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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1085

Title: Exploring the extent of use and adoption of free and open source software in a tertiary Institution in Ghana (Case study of KNUST)
Authors: Affum, Daniel
Issue Date: 23-Aug-2009
Abstract: The emergence of the information and mass communication age has brought to light the irrevocable important role that information, knowledge as well as technology play in facilitating the socio-economic development of a country. The use of ICT to develop, deploy and delivery services that enable efficiency at the work place is catching on in developing countries such as Ghana yet there is still so much that is needed to encourage the use of such technologies. Most of the software that are used in many educational institutions are proprietary and users need to pay for user licenses from the software owners. This research seeks to explore the potential of the adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) based on a framework developed from FOSS and Diffusion of Innovation theory in one of the leading tertiary educational institution in Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University Science Technology (KNUST). The study examined the extent of adoption and use of Free and open Source software at KNUST, FOSS innovations considered by KNUST, the challenges faced by KNUST in the adoptions and use of FOSS, possible solutions and finally a recommendation on critical issues to be considered for the effective implementation of FOSS innovations. A qualitative study with case study design was done. The study interviewed 12 permanent IT professional employees of the university, 22 national service personnel, 59 students randomly selected from specific colleges and 3 lectures. Also 500 out of the total 3000 plus computers that exist in the study area were randomly inspected to determine the operating environment as well as the type of FOSS user applications that were installed on them. The findings indicated that, although the advantages of FOSS for KNUST far overshadow the disadvantages of migrating from the operating platform, FOSS adoption was very low than what the study expected. Additionally in terms of cost, features specifications and support for the current hardware FOSS provides the alternate solution. However, KNUST's FOSS adoption and use has been a failure due to a wide variety of reasons notably among them are poor student and lecturer educational awareness, the inability of the university to adequately support the ICT staff to implement FOSS innovations, and an ICT policy which is not well elaborate on the use alternate operating environment at the university. Challenges to implementing FOSS initiatives at KNUST ranged from inadequate ICT infrastructure at the study site, poor ICT skills of most lecturers as well as students. There were also inadequate funds for the ICT staff to implement alternate systems such as FOSS initiatives. The results of this research are expected to make a THEORETICAL and/or PRACTICAL contribution to IS knowledge in proposing a Standard Operating Environment model based on FOSS and Dol.
Description: A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1085
Appears in Collections:Distance Learning

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