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India’s emergence in the IT arena: Accident, luck or social engineering? (Research in Progress). Ramesh Subramanian Quinnipiac University – School of Business Hamden, CT 06518 USA [email protected] Motivations.

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india s emergence in the it arena accident luck or social engineering research in progress

India’s emergence in the IT arena: Accident, luck or social engineering?(Research in Progress)

Ramesh Subramanian

Quinnipiac University – School of Business

Hamden, CT 06518

USA

[email protected]

motivations
Motivations
  • History: a legitimate area of research in Management (Daniel Wren, 1987, 2003, 2004)
  • Shortage of historical research in Information Systems
  • History is especially important in understanding the intersection of organizations, information systems and society
indian it sector as a topic of study
Indian IT sector as a topic of study
  • Rapid emergence in the global IT services sector.
  • Fast becoming a favorite destination for software services such as help-desk, customer relations, back-end office processing, remote systems and network administration and more recently, IT research and development (R & D).
  • From a business-model perspective, India seems to have perfectly integrated both vertically and virtually in the range of IT services it provides to developed countries.
reasons for india s emergence kapur ramamurti 2001
Reasons for India’s “emergence”(Kapur & Ramamurti, 2001)
  • Successful immigrants from India who settled in the United States of America, and who started up several successful IT ventures.
  • These IT experts then played a major role in transferring their know-how to India, or set up collaborative IT ventures and development centers in India.
  • The IT industry in India received a major boost through the “year-2000” (Y2K) problem.
  • The economic downturn in 1999-2000 caused several US and European organizations to turn to software outsourcing for economic reasons
  • India clearly benefited by offering qualified, English-speaking manpower at a fraction of the costs of similarly trained manpower in the western countries.
questions
Questions
  • Are the often-stated reasons accurate?
    • What has led to India’s “emergence?”
    • What are the historical underpinnings?
    • What was the role of the government?
    • What was the role of the “free markets?”
    • What was the role of Indian society?
    • Who are/were the leading players?
    • Can this be emulated elsewhere?
    • What is likely to be the future?
this study
This study
  • A qualitative, historical study
    • Tries to identify and understand the roots of IT in India
    • Trace the evolution of the IT services sector in India
methodology
Methodology
  • Qualitative study
  • Evidence (data) is collected from in-depth interviews and published literature
  • The primary sources of this research include interviews with government officials and leading IT industry professionals
  • Secondary resources include published articles in journals, conferences and web-based literature
  • Our main “hypothesis” is that the development and growth of India’s IT services sector is not a “spurt” phenomenon that occurred in the last 15 years, but is a continuous, evolutionary process that has its origins much before India’s Independence in 1947
progress so far
Progress so far…
  • Interviews with Indian IT persona:
    • The subjects include a cabinet secretary in the government who served under four of India’s Prime Ministers and actually helped write India’s IT policy, a head of research in a specialized IT laboratory, academics and entrepreneurs
  • “Current” literature review
  • Historial literature review
  • Currently analyzing data
progress so far1
Progress so far…
  • Analysis phase: Initial results
    • There has been a more gradual, planned, or evolutionary path in India’s development in the IT sector
    • The roots of India’s IT prowess can be traced to India’s Independence movement
    • Central planning and the quest for self-reliance played a big role in building strong foundations
    • The same central planning also stifled the IT sector
    • A combination of strong foundation and macro-economic conditions have played a big part in the emergence of the Indian IT services sector
offshoots
Offshoots
  • Roots of E-governance in India
  • Applying critical social theories to the architects of technology development in India
  • Cross-national studies of IT emergence
  • Socio-cultural issues and IT development
questions for oasis
Questions for OASIS
  • This seems to be interesting, but will it become “acceptable” research?
  • Can you suggest any ideas to enhance this work?
  • Is there any theoretical background I can lean on? (i.e., complexity theory, chaos theory)
  • What could be possible avenues for publishing this?
  • Can we have an IT history track at ICIS/AMCIS?
  • Is there a Journal of IT history? Should there be one?
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