Decentralization of IS in developing countries: power to the people?

Research paper by Geoff Walsham

Indexed on: 01 Jun '93Published on: 01 Jun '93Published in: Journal of Information Technology


This paper describes three case studies of large-scale decentralized computer-based information systems, two from developing countries and one from the UK. Some reasons for their relative success and failure are analysed, and impacts on the empowerment of staff and management control are discussed. These issues are related to a simple categorization of decentralized information systems dependent on their primary purpose and the approach taken to their design and implementation. Some conclusions are drawn on future desirable approaches to the development of large-scale decentralized information systems in a developing country context, and on the possible impacts of such systems for the empowerment of different social groups.