The origins of failure: seeking the causes of design–reality gaps
2016-10-14T13:06:32Z (GMT) by
The theory of design–reality gaps is an extant framework to explain failure of information systems in developing nations. This paper problematizes the nature of failure, with a particular focus on situations in which well-implemented systems, apparently corresponding to users’ views of reality, still fail to meet the expectations of their key stakeholders. To extend existing theory on this phenomenon, I advance a diagnostic model to identify the root causes of design–reality gaps. The model is illustrated through a case study of the Ration Card Management System in Kerala, South India: by capturing the causal chains underlying design–reality gaps, the model sets to trace the origins of failure, and the processes through which it is ultimately determined. The model I propose is both explanatory and normative, as it elicits causes of failure and serves as a basis to combat them.