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- Volume 16, Issue 1, 2014
South African Journal of Information Management - Volume 16, Issue 1, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 16, Issue 1, 2014
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.577More Less
Background : Most websites, especially those with a commercial orientation, need a high ranking on a search engine for one or more keywords or phrases. The search engine optimisation process attempts to achieve this. Furthermore, website users expect easy navigation, interaction and transactional ability. The application of website usability principles attempts to achieve this. Ideally, designers should achieve both goals when they design websites.
Objectives : This research intended to establish a relationship between search engine optimisation and website usability in order to guide the industry. The authors found a discrepancy between the perceived roles of search engines and website usability.
Method : The authors designed three test websites. Each had different combinations of usability, visibility and other attributes. They recorded and analysed the conversions and financial spending on these experimental websites. Finally, they designed a model that fuses search engine optimisation and website usability.
Results : Initially, it seemed that website usability and search engine optimisation complemented each other. However, some contradictions between the two, based on content, keywords and their presentation, emerged. Industry experts do not acknowledge these contradictions, although they agree on the existence of the individual elements. The new model highlights the complementary and contradictory aspects.
Conclusion : The authors found no evidence of any previous empirical experimental results that could confirm or refute the role of the model. In the fast-paced world of competition between commercial websites, this adds value and originality to the websites of organisations whose websites play important roles.
The role of records management as a tool to identify risks in the public sector in South Africa : original researchAuthor Mpho NgoepeSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.615More Less
Background: Records management is a vital element in the identification of risks. However, there is a consensus amongst scholars that the relationship between records management and risk identification has not been clearly articulated. As a result, risks associated with records are often dealt with via internal audits, legal processes and information technology.
Objectives: The study utilised the King III report on corporate governance in South Africa as a framework to investigate the role of records management in identifying risks in the public sector, with a view to entrench the synergy between records management and risk management.
Method: Quantitative data were collected through questionnaires distributed to records managers, risk managers and auditors in governmental bodies in South Africa. Provisions of the King III report, guided the research objectives.
Results: Even though the study established that there is a reciprocal relationship between risk identification and records management, most governmental bodies in South Africa lack records management and risk-mitigating frameworks or strategy. Furthermore, records management did not feature in most governmental bodies' risk registers. It has been established that most governmental bodies have established risk committees that do not include records management practitioners. In most governmental bodies, risk management resides within internal audit functions.
Conclusion: The study concludes by arguing that a strong records management regime can be one of an organisation's primary tools in identifying risks and implementing proper risk management. Therefore, records management should be integrated with risk management processes for organisations to benefit from the synergy.
Strategies for information management in education : ome international experience : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –11 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.596More Less
Background: Recent analysis of the management of information and communications technologies in South African education suggests strongly that there is only limited strategic thinking that might guide policy-makers, school principals, teachers, learners and suppliers of educational technologies. It is clear that here in South Africa, as elsewhere, the actual practice of technology-mediated education is driven more by the available technologies than by actual learner needs, good management principles and the wider national imperative. There might be lessons to be learned from experience elsewhere.
Objectives: This article reports and analyses conversation with eight international educators in Europe, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia. All are managing the impact of technology in different ways (reactive and pro-active), at different levels (pre-primary through to senior citizen), in different roles (teachers, administrators and senior managers) and in different contexts (schools and universities).
Method: Open-ended conversations with educators and educational administrators in developed countries were recorded, transcribed and analysed. The qualitative analysis of the content was done in the style of 'open coding' and 'selective coding' using a qualitative content analysis tool.
Results: Whilst technology is still seen to drive much thinking, it is found that that success is not derived from the technology, but from a full and proper understanding of the needs and aspirations of those who are directly involved in educational processes, and by means of a managerial focus that properly recognises the context within which an institution exists.
Conclusion: Whilst this result might be expected, the detailed analysis of the findings further reveals the need to manage investments in educational technologies at different levels and in different ways.
Social media and mobile communications adoption patterns of South African civil society organisations : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.595More Less
Background : The resurgence of civil society has largely been attributed to the sector's ability to exploit new interactive technologies and its ability to adapt its communication and mobilisation strategies.
Objectives : This study focuses on how South African civil society organisations (CSOs) deploy Web 2.0 services and technologies for social advocacy and the context of this technology use. Whilst the literature points to many studies relating to the use of the Internet for advocacy, it also suggests that the role and impact of emerging technologies have not been studied in any detail in CSOs. Such studies have the potential to provide new perspectives to current theoretical frameworks and also to add to the discourse around the use of emerging technologies for advocacy.
Method : A survey of South African CSOs explored the level of knowledge of social media services and revealed which services in particular were being adopted.
Results : The key findings that emerged were that the sector has a low level of knowledge of social media services and an accompanying low level of adoption. These are partly explained by factors such as macro-economic policies and low levels of Internet penetration and ICT readiness.
Conclusion : Further research to determine why certain social media services have been embraced more willingly than others and an analysis of the patterns of adoption to determine any underlying significance or relationships is necessary. An analysis of how CSOs build their advocacy capabilities by appropriating social media and how they thus provide alternate discourses and agendas would be instructive.
A survey of online social networking used to support health awareness campaigns in the City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –6 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.550More Less
Background : The Department of Health (DoH) at the City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality in South Africa develops various health awareness campaigns aimed at creating awareness of general health risks within the Johannesburg area. According to staff members of the DoH, the resources utilised in the current campaigns fail to reach a sufficiently broad audience and the campaigns struggle to deliver the intended messages. Furthermore, the development and implementation of campaigns are time consuming and costly.
Objectives : This research focused on how online social networking (OSN) can support health awareness campaigns for the DoH in the Johannesburg region. OSN may be regarded as a tool that will assist the DoH to reach a wider audience, send health-related messages and provide a two-way communication channel.
Method : The research used an exploratory research design with a purposive non-probability sample. A survey was used as the data collection instrument. Statistical analysis was performed on the data obtained from the surveys.
Results : The results indicate that the DoH can benefit from the use of OSN in health promotion campaigns. The benefits include, but are not limited to, an increase in engagement with the target market, ease of use and reach within the specified audience.
Conclusion : Although there are numerous advantages associated with the integration of OSN by the DoH, the DoH needs to develop training and development programmes for OSN to encourage its use by DoH staff members. The main aim of the programmes is to create internal OSN capabilities to support the OSN strategy.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.609More Less
Background : The skill shortages, hyper-competitive economic environments and untapped economies have created a great deal of focus on knowledge. Thus, continuously creating and transferring knowledge is critical for every organisation.
Objectives : This article reports on an exploratory study undertaken to ascertain how knowledge is created and transferred amongst post-graduate (PG) students, using the knowledge (socialisation, externalisation, combination, internalisation [SECI]) spiral model.
Method : After reviewing relevant literature, a personally administered standardised questionnaire was used to collect data from a convenience sample of PG students in the School of Management, IT and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The data was analysed to determine if it fit the model based on the four modes of knowledge conversion.
Results : Although the School of Management, IT and Governance has mechanisms in place to facilitate knowledge creation and transfer, it nevertheless tends to focus on the four modes of knowledge conversion to varying degrees.
Conclusion : The study confirmed that PG students utilise the 'socialisation' and 'externalisation' modes of knowledge conversion comprehensively; 'internalisation' plays a significant role in their knowledge creation and transfer activities and whilst 'combination' is utilised to a lesser extent, it still plays a role in PG students' knowledge creation and transfer activities. PG students also have 'space' that allows them to bring hunches, thoughts, notions, intuition or tacit knowledge into reality. Trust and dedication are common amongst PG students. With socialisation and externalisation so high, PG students are aware of each other's capabilities and competencies, and trust each other enough to share knowledge.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.603More Less
Background : The impact and consequences of social media adoption on society are only just being realised and studied in detail; consequently, there is no universal agreement as to the reasons for the adoption of these services. Even understanding why some social media services are popular remains to some extent elusive. The practical use of Web 2.0 does not provide any answers either with, for example, a noticeable difference in the way social media was strategically used by Barack Obama and Mitch Romney in the lead-up to the 2009 American elections. However, recent studies that have focused on social media adoption within specific sectors have begun to shed some light on these emerging adoption patterns; two studies in particular are illustrative: a 2012 study on the newspaper sector and a study on social media adoption and e-government.
Objectives : This study investigates why South African civil society organisations (CSOs) adopt Web 2.0 services and the perceived and actual benefits of such adoption.
Method : A survey questionnaire was sent to 1712 South African CSOs listed in the Prodder database to explore why certain social media services were adopted and the perceived benefits thereof.
Results : Internal reasons for the adoption of social media services by South African CSOs coalesce around organisational visibility and access to information. External reasons focus on organisations needing to become more relevant and more connected to like-minded organisations and initiatives.
Conclusion : The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 technologies makes it inevitable that CSOs will have to restructure themselves to remain relevant.
The role of process analysis and expert consultation in implementing an electronic medical record solution for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.617More Less
Background : Process analysis and expert consultation help streamline and optimise processes, but these are underutilised. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends migration to electronic data collection by 2015, partly in response to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). We explore the influence of process analysis and iterative expert consultation, on shaping health information solutions to MDR-TB programmes.
Methods : The study employs a two phase design. Phase one involves a process analysis of the South African National Tuberculosis Programme and an electronic medical records (EMR) solution and the generation of a detailed process model grounded in the fit between individual task and technology (FITT) theoretical framework using 'business process modelling notation'. Phase two involves a two round Delphi study in the clinical management of tuberculosis and implementers of EMR solutions. Expert opinion is analysed according to emergent thematic content. Analyses and graphical model representation are performed using Microsoft Excel® and Visio® software.
Results : A detailed process model is constructed which reveals 54 break points, 12 gaps, 3 risks, 5 wastes. Five participants are included in the Delphi study which support the findings of the process analysis. Thematic analysis identifies five themes: the individual, the process, technology, capacity, and collaboration. The opportunity to include synergistic relations across programmes emerges as a strong theme.
Conclusions : Overall, the findings highlight inefficiencies, risk and gaps in the current process and the need for an operational excellence intervention. The study demonstrated the value of process engineering with iterative expert consultation toward developing a meaningful EMR solution consultation in a resource constrained, developing world context.
Information and communications technology adoption amongst township micro and small business : the case of Soweto : original researchAuthor Carl MarnewickSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –12 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.618More Less
Background : No empirical evidence is available on whether or not information and communications technology (ICT) is adopted by South African township micro and small businesses (MSBs) in order to grow the business. ICT, as an enabler, can grow the business. It is evident from literature that ICT enables MSBs to be more productive and efficient.
Objectives : This research determines to what extent ICT is adopted by MSBs in Soweto, and whether or not a positive correlation exists between the adoption rate of ICT and the financial and growth performance of the MSB itself.
Method : A structured questionnaire was completed by 978 respondents to determine the extent of ICT adoption and for what ICT is used. This exploratory research provides new knowledge about the acceptance of ICT within township MSBs.
Results : The results indicate that ICT is not used to the fullest by MSBs. Rather, it is used as a basic tool for doing business but it does not form an integral part of the business. This research provides insight into the usage and adoption of ICT and it opens the door for further cross-analysis research.
Conclusion : Education and training are needed to ensure that MSBs use ICT to the fullest. MSBs embracing ICT can evolve from a survivalist SME to a more sustainable micro and small MSB.
Innovation capability of managers in Nigerian large-scale manufacturing companies : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –10 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.593More Less
Background : Manufacturing companies in Nigeria operate in a turbulent business environment and managers therein need quality information to operate with keen market competition. Information seeking behavior and use as well as knowledge sharing are critical ingredients to enhance innovation capability of managers in business organisations like manufacturing companies for survival.
Objectives : This study examines the contributions of information-seeking behaviour, information utilation and knowledge sharing to the prediction of the innovation capability of managers in large-scale manufacturing companies in Nigeria with special reference to the food, beverages and tobacco companies.
Method : A total enumeration technique was used to administer copies of a questionnaire to a population of 400 managers in 12 food, beverages and tobacco companies that are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Of these, 357 responded. The response rate achieved was 89.3%.
Results : The study found that there were significant multiple relationships between information-seeking behaviour, information utilisation, knowledge sharing and the innovation capability of the respondents. It was also found that information-seeking behaviour, information utilisation and knowledge sharing jointly and individually predict the innovation capability of the respondents. In addition, information-seeking behaviour contributed 22.18%, information utilisation contributed 44.12%, and knowledge sharing contributed 40.88% to the prediction of innovation capability of managers in food, beverages and tobacco companies in Nigeria. The study equally found that, apart from the traditional ways of sharing knowledge in organisations, social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter, amongst others, are new ways of sharing knowledge in large-scale manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
Conclusion : The study recommends that managers in these companies should be encouraged to seek for more information, make more intensive use of information and share knowledge in order to improve their innovation capability.
Author Liezel CilliersSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –7 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.611More Less
Background : According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 'Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via communications to improve a patient's health'. Despite the documented advantages of telemedicine, especially in developing countries, the implementation of this technology has been slow, with most projects not succeeding past the pilot phase.
Objectives : The aim of the article is to provide critical success factors (CSF) that will enable the deployment of telemedicine in the cloud in order to improve health care services in developing countries.
Methods : A thorough literature review was performed of peer reviewed articles in order to identify possible barriers for telemedicine to be deployed in the cloud. Furthermore, the Technology Organization Environmental Model was used in order to group the barriers according to the various factors and, from this process, critical success factors were formulated for consideration.
Conclusion : Five critical success factors were formulated in order to implement telemedicine making use of the cloud in developing countries. These include having a national integrated plan for telemedicine; promoting best practices within a legislation framework; involving the end user; providing education to improve levels of telemedicine awareness amongst staff and patients, and addressing technological issues.
Developing a secured social networking site using information security awareness techniques : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –6 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.607More Less
Background : Ever since social network sites (SNS) became a global phenomenon in almost every industry, security has become a major concern to many SNS stakeholders. Several security techniques have been invented towards addressing SNS security, but information security awareness (ISA) remains a critical point. Whilst very few users have used social circles and applications because of a lack of users' awareness, the majority have found it difficult to determine the basis of categorising friends in a meaningful way for privacy and security policies settings. This has confirmed that technical control is just part of the security solutions and not necessarily a total solution. Changing human behaviour on SNSs is essential; hence the need for a privately enhanced ISA SNS.
Objective : This article presented sOcialistOnline - a newly developed SNS, duly secured and platform independent with various ISA techniques fully implemented.
Method : Following a detailed literature review of the related works, the SNS was developed on the basis of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) approach, using PhP as the coding language with the MySQL database engine at the back end.
Result : This study addressed the SNS requirements of privacy, security and services, and attributed them as the basis of architectural design for sOcialistOnline. SNS users are more aware of potential risk and the possible consequences of unsecured behaviours.
Conclusion : ISA is focussed on the users who are often the greatest security risk on SNSs, regardless of technical securities implemented. Therefore SNSs are required to incorporate effective ISA into their platform and ensure users are motivated to embrace it.
Use of social media platforms for improving academic performance at Further Education and Training colleges : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –7 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.604More Less
Background : The National Certificate Vocational (NC[V]) curriculum offered by Further Education and Training (FET) colleges was introduced in 2007 to address the skills shortage in South Africa. Information Technology (IT) lecturers encountered a number of challenges in delivering lessons throughout the course, which affected the academic performance of learners. The biggest challenges identified were the lack of adequate contact hours for the course and inconsistency in the way in which final examination papers were set.
Objectives : The aim of the project was to investigate the use of: (1) a knowledge portal for verifying the quality of assessments by lecturers and (2) social media to increase contact time with FET college students in an attempt to improve their academic performance.
Method : The NC(V) level 3 student test scores for 2011 were compared to those of 2012. In addition to the test scores, students also received a questionnaire so as to determine their perceptions on social media usage. Lecturers also received a questionnaire on their perception of the knowledge portal.
Results : The data collected from seven lecturers and 38 students indicated a 35% (from 30% - 65%) improvement in academic performance after the introduction of the interventions, that is social media and a knowledge portal; an indication of the importance of electronic media in enhancing learning.
Conclusion : The research offered FET lecturers an additional method for learning and teaching in that they could use the knowledge portal to set up quality assessments for the students and social media to increase contact learning time.
Preserving traditional medical knowledge through modes of transmission : a post-positivist enquiry : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.598More Less
Background : In Nigeria, most rural communities lack access to orthodox medical facilities despite an expansion of orthodox health care facilities and an increase in the number of orthodox health care providers. Over 90% of Nigerians in rural areas thus depend wholly or partly on traditional medicine. This situation has led to a call for the utilisation of Traditional medical practitioners in primary-healthcare delivery. Hence, the persistence of the knowledge of traditional medicine, especially in the rural communities where it is the only means of primary health care, has been a concern to information professionals.
Objectives : This study investigated the role which the mode of transmission plays in the preservation of traditional medical knowledge.
Method : A post-positivist methodology was adopted. A purposive sampling technique was used to select three communities from each of the six states in South-Western Nigeria. The snowball technique was used in selecting 228 traditional medical practitioners, whilst convenience sampling was adopted in selecting 529 apprentices and 120 children who were not learning the profession. A questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale, key-informant interviews and focus-group discussions were used to collect data. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics whilst qualitative data was analysed thematically.
Results : The dominant mode of knowledge transmission was found to be oblique (66.5%) whilst vertical transmission (29.3%) and horizontal transmission (4.2%) occurred much less.
Conclusion : Traditional medical knowledge is at risk of being lost in the study area because most of the apprentices were children from other parents, whereas most traditional medical practitioners preferred to transmit knowledge only to their children.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.594More Less
Background : The effectiveness with which the Aurum Institute manages to communicate its organisational strategic objectives through its website was investigated. Despite its ground breaking research and programs which have made a positive impact on the community, the major problem that it faces is funding its core.
Objectives : An investigation of the website's content was carried out to determine the extent to which the organisational strategy is reflected to potential funders visiting the site. Requirements for aligning the content with the organisational strategy were identified.
Method : Content analysis was used where secondary data, such as website content and organisational strategic objectives, was analysed. An interview was also conducted with Aurum's knowledge manager to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation's strategic objectives and to validate the initial findings.
Results : The results show that the website content was not effectively representative of Aurum's strategic objectives, and that the website structure did not effectively share the information that supports the decision-making process of potential investors. Recommendations were presented to the organisation in the form of a prototype website which reflects the desired website content that is representative of Aurum's strategic objectives.
Conclusion : Further research is required in determining the effect that a strategically driven website could possibly exert on the funding potential of the organisation. The theoretical approach used in this study can be used as a scoping exercise in organisations of a similar business nature.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 16, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v16i1.588More Less
Background : Knowledge development and innovation are at the heart of the progress of academic and research institutions (ARIs) through individual and coordinated research projects. Collaboration initiatives remain a challenge for many researchers for a myriad of reasons which are further intensified by the many technology options that are available both freely and at varying prices. Although multiple theories were considered, the focus on electronic communication supported by the interest in how innovation is diffused and the richness of media motivated the focus on diffusion of innovations (DOI) and media richness theory (MRT).
Objectives : The objective was to develop a multi-dimensional matrix of e-collaboration factors for research institutions. This study investigated collaboration by ARIs while focusing on the supporting and enabling technologies.
Method : The grounded theory method (GTM) was adopted. E-collaboration literature was reviewed followed by data collection using observations, interviews and a blog. DOI and MRT were considered as theories that assist in the implementation of collaboration. A blog was developed as an e-collaboration platform to examine the emergent ideas and to collect data. Data was analysed through the coding method which led to the development of the multi-dimensional e-collaboration factors matrix.
Results : The findings reveal that e-collaboration has multiple factors that must be considered. Collaboration by participants was improved through knowledge development and innovation.
Conclusion : The multi-dimensional matrix of e-collaboration factors presented collaborators with a checklist that will enhance and improve their work. ARIs continue to collaborate at multiple levels depending on their needs and objectives.