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Implementing open source software to conform to national policy

Implementing open source software to conform to national policy Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation process of an open source enterprise management system in the South African public sector. Change management was observed in relation to challenges and opportunities in the alignment of the internal organisational changes to the imperatives of the national Free and Open Source Software policy. Design/methodology/approach – An interpretive case study, using interviews, observation and document review was used. Findings – Alignment of the organisational environment, change management strategies and technology is required to address many of the “common” change management challenges. However, ICT policies are formed and adopted in a highly complex environment and have embedded property and power relations which impact the nature and direction of their implementation. In this case, one of the main challenges arose from the alignment of internal organisational change to a national policy, which did not seem to have the full support of the agency which was tasked with implementing it. Originality/value – Many of the challenges faced by the public sector department are commonly described in change management literature, such as inadequate consideration for the social context in which the change was to take place. What emerges from this paper is a caution that there is not a single voice within government and that in a multi‐levelled and multi‐sectoral institution, many different rationalities exist. The internal alignment of the divergent voices within government would be a prerequisite for the organisational environment, change management strategies and technology to be aligned. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Systems and Information Technology Emerald Publishing

Implementing open source software to conform to national policy

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1328-7265
DOI
10.1108/13287261311322594
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation process of an open source enterprise management system in the South African public sector. Change management was observed in relation to challenges and opportunities in the alignment of the internal organisational changes to the imperatives of the national Free and Open Source Software policy. Design/methodology/approach – An interpretive case study, using interviews, observation and document review was used. Findings – Alignment of the organisational environment, change management strategies and technology is required to address many of the “common” change management challenges. However, ICT policies are formed and adopted in a highly complex environment and have embedded property and power relations which impact the nature and direction of their implementation. In this case, one of the main challenges arose from the alignment of internal organisational change to a national policy, which did not seem to have the full support of the agency which was tasked with implementing it. Originality/value – Many of the challenges faced by the public sector department are commonly described in change management literature, such as inadequate consideration for the social context in which the change was to take place. What emerges from this paper is a caution that there is not a single voice within government and that in a multi‐levelled and multi‐sectoral institution, many different rationalities exist. The internal alignment of the divergent voices within government would be a prerequisite for the organisational environment, change management strategies and technology to be aligned.

Journal

Journal of Systems and Information TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 15, 2013

Keywords: Open source software; Change management; Organizational change; Alignment; South Africa; Public sector

References