Preliminary Insights Into Research Motivations Of African Information Systems Researchers

ABSTRACT The field of Information Systems (IS) over the last 5 decades of its existence has witnessed diverse research works in the advanced as well as the developing economies. As new concepts and issues in Information Communication Technologies (ICT’s) continue to increase, continuous efforts are being made to document the research topics, theoretical applications and new trends. The advanced economies have predominantly set the pace and direction of research in the IS terrain. As a result, the IS field has further seen more research publications in the advanced economies. For the developing economies in Africa to catch up with the pace of ICT development in advanced economies, there is the need to understand how IS has been researched over the last decade in Africa. This study therefore did not only seek to explore the dominant trends, research themes and theories of IS in Africa but also serve as the basis to understanding motivations and trends in the development of IS in Africa over the last 5 years whilst making the study of ICT in Africa a good and attractive means of building knowledge in IS. This study initially used systematic literature review of 5 important IS related databases. The massive database search resolved 1,832 research articles of which 202 were used for the study. These articles covered seventy-three Journals. African countries ranked in the top 20 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) index which were captured in the study. Subsequently, two rounds of Delphi interviews were used to garner responses from researchers across three geographical regions in Africa: South, East and the West African region. Both rounds of the Delphi technique had sixteen respondents each out of the 73 respondents invited to contribute to the study. The data from the first round was analysed by content analysis whilst the second round of Delphi was analysed by using content validity. The findings established that the main research themes of studies undertaken by African IS researchers have been predominantly ‘support and implementation’ as well as the ‘adoption xiii and diffusion’. This finding was mainly prevalent in the Southern region of Africa namely: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and West African region of Africa namely: Ghana and Nigeria. From the findings, most studies conducted in the African IS field are atheoretical (without theories). Hence there is a need for more theories in is research from Africa. Nevertheless, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) and Unified Use of Technology Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) were theories that were identified to be mostly used by African IS researchers from the findings. Concerning the motivations that influence the selection of a publishing outlet or journal by an African IS researcher, the Research Topic and Area, Tier of the Journal, Recommendation from Other Researchers, Credibility with Respect to Peer ReviewLevel of Visibility, Ranking of Journal to mention a few, were the factors that the IS experts who partook in the studies agreed upon. The major motivations for studying certain research areas were determined as the ‘courses studied’, ‘the academic background of the researcher’, ‘personal interest’, ‘impact of research on development’, ‘new research trends’ as well as the ‘technological trends in the environment’. This study makes a key contribution to the existing body of IS knowledge and research by combining a rigorous systematic literature review as well as a Delphi technique in the same study to unearth the motivations that underpin the choices of African IS researchers. In relation to policy, it still remains true that the background of the researcher and the courses studied by the researcher influences some research decisions of African IS researchers. This provides the necessary basis to assert that policy makers must be ready to adjust the curriculum of universities and other higher learning institutions to provide sources of information that can stir up the interest of young researchers in emerging topics of research that have the potential 

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Africa, P. & LARKAI, D (2021). Preliminary Insights Into Research Motivations Of African Information Systems Researchers. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Africa, PSN, and DESMOND LARKAI "Preliminary Insights Into Research Motivations Of African Information Systems Researchers" Afribary. Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.


Africa, PSN, and DESMOND LARKAI . "Preliminary Insights Into Research Motivations Of African Information Systems Researchers". Afribary, Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. < >.


Africa, PSN and LARKAI, DESMOND . "Preliminary Insights Into Research Motivations Of African Information Systems Researchers" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 18, 2024.