African business schools : information and communication technology survey23 January 2008
PURPOSE: The aim of this paper is to report on research into the status of information and communication technology in use at members of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). DESIGN / METHODOLOGY / APPROACH: The research reported on in this paper was carried out using a questionnaire sent by email to the target population (all the members of the AABS). The questionnaire covered a wide range of issues, including information technology strategy and governance, as well as the operational aspects of the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the institutions surveyed. Questions were based on topics identified from the literature and a recent industry survey conducted in one of the member countries, and the assessment criteria were based on a maturity rating scale. FINDINGS: This research helps to further an understanding of the use of ICT in the organisations that responded to the survey. Overall, there was a high level of understanding or applicability (over 95%) among the topics surveyed across all schools, but there was a significant proportion where no action on that topic had yet been taken (over 30% of all maturity ratings across all respondents). Average maturity rating across all topics for all respondents was 2.3 (action taken but an informal approach to the topic is currently used) on a scale from 0 to 5. Implications: This research has important implications for the organisations responding to the survey and their awareness of the issues they face as institutions that seek to leverage their investments in ICT to raise their own competitive position and thus that of African organisations which have students educated at these business schools. There are also implications for the future success of the newly-formed AABS and its other initiatives in terms of meeting the objectives of the Association. ORIGINALITY / VALUE: This research is original in terms of which there is a broad understanding of the extent to which ICT is available and in use amongst the members of the AABS. Prior to the foundation of the Association, no suitable forum existed for the conduct of this research. The originality therefore, is in the opportunity presented to form a broader understanding of the status of the use of ICT to support the activities of business schools across Africa. The value of this research may be applied to both those respondents to the survey, other members of the AABS and other business schools operating in Africa that wish to understand the issues in the field of ICT that they should be addressing.