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What Are the Three Pillars That Motivate ICT4D Champions?

By Guest Writer on August 16, 2023


What Motivates ICT4D Champions

The paper, What Motivates ICT4D Champions? seeks to identify the factors that motivate a person who champions ICT4D initiatives. Given the important contributions of ICT4D champions to initiative success, better understanding of their motivations holds the potential to identify, develop and deploy such individuals more effectively, harnessing their potential positive contributions to ICT4D initiative success.

A multiple case study strategy is used to explore the motivational factors of three successful ICT4D champions in the South African context. The Work Preference Inventory (WPI) of personal motivations was used to design in-depth interviews with the champions and semi- structured interviews with 29 other stakeholders. The paper makes two main contributions:

3 Pillars that Motivate ICT4D Champions

The paper offers a knowledge contribution about the characteristics of ICT4D champions by answering the research question concerning their personal identities, specifically by explicating the motivating factors that influence a person’s behavior who champion ICT4D initiatives. This finding is summarized as follows:

ICT4D champion motivations – the factors that influence their decisions when promoting ICT4D innovations – center around three pillars:

  • Personal actualization,
  • Business success,
  • Social concern.

On the one hand, these motivations are inextricably linked to the champions’ social context. On the other hand, they respond to their context by continually balancing these pillars in their decisions in order to succeed with the initiative. While all three pillars are important, a sense of prioritization is often given to addressing social concerns – this might be a characteristic that differentiates them from other champions of technological innovations .

We Can Define Motivational Profiles

Based on the evidence presented it is proposed that the motivational profile of stakeholders in an ICT4D initiative can quite easily and accurately be obtained; this will enable project managers to identify potential champions and create an organizational environment conducive to champion emergence.

Furthermore, a better understanding of the motivational factors of champions will enable managers to better support these key stake- holders thereby maximizing the potential positive influence on project success.

This research does not provide much details for implementing the practical suggestions, but this was not the aim at the outset of the paper; further work is needed to translate these recommendations into practice. This work is also bound by its limited scope to three cases in a single context; future research could extend these findings by investigating the motivational factors of ICT4D initiatives much more broadly.

A lightly edited synopsis of What Motivates ICT4D Champions? by Jaco Renken, University of Manchester

Filed Under: Reports
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