these agencies are expected to drive Nigerias education standard beyond classroom teaching and learning by implementing ICT platforms that enable teachers and students share knowledge for teaching and research. However, the populous approach to understanding ICT adoption has been proposing models merely from existing theories and using quantitative paradigm perhaps without sound and rigorous empirical validation to unravel their applicability. Studies (Chen and Hirschheim, 2004; Williams et al., 2009; Lai, 2007; Oyeyinka and Adeya, 2004) show that positivism (64.8%) is employed more than interpretive paradigm (22.6%). A review of Nigerians articles published in 12 Journals of Western economies between 2000 and 2011, on ICT adoption reveals very few (e.g., Apulu et al., 2011; Apulu and Ige, 2010) qualitative surveys. While quantitative research is applauded for its predictive powers, Benbasat and Barki (2007) and (Silver 2007) argued on the need for more rigorous techniques (qualitative research) that explain phenomena in a deeper sense. Therefore, the purpose of this survey is to use qualitative approach to explore and prioritize the key drivers and barriers of ICT adoption in Nigerian universities and to explain why ICT adoption is very slow even when popular theories (see Ongori, 2009; Scupola, 2009; Yesbank, 2009; Kannabiran and Dharmalingam, 2012; Awa et al., 2011) suggest that large organizations are supposed to adopt ICT solutions faster. The paper stands out since previous local inquiries (e.g., Lai, 2007; Oyeyinka and Adeya, 2004) on ICT adoption in government-owned institutions focused on positivist approach and of those inquiries (e.g., Apulu et al., 2011) that used qualitative approach, none was underpinned by T-O-E framework. This paper is structured as follows. First, it reviews previous studies on ICT adoption and research propositions bordering on T-O-E framework. Next, it presents the research methodology, findings and discussions, followed with implications, future research directions and finally conclusion.

Theoretical Underpinning and Framework ICT refers to array of primary digital technologies and devices deployed to create, process, analyze, store, retrieve, and disseminate information within a community (Ongori and Migiro, 2010; Ritchie and Brindley, 2005). ICT defines an organized communication networks including software, hardware, telecommunications, and information management technologies (Apulu et al., 2011) that allow for flattened organizational hierarchy, and social networking amongst value-chain members. These definitions portray ICT applications as value-added and automated architectures that encourage inter-firm alignment and operationally effective interactions between people, businesses, and governments (Ssewanyana, 2009). In colleges, ICT applications permit knowledge sharing

amongst/between teachers and students; and encourage collaboration and timely reaction to issues. The integrative and collaborative platforms of ICT allow students to access school website, results, and library facilities; to pay fees and submit assignments; to share news and information services; and perhaps to receive lectures online. By these, institutions overcome dishonest behaviours and enjoy transparency, value-added information, network externalities and knowledge sharing, operational agility and efficiency, and improved competitiveness. However, several theories provide explanatory lenses to understand adoption behaviour. Prominent amongst them are Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) (Rogers, 1983), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1989), Technology-Organization-Environment (T-O-E) (Tornatzky and Fleicher, 1990), Decision Maker-Technology-Organization-Environment (DT-O-E) (Thong, 1999), Actor Network Theory (ANT). While some of these theories evolve from the theory of reasoned action and have their principal constructs cross-cutting, each contributes to the underpinning literature of adoption. Everette Rogers five characteristic constructs (relative advantage, complexity, compatibility, trialability, and observability), which potentially determine adoption rate were shaped by three adoption predictors- leader characteristics (attitude toward change), internal (centralization, formalization, complexity, interconnectedness, etc) and external (systems openness) characteristics (Merono-Cerdan, 2008). Rogers (1995) technology characteristics support TAMs perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU). However, because decision-makers are specific internal organizations properties, T-O-E framework is similar to Rogers (Zhu et al., 2003). Tornatzky and Fleichers (1990) T-O-E seems more consistent to the study of ICT adoption in Nigerian universities because it consists of seemingly wider generic explanatory constructs. Specifically, T-O-E model is chosen for this work because, aside Thongs (1999)

model, it is about the only model that emphasizes more on individual difference factors (IDFs) to underpin the idiosyncratic nature of decision-makers while recognizing the influence of technology development and organizations conditions involving necessary business and organizational reconfiguration shaped by industry environment. The framework enjoys wide applicability and underpins many empirical studies, including the present paper. For instance, T-O-E factors were found fundamental for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) adoption (Lacovou et al., 1995; Kuan and Chau, 2001), for supportive evidence in IT field (Zhu et al., 2003), and for analyzing barriers to ICT adoption amongst SMEs (Thong, 1999). The propositions drawn from the individual constructs of T-O-E show relationship with the dependent variable (see figure 1).

ICT Readiness P1 Relative Advantage P2 P3 P4 Regulatory Policies P5 Government Support ICT Adoption

Managerial Willingness

Figure 1: Conceptual framework

Technology Technology is a force for creative destruction (Kotler and Keller, 2009); it describes task interdependence, the degree of equipment automation, uniformity or complexity of production processes and materials, the degree of routines of the task and supportive systems (Szilagyi and Wallace, 1980). Apparently, technology describes ICT infrastructures, internet skills, and know-how existing in the firm and those in the market. ICT infrastructures provide platforms upon which on-line communities interact real-time; internet skills offer the technical know-how to develop and operate applications; and ICT know-how provides business and managerial skills to effectively apply the facilities (Zhu et al., 2003). Therefore, technology competence transcends physical assets and includes intangible resources, which

perhaps generate competitive advantage since skills and know-how complement physical assets and are more difficult-to-copy by rivals. Kwon and Zmud (1987) reported that successful ICT adoption depends largely on the relevance of the internal technology resources- infrastructures, technical skills, developers, and user time. Institutions with higher competence and technology readiness are more disposed to adopt ICT (Zhu et al., 2003). Relevance defines IDTs relative advantage and TAMs perceived usefulness (PU), which, measures the degree to which an innovation is perceived superior to existing substitutes. Thus, prospective user(s) make subjective probability that using a particular application improves outcomes more than alternatives (Awa et al., 2010). Respectively IDT and TAM discussed the overlapping constructs of complexity and PEOU to measure prospective users mental efforts required of the use of a planned application. The other three constructs (termed experience-related) of IDT are often treated as moderating variables that directly interact with PU and PEOU. For instance, compatibility defines consistency between ICT applications and existing belief/value, knowledge, and experience infrastructures; observability measures access to visibility and imagination of results; and trialability defines experimentation on a limited scale (Awa et al., 2011). Further, the perceived behavioural control (PBC) added by Ajzens (1991) theory of planned behaviour recognizes users perception of resource constraints for operating the planned applications. Therefore, PBC is a strong determinant though prior research shows that it might be influenced by PEOU (Venkatesh et al., 2007). IT readiness and IT infrastructure were used to capture the technology context, leading us to the first and second propositions. P1: ICT readiness positively influences its adoption in Nigerian universities. P2: ICTs relative advantage positively influences its adoption in Nigerian universities. Organization Some ICT studies described organization context using firms scope of business operations, size, and size related issues such as slack resources and specialization (Damanpour, 1992; Pan and Jang, 2008). Other studies included cultural and structural configurations (Sheriden, 1994; Ongori, 2009), quality of human resource and complexity of managerial structure measured in terms of centralization, formalization, and vertical differentiation (Glover and Goslar, 1993; Scupola, 2009). Further, information sources and communication channels influence ICT adoption (Rai, 1995; Yesbank, 2009), especially amongst colleges, where network externalities heavily influence innovation (Julien et al., 1996; Kannabiran and Dharmalingam, 2012). Much scholarship reports on organizations size as a resilience to

environmental shocks (Awa et al., 2010); adoption may be slower in smaller institutions perhaps because they rarely possess economy of scale advantage and facilitating slacks as well as the strengths to bear the associated risks and to encourage trading partners to adopt technology with network externalities (Zhu et al., 2003). National Statistical Resources from some OECD countries report that diffusion of ICT amongst large firms in 1999 was 80 - 86 percent; for firms with 20 employees or more, 61-95 percent; and for very small firms, 19-57 percent (OECD, 1999). A seemingly contrary argument by some scholars (e.g., Thong, 1999; Zhu et al., 2003; Pan and Jung, 2008) suggests that often top managements idiosyncrasy and knowledge about ICT may be thornier barriers than size since organizations growth is shaped by decision-makers functional and emotional peculiarities about future, alternatives, and consequences. ICT adoption is further measured by group heterogeneity and cohesiveness as well as group members functional tracks, education, age, gender, and experience (Awa et al., 2011). Experience is long rated a significant individual difference factor in innovation acceptance research; favourable experience measured by PU, PEOU, and other constructs may influence adoption of similar applications on accounts of stimulus generalization and technology cluster (Awa et al., 2010). Studies (Becker, 1970) show that education influences personal innovativeness, belief/value systems, cognitive preferences, and receptivity of an innovation. Weak education attracts risk aversion, threats to change and imitating the innovators, who may be more educated, more cosmopolitan in their social relationship, more exposed to mass media, and more active outside their community (Bass, 1969). Age and gender of the decision-maker(s) influence the propensity to seek and try out novelties. In most technology-led markets, early adopters are commonly young and perhaps males; the German market for mobile phone is 60 percent male and 40 percent female (Lu et al., 2003). Age directly impacts on usefulness perception and on workers performance of computer-based tasks; younger executives appear much more associated with corporate growth (Hedges, 2010; Den Hoogen, 2010; Child, 1974) since they take much risk. The conservative stance of the older executives is explained by their premiums on career and financial security; lack of mental and physical stamina to grasp novelties; greater psychological commitment to corporate status-quo; and lack of social enabling environment for novelties (Hambricks and Mason, 1984). Based on these, we make the third and fourth propositions. P3: Managerial willingness to take risks positively influences ICT adoption in Nigerian universities.

Environment The concepts of environmental determinism and strategic choice necessitate change management and minimization of operational surprises. Managing change involves anticipation of, and responding to, environmental trends (Abell, 1978) and the deployment of actions that result in the design and activation of strategies to simultaneously achieve corporate, business, and functional objectives of an organization (Pearce and Robinson, 2000). Thus, environmental changes must be anticipated, monitored, assessed, and incorporated into decision-making process because they suggest radical changes in resource requirements though sometimes firms resources and key competencies are rarely easy to adjust (Awa and Kalu, 2010). Change is crucial for businesses to grow and benefit from ICT especially where there is transparency, openness and competitive framework, clear legislation, easy set up and stable legal treatments within and across economies (OECD, 2004). The business environment is volatile, forcing strategists to uphold proactive and flexible structures instead of simply reacting to environmental changes. Institutions ability to improve their academic standards is influenced by opportunities and threats as well as strengths and weaknesses imposed by its environment (Raymond, 2001). There is a correlation between decision to adopt ICT and such factors as peer influences, rate of technical change, market volatility and coercive influences perhaps from customers (Raymond and Blili, 1997). Also, there is a strong relationship between an institutions decision to use ICT and coercive influences from government authorises and other regulatory agencies. ICT adoption may be influenced by the governments if they (governments) outline the requirements for adoption, the legal protection for the ICT and perhaps, the incentives. Tornatzky and Fleishers (1990) theory measures environment in terms of the influence of industry practice, consumers and trading partners readiness, competition, and government. Therefore, we suggest proposition three. P4: Regulatory policies positively influence ICT adoption in Nigerian universities. P5: Government support programmes positively influence ICT adoption in Nigerian universities Methodology
IT adoption studies have been criticized for focusing on confirmatory statistical techniques (Silver, 2007; Schwarz, 2007). It is argued that researchers that always use quantitative method often remain unquestionable and when there are irregularities especially in the theory used, it is attributed to other factors such as the instruments, sample, and sample size

(Silver, 2007). IT adoption research requires not just explanatory theories rather methods that can help explain phenomena in broader ways. Therefore, qualitative approach is adopted since it serves as a useful alternative and provides richer insights and results (see Lee, 2003). Sampling Procedure Since qualitative research emphasizes on discovery and explanation of peoples experiences (Schulter and Avital, 2010) and not statistical generalization, purposeful sample of thirty (30) subjects was drawn from at least one university in the five state capitals of South-eastern

geo-political zone of Nigeria. While the essence of sampling all states was to ensure full representation; the choice of institutions in the state capitals was informed by the sure existence of internet services. The opinions of six (6) respondents in each institution were sampled through unstructured and semi-structured interviews. They included senior registry
staff, senior staff of the Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors offices, Deans of faculties, Heads of Departments, and professors/other lecturers. See participants profile

below. Table 1: Profile of Participants


Participant AI,2,3 Staff Category Academic Staff School Enugu State University of

Technology (ESUT) A4, 5, 6 B1,2,3 B4,5,6 C1,2,3 C4,5,6 D1,2,3 D4,5,6 E1,2,3 Non-academic Staff Academic Staff Non-academic Staff Academic Staff Non-academic Staff Academic Staff Non-academic Staff Academic Staff ESUT Michael Okpara University (MOU) MOU Ebonyi State University (EBSU) EBSU Imo State University (IMSU) IMSU Nnamdi (NAU) E4,5,6 Non-academic Staff NAU Azikiwe University

The letters with sub I, 2, 3 stands for the opinions of academic staff and those with sub 4, 5, 6 stand for the opinions of non-academic staff, and the frequency of the supporting cases appeared in percentages (see table 2). Unstructured and semi-structured interviews The purpose of unstructured interviews was in two-fold; first, to help understand the full

richness of respondents opinions/narratives on the current state of ICT adoption by the

universities and second, to help develop semi-structured interview questions for the second
round of data collection. The interviews bordered on thirteen (13) ICT adoption determinants

within the contexts of T-O-E; and specifically on: (1) the extent(s) to which universities adopt ICT applications? (2) what factors drive or hinder adoption behaviour? (3) if ICT platforms improve operational outcomes. A formal letter was sent ahead of time on the purpose of the research and confidentiality of information. The interviews scheduled for 40 minutes lasted more in some cases and with the respondents permission; audio tape recorder was used to minimize bias and errors resulting from relying on memories. Supportive instruments used to develop deeper understanding of the points raised were electronic reports and power point presentation materials. In order to enhance, validate, and confirm the outcomes of findings,
semi-structured interviews were conducted with some key respondents identified in the first round of interviews. However, because codes generated emerged inductively from interview transcripts (see Miles and Huberman, 1994), the study adopted data-driven thematic analysis technique (TAT) at

latent level with the aids of Nvivo software and tried to identify and examine the underlying ideas, assumptions, and conceptualizations, instead of reading only the surface meaning of the data. Boyatzis (1998) data-driven stage approach was adopted. First, the researchers
reduced the data by identifying the portion(s) of the text(s) that potentially reveals emerged themes. Second, themes were identified within cases and third, themes were compared across cases. The identified themes were then clustered in stage four and helped the development of codes..

Validity and Inter-coder Reliability


Verification at stage five means reliability checks .The data were lifted from the original

textual contexts and placed in charts consisting of T-O-E factors (see figure 2) and validated through cross case comparisons of supporting evidence or triangulation of multiple copies of one source (see Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Reliability analysis technique used was percentage
agreement because the data coded were nominal and required a judgement by the judges (see Boyatzis, 1998). Inter-coder reliability was performed to measure the extent to which

independent coders evaluate and assign the same rating to each of the objects (see Bryman, 2008). Holstis technique was deployed; it counts the number of judgements that were the same and divide the sum by the number of judgements. The values range from 0 to 1 reflecting an absence of reliability to perfect reliability respectively. The texts and categories were rated by four judges who related the extracted quotes to the factors. The first two found

82 percent consistency with the coded texts and the last two found 92 percent; all surpassing
Miles and Hubermans (1994) 70 percent benchmark. Table 2: Reliability test Area Number of judges Reliability First two judges Second two judges 0.921(92%) 0.815(82%)

Factors

Analysis and Findings Table 3 shows the factors drawn from the T-O-E framework guided the interviews. Each factor has cross-case supports and a percentage to reflect the weight of its frequency. Further, each factor factored into the analysis met the 4 cases benchmark of Macredie and Mijinyawa (2011). Table 3: Factors and frequency of supporting cases
Context Technology Factors Electricity supply Related Cases A1,2,3,4,5,6; B2,3,5,6; C1,2,3,5,6; D2,3,4,5,6; E2,3,4,5,6. Expert skills A1,2,4,5,6; B1,2,3,4,6; c2,3,4,5,6; D1,2,4,5,6; E3,4,5,6. Internet connectivity and accessibility Obsolete technologies A1,2,3,4,5,6; B1,2,3,4,5; C1,2,3,4,5; D2,3,4,5,6; E1,2,3,4,5,6 A1,2,3,4,5; B2,3,4,5,6; C2,3,4 22 (73%) 27 (90%) 24 (80%) Total 25 (83%)

D2,3,5,6; E1,2,4,5,6 Technology support A1,2,3,4,5,6; B1,3,5,6; C1,2,3,4,5,6; D2,3,4,5,6; E2,3,4,5,6. Institution Embezzlement A1,2,3,4,5; B2,3,4,5,6; C2,3,4,5,6 D1,2,3,5,6; E1,2,4,5,6 Institutional Support and willingness to adopt Size of Institutions A2,3,4,5; B1,2,3,4,6; C1,2,3,4,5,6 D2,3,5,6; E1,2,3,4,5. A1,2,3,4,5; B2,3,4,5,6; C2,3,4,5 23 (77%) 24 (80%) 25 (83%) 26 (86%)

D2,3,5,6; E1,2,4,5,6 Incentives A1,2,4,5,6; B2,3,5,6; C1,2,3,5,6; 22 (73%)

D2,3,5,6; E2,3,4,6. Environment Funding A1,2,3,4,5,6; B1,2,3,5,6; C1,2,3,5,6; D1,2,3,4,5,6; E2,3,4,5,6. Requirements for adoption A1,2,3,6; B1,3,5,6; C1,2,3,4,6; 22 (73%) 27 (90%)

D2,4,5,6; E2,3,4,5,6. Legal protection A2,3,4,6; B1,3,5,6; C1,3,4,5; 20 (67%)

D3,4,5,6; E2,4,5,6. Tax laws A1,2,3,4; B1,3,5,6; C1,2,3,6; D2,4; E2,3,4,5. 18 (60%)

Figure 2 presents all the T-O-E factors across cases and measures the differential strengths of each in ICT adoption behaviour. Cases/interviews were kept in the same order in each chart to identify their source. Thus, analysis involved identifying and categorizing factors from each case and arranging them in order of similarities. This analysis is unique because it often leads to testable theories

Figure 2: Strength of factors across cases.


100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

From table 4 below, the pace of adoption differs with institutional willingness; while some universities are extremely sluggish in their adoption behaviour, others are not. In terms of size, a somewhat mixed reaction was observed; whereas some participants (A1,2,3; D5; E2,6) admitted size as a factors; others (A4,5; B2,3,6; C4,5 D2,3,6; E4) did not.

Table 4: Findings
Context Technology Factors Electricity supply Quotes Cross-case supports A1,2,3,4; B2,3,5,6;

Steady power supply in Nigeria is almost non-existence; the high cost of

C1,2,3,5,6; D2,3,4,5,6; E2,3,5,6.

computers and generating set in Nigeria discourages ICT (A1).

Expert skills

Few people are proficiently trained to A2,3,5; teach and to encourage others to learn C2,4,6; and apply ICT solutions (A1). E3,4,5.

B2,3,4; D2,5,6;

Employments are

rarely based on

merits; therefore, most institutions end up hiring mediocre based on

favouritism. If under-minded, the future of Nigerian education will be jeopardy (A6).


Inter connectivity and accessibility

in

ICT is novel and the cost of connectivity A1,2,3,4,5, is exorbitant for universities since C1,2,3,4,5 government provide little support to E1,4,5 schools (B1). Cost is expressed in terms of facilities, unreliable access to internet services, power and infrastructure,

B2,4,5; D2,5,6;

which is rarely attainable by an average Nigerian (E2)


Obsolete technologies

The use of obsolete technologies has influenced ICT adoption in Nigerian Universities; people are impatient to learn new technologies. Often people have too much to do, find manuals about new technology difficult to understand, and end up with poor results (E6).

A1,4,5; C2,3,4 E1,2,5.

B2,3,5,6; D2,3,5,6;

Technology support

Hiring mediocre to maintain existing A4,5; B1,3,5; C1,2,4; ICT applications end up destroying the D2,3,4,6; E2,3,4, 5. available few (C3). I used to have a computer connected to the internet but since people employed to maintain it damaged it because of inadequate expertise, the school is yet to replace it (A6).

The increasing rates of kidnapping and suicide bombing hinder foreign A4,5; B1,5; C1,2,4; investment in Nigeria and ultimately D4,6; E2,3,5. investment in ICT maintenance (D3).

Institution

Embezzlement

Obviously, embezzlement is one factor A,4,5; B2,4,5; C2,5,6; associated with developing societies and D1,2,3; E1,2,4,5 Nigerian exception; universities the are not an of

misappropriation

public funds causes barriers to ICT adoption, thereby rendering its

processes ineffective (A3).


Institutional support and adopt willingness to

Most top executives lack adequate A3,5; exposure to ICT and its inherent benefits C1,2,3,4,5,6; largely because support of (A5). insufficient E1,2,3,4,5. However

B1,2,3,4,6;

D2,3,6;

government

because top executives are regarded as the decision-makers and perhaps

models, whatever they agree upon will be passed down (A2). There is little or no management support on the grounds that (D5) observes absence of adequate adoption polices and ICT curriculum for fear of defacing corporate status-quo. (A4) said that because of threats of novelty owing to top executives limited IT friendliness, the willingness to adopt is relatively low.

Size of institution

No matter the length and breadth of an A1,2,3,4,5;

B2,3,6;

institution it will carry the size of its own C4,5 D2,3,5,6; E2,4,6 internet accessibility (E5). Looking at the size of institutions in Nigeria, it

becomes a big challenge for the government to build ICT centres in all the universities; small institutions rarely have the cognate resources to engage in ICT adoption (E1).

Incentives

All things being equal, low incentives from government have caused serious setback in the development of ICT skills (A4). I am a bit old and you do not expect me to start going for ICT training; such training should target younger generations. Even if incentives are provided, employee resistance to change may set a formidable barrier; thereby raising great concerns over what the future holds for education systems in Nigeria (A6).

A1,5,6; C1,2,5,6; E2,3,4,6.

B2,5,6; D2,3,5,6;

Environment

Funding

Poor funding and corruption greatly set A1,2; B1,3,6; C1,2,5; a barrier on embarking on capital D4,5,6; E3,4. intensive projects like ICT
(E2).

Project(s) with poor funding structure are often abandoned (A3). Funds meant for ICT are often misappropriated and diverted either by top government officials in the sector or by the management of these institutions (C6).
Legal protection

We have some

legal requirements A2,4,6; B,6; C3,5;

approved by the university commission; D3,4,6; E2,4,5 but there is need for other legal protection needed for ICT adoption (B1). Legal requirements were extended to

cybercrimes, which a participant notes requires an urgent attention (A3). Such requirements should not be too stringent otherwise it may breed reluctance on the part of local and foreign investors as well as other stakeholders (A5).
Tax laws

Outrageous tax laws and duties hinder A1,3,4; and discourage ICT adoption in Nigeria. C2,3,6; ICT bodies may not just be ready because of the harsh tax laws on ICT gadgets. Therefore, we suggest that such taxes should be reduced to encourage Nigerian universities and other investors (E3).

B1,5,6; D2,4; E2

Requirements adoption

for

The requirements for adoption of ICT in Nigerian universities should include sufficient funds to acquire ICT

A3,6; B1,5,6; C4,6; D2,4,6; E2,3,4,5.

infrastructures since subventions from governments are inadequate (A1). If the requirements for the adoption of ICT are made simple and enforceable, then adoption in Nigerian universities will be easier and faster (A2).

Discussion ICT infrastructure is a key component of ICT development; it assists socio-economic development and promotes operational efficiency. Our investigation shows that electricity, internet connectivity, technology support, obsolete technology, and know-how are the most significant determinants of ICT adoption in Nigeria. The under-developed natures of these factors impede adoption. Internet access is quite exorbitant owing to high cost of bandwidth, and requires alternative and/or supportive funding arrangements that span even maintenance

of other equipment. Previous studies (e.g., Oshikoya and Hussain, 2007; Folorunsho et al., 2006; Kapuruandara, 2006; Akpan-obong, 2007; Apulu and Ige, 2010; Arikpo et al., 2009) support the findings when they emphasized Nigerias poor environmental and infrastructural standards. Inadequate telecommunications infrastructures, poor internet connectivity, and high cost of ICT implementation force many Nigerian institutions to ignore effective use of ICT solutions and rather use resources for other purposes that promise faster returns (Folorunsho et al., 2006; Akpan-obong, 2007; Arikpo et al., 2009). Electricity supply in Nigeria accounts for about 80 percent below expectations; thus, only about 20 percent Nigerians has stable power supply (Akpan-obong, 2007; Baker, 2008). Institutional readiness is a major determinant of ICT adoption; readiness reflects how the institutions understand ICT facilities and their benefits. Adoption is influenced by technology networks that enhance learning capability, willingness, trust, top management support, and motivation. However, the study revealed that most institutions are not ready to adopt ICT because they lack the necessary skills. In the area of organization/institution, the study revealed that embezzlement is the most significant ICT adoption barrier, followed by institutional support, firms size and willingness, and adoption incentives. Corruption breeds embezzlement, misappropriation, and other social vices that impede socio-economic growth. Previous studies (Dike, 2005; Ojukwu, 2006) and recent ones (Apulu et al., 2011) confirm this finding as they suggest that corruption is almost the way of life of Nigerians. Often money meant for improving teaching standards (investment in ICT) is siphoned. Literature (e.g., Raymond and Blili, 1997; Tornatzky and Fleisher, 1990) supports the strong correlations between ICT adoption and institutional size but the result of this study seems mixed. While some participants support the relationship, others agree with such scholars (see Zhu et al., 2003; Pan and Jang, 2008) that size does not matter. The cost of acquiring these technologies is high and discourages investment decisions by policy planners and management. Under environment, funding accounted for the most significant ICT adoption barrier, followed by such regulatory policies as adoption requirements, legal protection, and tax laws. Nigerian government seems to be working hard to enhance technology in some sectors such as banking, education, and communication but the findings show that the key requirements (e.g., adequate funding, access to ICT development grant, top management support and proper training) are still lacking.

Practical Implications These conclusions imply that appropriate policy framework should be put in place by universities and governments to create enabling environment within which ICT solutions diffuse in Nigerian colleges. Specifically, governments support should be real and loans for ICT adoption should be made less stringent for institutions without losing sight of retraining staff to meet the impending challenges. Improvements in adoption involve putting the right infrastructures including reliable internet connectivity, fixed and workable telephones, and qualified experts (Apulu and Ige, 2010). The inclusion of ICT in institutions curriculum is necessary to develop the skills needed to improve its efficiency. Further, legal framework is urgently needed to encourage ICT investors and support ICT infrastructures, to enhance ICT adoption, and to punish those who embezzle ICT funds. Infringement acts require the cooperation of legislative, executive, and judicial arms as well as the end-users to make it work. Finally, the benefits of ICT solutions should made known to policy makers while effort should be made to re-engineer Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to live up to expectations. Limitations and further research directions This study has some limitations that provide bases for future research. First, the sample size may limit the generalization and implications of our findings. That we took sample from senior executives of government-owned universities in the South-eastern Nigeria limits the power of exact generalization against those institutions not investigated on the recognition that every state and college is idiosyncratic. However, a sure way of building external validity and possibly theories is by replicating this study in other states, sectors, and perhaps economies for cross learning. Second, all the measures used seem subjective and prone to common method bias, though concrete steps were taken to minimize their effect on results. Third, the opinions of junior executives were not captured in the survey; therefore, future scholars are challenged to take up a comparative survey in this direction. Conclusions In the knowledge economy, institutions rarely go solo; they need real-time value-chain and network externalities to enhance operations. This study demonstrated how qualitative method generates rich insights via assessing the influence of 13 factors on adoption of ICT in Nigerian institutions. Evidence from the study led to four conclusions; first, governmentowned universities are yet to exploit the full potentials of ICT solutions in their operations;

thereby, discouraging investments and ultimately employments. Most frontline executives of Nigerian institutions are eluded by decisions involving radical operational changes. Second though the pace of adoption differs amongst the schools, ICT readiness and relative advantage are influenced by availability of energy; expert skills, training, and technical support; managerial flexibility; and the need to build an on-line community. Third, managerial willingness to adopt ICT solutions is shaped by institutional supports, managerial agility, corruptions and other social vices, incentives, and size. And fourth, regulatory policies and government supports in the forms of legal protections, tax laws, requirements for adoption, and outright funding are necessary for ICT diffusion amongst colleges.

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