Effective Implementation of Technology Innovations in Higher Education Institutions: A Survey of Selected Projects in Universities in Africa
Kandiri, John Mugo
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The significance of technology in higher education institutions cannot be overstated. Research indicates that though there is a degree of application of technology in teaching and learning, its usage has been below par as compared to other industries. Many models have been developed in attempt to explain how to spur effective implementation of technology use with little success. One such model is the organizational theory model. However, the role of sponsors, the team leader and innovation efficacy plus the underlying issues that affect innovation implementation have not been clearly addressed. This study used the Partnership for Higher Education, Education Technology Initiative projects to investigate the determinants of technology innovation implementation effectiveness in higher education institutions. These projects were implemented between 2008 and 2012 and endeavored to stimulate technology uptake in African universities. The study was based on 26 technology implementation projects drawn from seven universities spread in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The descriptive study adopted a critical realism method so as to unearth the issues that affect technology implementation effectiveness. A total of 105 usable survey responses were received with 53 interviews conducted. Due to the dichotomous nature of determining implementation effectiveness (successful or failure), logistic regression was used to determine the factors that influence technology innovation implementation effectiveness. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 17 and R-statistical package while data from interviews were analysed using theoretical thematic analysis method. The items within the broader variables were subjected to exploratory factor analysis using principal component method. It was found that 30 percent of the projects were partially successful since they met only some of the objectives, 55 percent had techno-political failure, with 15 percent absolute failures. The results showed that project sponsors, top management, organizational culture, team leadership, financial motivation, organizational climate and innovation efficacy were important determinant to technology implementation effectiveness. Technology framing, innovation environment and innovation attributes were found to be underlying issues in technology implementation. The study recommended need to manage technology transfer problem, develop innovation adopting nature and absorptive capacity in universities so as to enhance technology innovation implementation effectiveness.