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No man is an island: social and human capital in IT capacity building in the Maldives

Adam, Mariyam S. and Urquhart, Cathy (2009) No man is an island: social and human capital in IT capacity building in the Maldives. Information and organization, 19 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1471-7727

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Abstract

In many developing countries, lack of IT skills and human capital impede the potential of IT investments in organizations in developing countries [Lee, J. (2001). Education for technology readiness: Prospects for developing countries. Journal of Human Development, 2(1), 115–151]. This paper draws upon theories of human and social capital, and knowledge, to explain enablers/obstacles for knowledge creation and transfer for IT capacity building in a tourism organization in a developing country – the Maldives. IT capacity building is intimately linked to knowledge and skills at the level of human resource development. Using the Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) [Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23, 242–267] framework for the role of social capital in knowledge creation and transfer, we examine the major issues of IT capacity building for the case organization. We conclude that the role of cognitive capital is the most important for the tourism sector of the Maldives, and may play a vital role in accumulating structural and relational capital, together with appropriate government policies on ICT.

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