Academic journal article International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies

Information Technology for Enhancing Ngos' Performance in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Academic journal article International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies

Information Technology for Enhancing Ngos' Performance in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The current research aims to investigate the situation of the NGOs in the Kingdom of Bahrain from many aspects: types of IT adopted, reasons behind adopting IT, obstacles to adopting IT, perception of the impact of adopting IT to enhance organizational performance, and perception of the importance of using the Internet and web-based technology in enhancing NGOs' organization services. Based on the investigation, a framework for adopting IT by NGOs in the Kingdom of Bahrain was developed. The findings of this research are particularly applicable to the NGOs' executives and administrators to enhance their awareness of the importance of IT in handling various NGOs' tasks such as managing organization information, enhancing communication with staff and volunteers, performing effective administrative work, and more, which should reflect on their decisions about when to adopt IT in their organizations.

Keywords: NGOs, Kingdom of Bahrain, Organizational Performance, Information Technology

1. INTRODUCTION

Due to governmental reform, the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) has become more crucial in accelerating the economic and social development in any country. Therefore, a number of NGOs have participated in social welfare, community construction, and other public service activities as an effort to form a new cooperative relationship with the government1. Compared to the governmental organizations, NGOs are less bureaucratic. They are very much concerned about the daily lives of people and communities, and this makes them highly prepared to "speak and act on behalf of the chosen causes"2. Moreover, due to the continuous changes in technologies innovation, Information Technology (IT) strategies, and IT security and regularity issues, NGOs-like other organizations-are operating in a dynamic environment3. Therefore, within NGOs, the need to use IT to manage information, communicate with staff and volunteers, perform accounting, and handle various other tasks continues to grow4.

The current research aims to investigate the current situation regarding the adoption and use of IT by the NGOs in the Kingdom of Bahrain from the following aspects: 1) types of IT adopted and reasons and obstacles for adopting IT, 2) perception of the impact of using IT to enhance the organizational performance, and 3) the importance of using the Internet and web-based technology in enhancing NGOs' services. Based on the investigation, a framework for adopting IT by NGOs in the Kingdom of Bahrain will be developed.

2. RESEARCH BACKGROUND

2.1 IT and NGOs

IT could serve NGOs in different ways; it could improve productivity, increase the overall effectiveness through better collaboration, and extend services to new communities in need5, 6. Moreover, IT can be a powerful force that opens exciting opportunities for NGOs to achieve their missions and goals in an effective way. Therefore, leaders in NGOs must obtain an overall appreciation of the potential of IT and link the acquisition and utilization of IT to the organizational mission6. The impact of IT on NGOs' services and performance has been examined by many studies7, 8. Although most of these studies have suggested that IT plays a vital role in improving the quality and quantity of information, its potential for adoption and innovation is often uncertain9.

Historically, NGOs have been behind their corporate counterparts in adopting IT4 and have been relatively slow to take advantage of emerging IT10. Most of the NGOs adopt the traditional (manual) methods by using computers for word processing, spreadsheet and accounting applications11, and managing a patchwork of old and new elements that often do not work well together4. NGOs, unlike their corporate counterparts, face some constraints that inhibit them from adopting IT. These inhibiters include a lack of budget to invest in the latest and greatest systems and IT tools, a lack of sustainable capital for IT investment, an inability to pay competitive salaries to technical personnel, and an inability to build the needed technical skills11. …

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