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The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel

Assessing Terrorist Cyber Threats: Engineering a Functional Construct

Description: Terrorist organizations and individuals make use of the Internet for supportive activities such as communication, recruiting, financing, training, and planning operations. However, little is known about the level of computer-based (“cyber”) threat such terrorist organizations and individuals pose. One step in facilitating the examination and assessment of the level of cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals is development of an assessment tool or methodology. This tool would guide intelligence collection efforts and would support and facilitate comparative assessment of the cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals through the provision of a consistent method of assessment across time, amongst organizations and individuals, and between analysts. This study leveraged the professional experience of experts to engineer a new functional construct – a structured analytical technique designed to assess the cyber threat posed by terrorist entities and individuals. The resultant instrument was a novel structured analytical construct that uses defined indicators of a terrorist organization/individual’s intent to carry out cyber attacks, and their capability to actually do so as measures of an organization/individual’s overall level of cyber threat.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Morgan, Deanne

Development and Validation of an Instrument to Operationalize Information System Requirements Capabilities

Description: As a discipline, information systems (IS) has struggled with the challenge of alignment of product (primarily software and the infrastructure needed to run it) with the needs of the organization it supports. This has been characterized as the pursuit of alignment of information technology (IT) with the business or organization, which begins with the gathering of the requirements of the organization, which then guide the creation of the IS requirements, which in turn guide the creation of the IT solution itself. This research is primarily focused on developing and validating an instrument to operationalize such requirements capabilities. Requirements capabilities at the development of software or the implementation of a specific IT solution are referred to as capabilities for software requirements or more commonly systems analysis and design (SA&D) capabilities. This research describes and validates an instrument for SA&D capabilities for content validity, construct validity, internal consistency, and an exploratory factor analysis. SA&D capabilities were expected to coalesce strongly around a single dimension. Yet in validating the SA&D capabilities instrument, it became apparent that SA&D capabilities are not the unidimensional construct traditionally perceived. Instead it appears that four dimensions underlie SA&D capabilities, and these are associated with alignment maturity (governance, partnership, communications, and value). These sub factors of requirements capabilities are described in this research and represent distinct capabilities critical to the successful alignment of IT with the business.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pettit, Alex Z.

Exploring Factors That Lead to Perceived Instructional Immediacy in Online Learning Environments

Description: Instructional communication research clearly indicates that instructor immediacy contributes significantly to effective instruction. However, the majority of immediacy studies have been conducted in traditional (face-to-face) classroom environments. More recently, instructional communication research has focused on assessing the impact of immediacy in online classroom environments. Again, immediacy appears to significantly contribute to effective instruction. The challenge is that most recent immediacy studies use immediacy measurements developed to test immediacy behaviors in face-to-face settings. Considering the lack of nonverbal communication and limited or absent synchronous or verbal communication in online instructional settings, the behaviors contributing most significantly to perceived immediacy, researchers need to reassess the immediacy construct in online environments. The present research explores and identifies behaviors reported by instructors to establish psychological closeness (i.e., immediacy) in online learning environments and assesses to what extent these behaviors are similar to or different from face-to-face immediacy-producing behaviors.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Spiker, Chance W.

Exploring Naming Behavior in Personal Digital Image Collections: the Iconology and Language Games of Pinterest

Description: As non-institutional digital image collections expand into social media, independent non-professional image curators are emerging, actively constructing alternative naming conventions to suit their needs in a social collecting environment. This project considers how independent user-curators are developing particular sense-making behaviors as they actively contribute names to large, unstructured social image collections. In order to capture and explore this evolving language adaptation, Pinterest names are analyzed using a matrix composed of Panofsky’s three strata of subject matter, Rosch’s levels of categorical abstraction, Shatford Layne’s image attributes and Wittgenstein’s language game constructions. Analyzing Pinterest image names illuminates previously unnoticed behaviors by independent user-curators as they create shared collections. Exploring the various language choices which user-curators select as they apply this new curating vocabulary helps identify underlying user needs not apparent in traditionally curated collections restricted to traditional naming conventions.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Sutcliffe, Tami

Identifying Key Success Factors for the Implementation of Enterprise Content Management Systems

Description: Enterprise content management (ECM) is an emerging research area that is beginning to find attention in academia. While the private sector has a growing industry and community for ECM, academia is starting to address this with direct links to the better-established areas of information systems and enterprise resource planning systems. ECM has been viewed as a higher-level concept of methods and strategies pertaining to content management in the context of the enterprise. Like many other organizational wide systems, ECM systems are complex, difficult to implement and risk failing to meet expected success measures. Definitions for what exactly constitutes an ECM system are still evolving. The major issues with ECM systems are that they are increasingly being implemented by organizations in an attempt to address the unmanageable amount of unstructured content over its lifecycle, compliance pressures, collaboration needs, content integrity and continuity, and controlling costs. However, the implementation problems are many and diverse, such as determining content and business processes to be included, determining technologies to fit the organizational needs, how to integrate with existing systems, and managing organizational culture and change for acceptance. There is currently little academic research in the area of ECM, and research determining the key factors that contribute to successful implementations of these systems is absent. This research addressed the existing gap in ECM research and investigated the key success factors for the implementations of ECM systems with the objectives of identifying a set of success factors. Guided by research in related areas and through developing a theoretical framework and the resulting research model, the study used a qualitative case study method to identify ECM implementation factors and their relationship to organizational culture and people, business processes, technology and organizational content. The results of this research were twofold, first by contributing needed research in the ECM ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Horne, Stephanie Burnett

The Information Politics Assessment Scale (Ipas): Developing and Testing an Instrument to Measure and Identify the Information Politics of Organizations

Description: Information politics is a concept widely acknowledged in several disciplines. However, scant empirical evidence exists in the literature that codifies or measures information politics as a construct. This exploratory study developed and tested the Information Politics Assessment Scale (IPAS), a survey instrument that measured individual perceptions of organizational information artifacts as indictors of its information politics. Data collected with the IPAS was examined to investigate the latent structure of the information politics variable, determine information politics models, and explore the relationship between information politics, strategy, and organization effectiveness. A purposive sample of 240 participants from a cross-section of organizations completed the IPAS in an online administration. Exploratory factor analysis generated three factors, labeled Behavioral Flexibility (BF), Environmental Sensitivity (ES), and Structural Autonomy (SA), suggesting three dimensions of the information politics variable. Cluster analysis of aggregate scores on the BF, ES, and SA factors together resulted in determining four distinct information politics models. Crosstab and ANOVA, respectively, enabled explaining the relationship between strategy and information politics, and how it influenced organization effectiveness. This study breaks ground by broadening the theoretical and empirical understanding of information politics in confirming the proposition that an organization’s information artifacts are measureable and reliable indicators of its information politics. Further, it supports the efficacy of the IPAS to identify the information politics model operating in a given organization.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Reed, Richard

Information Seeking Behaviors in a Population of Assistive Mobility Device Users

Description: The author explores the current state of information exchange and access in the procurement process for mobility assistive equipment. While the idealized model is of a linear process starting with a need and ending with the purchase, in practice the procedures for acquiring a device such as a wheelchair or electric scooter can be a time consuming task that involves client, family, medical care specialists, vendors, manufacturers, insurance companies and possibly alternate sources of funding. This study utilized Participatory Action Research (PAR) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data about information sources such as the Internet, the medical community, and vendors. The findings of this study suggest that in spite of the presence of the Internet, overall primary sources are similar to the traditional model and that for most there is no one source that could be easily accessed for information. A brief examination is made of the “Information landscape” utilized in the process and a brief discussion of two relatively unmentioned information sources: expos and the wheelchair sports community.
Date: May 2014
Creator: White, Mel

Toward a Grounded Theory of Community Networking

Description: This dissertation presents a preliminary grounded theory of community networking based on 63 evaluations of community networking projects funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) between 1994 and 2007. The substantive grounded theory developed is that TOP projects differed in their contribution to positive outcomes for intended disadvantaged community beneficiaries based on the extent and manner in which they involved the disadvantaged community during four grant process phases: partnership building, project execution, evaluation, and close-out. Positive outcomes for the community were facilitated by using existing communication channels, such as schools, to connect with intended beneficiaries; local financial institutions to provide infrastructure to support local trade; and training to connect community members to jobs. Theoretical contributions include situating outcomes for disadvantaged communities within the context of the grant process; introducing the “vulnerable community” concept; and identifying other concepts and properties that may be useful in further theoretical explorations. Methodological contributions include demonstrating grounded theory as a viable method for exploring large text-based datasets; paving the way for machine learning approaches to analyzing qualitative data; and illustrating how project evaluations can be used in a similar fashion as interview data. Practical contributions include providing information to guide community networking-related policies and initiatives from the perspectives of stakeholders at all levels, including establishing funded projects as local employment opportunities and re-conceptualizing sustainability in terms of human networks rather than technological networks.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Masten-Cain, Kathryn

The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific Communication Among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College

Description: The concept of the invisible college is a key focus of scientific communication research with many studies on this topic in the literature. However, while such studies have contributed to an understanding of the invisible college, they have not adequately explained the interaction of social and structural processes in this phenomenon. As a consequence, past research has described the invisible college differently based on researchers’ perspectives, resulting in misinterpretations or inconsistent definitions of the relevant social and structural processes. Information science and related disciplines have focused on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works while placing less emphasis on the social processes. To advance understanding of the invisible college and its dimensions (including both social processes and structural processes), a proposed model (Modern Invisible College Model, MICM) has been built based on the history of the invisible college and Lievrouw’s (1989) distinction between social and structural processes. The present study focuses on the social processes of informal communication between scholars via social media, rather than on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works. A developed survey and an employed quantitative research method were applied for data collection. The research population involved 77 scholars from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), in Saudi Arabia. Descriptive statistics, frequency and percentage were conducted for each statement. Means and standard deviations were calculated. The results indicate that the majority of participants heavily use social media for scientific communication purposes. Also, the results confirm that scholars consider social media to be an effective and appropriate tool for scientific communication. Seven factors were found in the findings to have positive correlations with uses and gratifications theory and the use of social media. This research contributes to and benefits scholars, reference groups (i.e., the invisible college itself), and institutions, and provides ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Algarni, Mohammed Ayedh