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Title: Technology investment decision making : an integrated analysis in UK Internet banking
Author: Samakovitis, Georgios
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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The research addresses the problem of technological investment decision making (TIDM) in UK Banks. It focuses on Internet banking technologies and uses interviews with bank executives and industry practitioners to form a coherent understanding of how technological decisions are practically made and what, in that process, is the role of evaluation techniques. Aims are (1) to identify and explain the discord between formal and practical evaluations of technologies, (2) to review the role of expert professional groups in defining the norms of evaluation, and (3) to develop a model to reflect the reality of TIDM in UK banking. The ultimate aim is to contribute to reducing the ambiguity that notoriously characterises the evaluation of new technology. According to the theoretical framework the TIDM problem is socially constructed by expert groups (actors) who either participate in decision-making or assume roles in developing methodologies for facilitating it. Its ultimate shape is the outcome of negotiations between these viewpoints, in light of expert power positions and political advocacy. Three classes of such “actors” are identified: (1) Practitioners, namely experts in Financial Institutions, (2) Observers, academic researchers, consultants and government bodies, and (3) the Community of Received Wisdom, comprising the commonly understood views on what TIDM is and how it should be made. A novel methodological approach, Informed Grounded Theory (IGT), proposes that viewpoints are by default informed by individuals’ academic and professional training; thus, past theory should not be considered as a contaminating factor for the data and their interpretation, but as integral part of it. Key findings concern (1) the unconventional usage of financial and other formal methodologies in TIDM practice, (2) the highly political role of dominant expert groups and the resulting dynamics of their development, (3) the influence of the wider economic cycles on how technological value is perceived and (4) the changing role of the Finance function in technological investment justification. The core conclusion is that TIDM in UK banks is an act of justification and advocacy, far more than it is an assessment process; valuation techniques play an ancillary role in ascertaining views often founded on purely strategic or political grounds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available