An assessment of the effectiveness of ICT adoption on Zimbabwean firms in the oil sector post dollarization
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The oil sector in Zimbabwe experienced mergers, acquisitions and relocation of some major oil players in the Petroleum industry soon after dollarization in 2009 and nothing much has changed in terms of how the firms operate. Their market pricing structure has remained virtually the same and there had been no meaningful growth of the sector, yet fuel is considered as the main driver of the economy of any country. Therefore, the assertion of the study is that if the oil sector is not managed effectively through ICT adoption, it would fail to drive the economy and all government effort would be wasted. This arises from the observation that during the post dollarization period the government commercialised the oil sector by allowing more fuel suppliers to emerge within the sector, unlike during the Zimbabwean currency era where The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) was the sole fuel supplier and distributor in the country. The main objective of the study was therefore premised on the examination of the effective management of business through ICT adoption within the Zimbabwean oil sector. Literature has shown that there was a problem of attempting to manage business through ICT adoption within the oil sector, not only in terms of ICT infrastructure deployment but also in the level of sophistication of ICT usage. The research also shows that indeed organisations within the sector were failing to fully utilise implemented ICTs. The study followed a qualitative research methodology that involved data collection through interviews and observation, the data was then categorised, coded and analysed manually. The key research finding has shown that the four interviewed organisations had adopted ICTs at their Head Offices, Depots and Retail Service stations. There were six major factors to ICT adoption decisions that were identified by the research findings. Furthermore, the results of the study agreed with literature review that there was indeed a relationship between strategy, people, processes and ICT adoption. The study acknowledges that success of technology was affected by the market, legal and social factors. IT also observed that ICTs alone cannot improve business processes without the effort of human element. Managers and management need to take their role of planning, leading, organising and controlling to ensure success of ICT adoption.