A mobile based information system framework for the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry
In this information age, organizations rely heavily on information system (IS) as IS significantly influences a company’s competitive advantages, business operations and managerial decision. Companies across many industries are also capitalizing on the benefits of implementing mobile phone based information system (MBIS) to support collaborative work, decision making and the business processes to achieve efficient and effective business operations. While the potential that MBIS brings values to the customers, employees and business process is widely acknowledged, there is a dearth of empirical research, providing insights into how MBIS can actually contribute in the Bangladeshi RMG sector. In acknowledgement of this knowledge gap, the purpose of this thesis is to develop an MBIS framework for Ready-made garments (RMGs) in Bangladesh. This research is significant as there is relatively little known about the use of MBIS by RMGs in Bangladesh, despite the fact RMGs are a major source of foreign income in the country. However, informed by the background literature fields of IT, IS and MBIS, this study, theoretically builds upon affordance, empowerment and adoption theories. The study takes a critical realist approach, and in developing the framework, the research employed a mixed method approach, consisting of interviews and two focus group studies with RMGs, MTOs (Mobile telecommunication organizations) and government officials followed by a survey with RMG owners, managers and employees. In this study, I identified that MBIS offers twelve (12) affordances- Communication, Connectedness, Reduced lead time, Mobility, Agility, Coordination, Improved BP &decision making, Collaborative working, Goodwill development, Reduction of process loss, Inventory management and Good governance to Bangladeshi RMGs. Furthermore, this study identified empowerment as a crucial affordance rarely identified in prior literature. Following the empowerment affordance using MBIS, this study found access to information, competency, impact, self- determination and meaning were empowerment components for RMG workers. Improved communication, the opportunity to access employee regulations, access to health and safety information, increased confidence about ability, professional development opportunities were potential empowerment outcomes of using MBIS. As the research, seeks to identify a comprehensive range of both micro- and macro- level determinants of MBIS, the resulting framework included customer perspectives, organizational perspectives and country-level factors that impact on the adoption of MBIS by RMGs. From the adoption perspective factors, technological readiness, easy to learn MBIS technology, RMG capability, Government intervention and a supportive regulatory environment were found as macro level determinants of MBIS success. The micro-level customer centric factors that promote adoption were the advantages of MBIS, compatibility and perceived ease of use. Furthermore, a survey conducted in this study that explored the relative advantages of MBIS, cost and age of the users were also some micro-level customer perspective variables impacting upon intention to adopt MBIS. The framework will be of value to the RMGs, government, MTOs and MBIS developers in accelerating the development of MBIS in Bangladesh. This research is expected to support national policies, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2020 and the National IT Policy of Bangladesh. Furthermore, it has implications for other developing countries in improving the capacity of RMGs and realizing their own development goals through mobile technologies.