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Insourcing a government information system: a case study from Malaysia.

Omar, Azmi


Azmi Omar


Julian M. Bass

Peter Lowit

Mathew Nicho


Insourcing, outsourcing and co-sourcing are three approaches to procuring an information system. This research contributes to the body of knowledge on insourcing an information system; exploring and discussing the enabling and inhibiting factors of the insourcing of an information system in selected government agencies in Malaysia. This study was undertaken in response to a paucity of similar projects and a limited literature focused on developing countries. It considers the post outsourcing context following the decision to insource a major Malaysian Government Information System in 2011. A qualitative research method was used to obtain empirical evidence from selected government agencies through 69 semi-structured interviews in two data collection periods: 2013-2014 and 2015. Interviews were conducted with civil servants at all levels, from senior management to clerical staff, including users of the government information system. By using coding principles from grounded theory to analyse the data, seven exciters and six inhibitors of insourcing a government information system were identified and mapped in the analytical framework. Further, this is the first research to use an enhanced model, devised by combining the OPTIMISM model and two distinct theoretical traditions: institutional theory and the capability approach; in order to analyse the insourcing of government information system adoption. The enhanced model was created by mapping the OPTIMISM model (that has a set of dimensions) to an analytical framework comprising the capability approach, institutional theory and technology (ICTs). The main research contribution of this thesis is in the area of capacity building of the internal development team. The increased budget for training, the selection of appropriate training providers and knowledge sharing among experienced and novice developers all contribute to building capacity in the internal development team; and consequently help to improve the quality of the system which will improve service delivery to the general public. The approach and findings of this study contribute to the body of knowledge and understanding of the subject in government information system development and implementation, and can also be applied to improving the quality of service delivery. While this study has focused on government information systems, the wider area of eGovernment, and applications serving the needs of the general public, is equally important, and therefore the researcher suggests that insourcing eGovernment applications would also assist in the capacity building of internal IT staff.


OMAR, A. 2017. Insourcing a government information system: a case study from Malaysia. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 15, 2017
Keywords Insourcing; Outsourcing; Government information system; Institutional theory; The capability approach; OPTIMISM model; Exciters; Inhibitors; Semistructured interview; Qualitative methods
Public URL
Award Date Jun 30, 2017


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