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Doctoral Degrees (Information Systems and Technology)

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    Developing a predictive model using Twitter dataset for recruiting job-fit candidates in higher education institutions.
    (2022) Vela, Junior Vela.; Subramaniam, Prabhakar Rontala.
    Organisations in a variety of industries are being confronted with challenging issues and trends like population changes, globalisation, and high-performance expectations. Thus, in such a competitive market, organizations have begun to pay particular attention to the recruitment and selection process, as people are their most precious assets. Employees are the most important part of any organisation as they offer values and perspectives. Employees are generally products of universities and colleges. The growth of any university depends on its ability to recruit and select qualified employees in terms of skills, knowledge, behaviour, and attitudes at all levels. However, the key aspects involved in the staff selection process, have not been thoroughly investigated. The selection process that includes interview sessions has not attracted much research. It is argued that a job interview may fail to provide a true picture of the suitability of a job candidate. As some candidates use deceptive ingratiation by claiming to correspond to the interviewers and/or organization’s values, beliefs, opinions, or attitudes to appear more appealing or pleasant, thus misleading the interviewers into selecting them for the jobs. Interview faking appears to be hard to detect, and methods for reducing it are hardly available. Nevertheless, it is important to assess the attitudinal suitability of potential academics. This can be done through various techniques such as machine learning and deep learning using social media platforms such as Twitter. Social media is an important aspect of people’s lives nowadays. As people increase their digital presence on social networking sites, the use of social media as a recruiting channel is slowly gaining momentum. This study aimed at determining how the suitability of academics can be classified using Twitter dataset. To this end, the design and development of deep learning job-fit predictive artefacts using Twitter dataset followed rigorous steps of the design science methodology. The results of this study reveal that academic suitability can be predicted using deep learning methods. This study recommends that Universities, Higher education departments consider using artefacts based on social media datasets as supplement tools to enhance the recruitment and selection process.
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    Towards improving teaching and learning in colleges of education using mobile learning – the Nigerian perspective.
    (2017) Chaka, John Gyang.; Govender, Irene.
    The teaching and learning conditions, for example classrooms, learning materials, and manpower in colleges of education in Nigeria, which were established with a mandate to train foundation-level (primary school) teachers, are grossly inadequate. Compounding the situation is the high population growth and the high level of insurgency in Nigeria. The result is poor access to education, inadequate training of teachers and an overall negative effect on nation building. This study considers m-learning (mobile learning), as one viable way of addressing some of the challenges. To explore this possibility, the study is conducted in two stages. A mixed methods approach is employed across the entire study. The main research strategies used are surveys and interviews while observations are used in some cases. The preliminary stage investigates the perceptions of stakeholders or possible factors that may influence their intention to use m-learning. Study samples of 375 and 30 were used for the quantitative and qualitative components respectively. First, the preliminary study explored the experiences and usage of mobile devices by stakeholders, thereafter, their perceptions or factors that may have some influence on their intention to use mobile learning and social networking sites were ascertained. The second stage tests the implementation of the m-learning approach in four courses in colleges of education using study samples of 330 and 15 for the different components. While the preliminary study is guided by UTAUT (a subset of the conceptual framework), the second stage is underpinned by the entire conceptual framework derived from UTAUT, information systems success model and educational use of the Facebook model. Descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling (SEM) are applied to analyse the quantitative data while the qualitative data is analysed using content analysis aided by Nvivo. Findings from the preliminary stage reveal that stakeholders are positive about mobile learning, signalling their readiness to accept the technology. In the final stage, the study reveals that m-learning significantly improves the teaching and learning conditions in colleges of education, specifically by reducing the inadequacies of physical facilities, and by improving the reading culture and performance of students. The results further indicate that most of the stakeholders are satisfied with the benefits of m-learning and wish to continue using the technology. The research also contributes to theory and practice, extending m-learning implementation literature, through the development of an m-learning implementation model, which will be of value to colleges of education in Nigeria and beyond.
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    Towards an integrated e-government framework for housing and urban development agencies: a case study in Lagos state Nigeria.
    (2017) Mosud, Yinusa Olumoye; Govender, Irene.
    The urgent demand for efficient and effective delivery of housing and urban development services, especially building permit services to facilitate housing development necessitated this study. Housing and Urban Development Agencies (HUDAs) are important government service delivery sectors, where the implementation of an integrated electronic government (e-Government) is a necessity. In the present Lagos State of Nigeria, anecdotal evidence and insight indicates that the process of acquiring development permits has proven extremely difficult, whereby citizens have to consult diverse agencies before obtaining their permits. This condition has created gaps between the citizens’ expectations and services rendered by the Lagos State HUDA. Consequently, this study proposes a conceptual framework for integrating the Lagos State Government HUDA. The framework is underpinned by technology-organisationenvironment model and complemented with some elements of drivers-barriers and threequarter moon models. The study adopts a case study approach which focuses on government to government and government to citizens in the Lagos State HUDA. Moreover, an in–depth investigation of the agencies’ information technology was conducted utilising both primary and secondary sources. The main data collection instrument used was interview and complemented with questionnaire. From the research findings, the factors (technological, organisational and environmental), the perceptions (barriers, benefits and risk) as well as the major stakeholders and their activities influencing integrated e–Government implementation in the Lagos State HUDA were determined. These were compared with those expounded in the existing literature, although some were specifically applicable to the Lagos State HUDA context. Based on the thematic analysis of the qualitative data and the statistical analysis of the quantitative data, some factors were newly derived while others were validated from the research findings. These factors were used to examine and validate the conceptualised integrated e-Government framework statistically. Hence, an innovative model that provides a holistic perspective for the implementation of integrated e-Government in the Lagos State (i-eGovF4Lag) HUDA was developed. The framework would contribute to a new generation of knowledge in the electronic government field and also help the policy makers to identify and proffer solutions to the challenges hindering the successful implementation of ICT initiatives in Nigeria and other developing nations.
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    Reducing under-five mortality in Makonde district’s public healthcare institutions: an exploratory investigation into the potential role of emerging technologies.
    (2022) Batani, John.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Under-five mortality rate remains unacceptably high globally, with Sub-Saharan Africa being the region with the worst under-five mortality outcomes. The United Nations reported that an average of 15 000 under-fives died daily in 2018, translating to 5.3 million under-fives dying annually. The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) estimated that up to 5.5 million under-fives died in 2021. The outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) worsened the situation for child healthcare in low-resource settings due to overwhelmed and strained healthcare systems. Promoting the health and well-being of under-fives remains a priority of the United Nations and its member states, as evidenced by the setting of under-five mortality goals in both the expired Millennium Development Goals and the current Sustainable Development Goals. Globally, under-five mortality outcomes are meagrely improving, registering a 4 per cent improvement in 18 years. Zimbabwe is one of the countries with high under-five mortality rates, with the Midlands and Mashonaland West provinces having the worst under-five mortality rates, according to the 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report. Despite the evidence of emerging technologies helping to reduce under-five mortality rates in other regions and countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom and South-West Nigeria, the potential of such technologies to reduce under-five mortality rates in Zimbabwe’s public healthcare institutions has not been explored. Although Zimbabwe has registered improvements in under-five mortality rates over the years through such programmes as free healthcare for under-fives in public health facilitie s, child immunisation programmes, provision of nutritional supplements and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), the rates are still unacceptably high and above the SDG target of 23 per 1 000 live births, making Zimbabwe ranked amongst the fifty countries with the highest early childhood mortality in the world. The country’s poor under-five mortalit y rates suggest that the existing methods need to be complemented by different approaches. Guided by three theoretical frameworks, the Diffusion of Innovation, the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and the Capabilities Approach, the researcher explored the potential role of emerging technologies in reducing under-five mortality in Makonde District, Zimbabwe. The key deliverables of this study included a framework for the adoption of emerging technologies to reduce under-five mortality in resource-constrained settings like Makonde district. An exploratory sequential mixed-methods design was used, in which 20 healthcare professionals from Makonde public health facilities participated in interviews and a focus group, while 90 healthcare professionals and 391 mothers of under-five children xi responded to questionnaires. The researcher used purposive and snowball sampling to identify interview and focus group participants, where experience and whether one works in the paediatric ward, works with children or pregnant women were critical considerations. Mothers of under-fives were randomly sampled. The study revealed that the participants arguably value under-fives the most and would accept any technology intended to improve their health and wellbeing. They perceive emerging technologies as helpful in areas like improving diagnosis, minimising loss to follow-ups and providing data-driven, evidence-based and personalised paediatrics. The impediments to adoption included the fear of medico-legal hazards, centralisation of digital health decision-making, network problems, resistance to change and demoralised workforce. There is generally poor knowledge of emerging technologies by healthcare professionals in Makonde District. The study proffers recommendations on what needs to be done for emerging technologies to be adopted in Makonde District’s public healthcare institutions to reduce under-five mortality. An adoption framework is also presented.
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    Factors affecting adoption of mobile health among healthcare workers in Nigeria.
    (2023) Adegbola, Omotanwa Moji.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Mobile technology has been shown to play a significant role in the healthcare sector, especially in developing countries, because of their capacity in addressing some of the sector’s difficulties. One of the numerous benefits of m-health is that it is an affordable solution that increases access to health services. Despite the recognised benefits associated with m-health technology, there are concerns about the reasons why its adoption is relatively low in emerging economies. Therefore, this study was undertaken to examine the factors influencing the adoption of m-health from the perspective of healthcare workers and hospital management in Nigeria. The research explored the information and communication technologies available in Nigerian hospitals, and afterwards, the knowledge of healthcare workers on m-health technology and its uses was examined. Next, the individual, technological, organizational and environmental determinants of m-health technology were investigated. The study adopted a positivist standpoint in conducting the research. A survey design was employed for the study, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The population of the study consisted of healthcare workers in Nigeria and the sample was drawn from six healthcare facilities in Lagos State, using stratified random sampling and purposive sampling. Quantitative data were collected through questionnaires from 201 healthcare workers, while qualitative data were collected through interviews with three hospital managers. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to analyse quantitative data, while the qualitative data were analysed with Nvivo software. The Unified Theory of the Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), and the Technology, Organization, and Environment (TOE) Framework underpin this study. The findings revealed the existence of ICT in all the hospitals surveyed and the common ICT tools used were the internet and mobile phones. Also, the findings showed a relatively good knowledge of m-health among healthcare workers. Lastly, self-efficacy, experience, effort expectancy, government support and external support were found to be factors that influence m-health adoption in Nigeria.The primary recommendation is that, in order to enhance effective service delivery, standard ICT policies that support the integration of mobile device use for the provision of healthcare throughout the country be established.
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    Fuzzy-based machine learning for predicting narcissistic traits among Twitter users.
    (2022) Mursi, Japheth Kiplang’at.; Subramaniam, Prabhakar Rontala.; Govender, Irene.
    Social media has provided a platform for people to share views and opinions they identify with or which are significant to them. Similarly, social media enables individuals to express themselves authentically and divulge their personal experiences in a variety of ways. This behaviour, in turn, reflects the user’s personality. Social media has in recent times been used to perpetuate various forms of crimes, and a narcissistic personality trait has been linked to violent criminal activities. This negative side effect of social media calls for multiple ways to respond and prevent damage instigated. Eysenck's theory on personality and crime postulated that various forms of crime are caused by a mixture of environmental and neurological causes. This theory suggests certain people are more likely to commit a crime, and personality is the principal factor in criminal behaviour. Twitter is a widely used social media platform for sharing news, opinions, feelings, and emotions by users. Given that narcissists have an inflated self-view and engage in a variety of strategies aimed at bringing attention to themselves, features unique to Twitter are more appealing to narcissists than those on sites such as Facebook. This study adopted design science research methodology to develop a fuzzy-based machine learning predictive model to identify traces of narcissism from Twitter using data obtained from the activities of a user. Performance evaluation of various classifiers was conducted and an optimal classifier with 95% accuracy was obtained. The research found that the size of the dataset and input variables have an influence on classifier accuracy. In addition, the research developed an updated process model and recommended a research model for narcissism classification.
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    Information and communication technology as a tool for craft market traders in promoting community tourism.
    (2017) Mkhize, Thokozani Agnes.; Klopper, Rambrandt.
    This is an interdisciplinary study, taking information and communication technology (ICT) as a point of departure, incorporating tourism, art and craft, e-business and community development as the field of knowledge. The craft market traders around Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (HIP) lack essential business tools, such as ICT devices, to improve craft market trading with tourists, nationally and internationally, without the intervention of the middleman, who could help to enable sustainable community development. Craft market traders manufacture or produce their crafts using natural resources such as Juncus maritimus and thatch grass for mats, bowls and hats. They use tree trunks and natural wood for sculptures and meat platters. Most of these natural resources are already depleted outside the protected areas and local communities have to rely on natural resources inside the park. Harvesting without permission in the park is illegal. The researcher has provided a step-by-step outline on how she intends to execute the logical chain of events that would produce solutions to the problems identified and answers to critical questions. The researcher examined the historical background of craft, the cultural background of the craft market traders and ICT devices that can improve their business performance. The business sector, as well as government, played a role in the success of this research. ABSA Bank and the Department of Economic Development were engaged. There are possible positive outcomes, such as the installation of an ABSA automatic teller machine in HIP. The overall objective of the research was to find solutions that can enhance the standard of living of the local communities, by increasing the employment rate in terms of craft market traders selling their craft, nationally and internationally.
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    User interactive service provisioning framework for enhancing citizens’ adoption of mobile enabled government services in Tanzania.
    (2020) Goyayi, Maria Lauda Joel.; Subramaniam, Prabhakar Rontala.
    Mobile enabled government (m-government) services are trending due to the envisaged efficiencies in time, access, and freedom of movement that mobile and wireless technology accords public administration and service provision. These benefits are only attainable if citizens adopt m-government services. However, adoption of m-government services has persistently continued to be a challenge worldwide. Consequently, this study investigates the challenges associated with citizens’ adoption of m-government services and recommends a service-provisioning framework to mitigate the identified challenges. The framework is informed by a holistic examination of both provision and consumption perspectives towards m-government service adoption. The provision perspective focuses on unveiling the provisioning practices, while the consumption perspective focuses on identifying factors that influence citizens’ adoption decisions for m-government services. The study applied a mixed-methods approach in a two-phased research process, that is, the adoption challenges identification and the framework evaluation. It employed a questionnaire and interview approach to collect data in the adoption challenges identification phase, and a mix of open- and closed-ended questions for the framework evaluation phase. A total of 396 citizens constituted the sample for the quantitative part, and 16 employees from four participating government organisations constituted the sample for the qualitative part of the challenge identification phase. In the framework evaluation phase, a sample of 12 experts was consulted to assess the viability of the developed service-provisioning framework to mitigate the citizens’ adoption challenges for m-government services. The study used the structured equation modeling (SEM) technique for quantitative data analysis and a thematic analysis technique for the qualitative data. Findings indicate that while emotional and cognitive factors significantly affect citizens’ adoption decisions, they are negligibly addressed in the current provisioning practices for m-government services. Hence, the developed service-provisioning framework advocates for an interactive citizen-centric provisioning practice to facilitate mitigating the adoption challenge. Findings for the framework evaluation divulge that the framework is suitable in addressing citizens’ challenges in adopting m-government services. Thus, the constructed framework will assist government organisations in Tanzania to develop and provide highly adoptable m-government services. This study recommends ongoing IT skills building trainings for both citizens and public officers to facilitate awareness and acceptance of m-government services.
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    The role of ICT in enhancing transparency in public funds management in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    (2021) Itulelo, Imaja Matiyabu.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    ICT includes any communication device namely radio, television, cell phones, computer, and satellite systems that retrieve, store, manipulate, receive, or transmit information electronically in digital form. Transparency refers to openness and honesty, and is considered as a pillar of good governance. ICT is actually applied for the purpose of increasing efficiency, citizen participation and transparency in government procedures and functions. Using the Capabilities, Empowerment, and Sustainability (CES) Model, this research investigates how ICT can be used to enhance transparency in public funds management in the DRC. It investigated processes in place for public funds collection and allocation; identified the challenges related to the implementation of ICT for improving transparency in public funds collection and allocation; and establishes the determinants of ICT for transparency in public funds management. At the national level, interviews were conducted with government officials from the National Ministry of Finance and the National Ministry of Budget. At the Provincial level, interviews were conducted with government officials from the Provincial Ministry of Finance and the Provincial Ministry of Budget and tax officials from the institutions that are concerned with funds collection (DGRAD, DGI and DPMER). Findings revealed that there are few mechanisms in place to ensure transparency in public funds collection and ICT is not used in public funds collection and allocation. Further, findings revealed that the challenges of using ICT for public funds collection and allocation are political, socio-economic and technical. In addition, findings revealed that there are lack of mechanisms to ensure the implementation of ICT in public funds collection and allocation and the barriers of using ICT in public funds collection and allocation were presented. Furthermore, findings revealed that there is a lack of formal mechanisms to inform the community about the taxes and ICT is not used in any process of paying taxes within the community. The barriers of using ICT in the community were presented and solutions were provided to ensure the use of ICT for public funds management. This research suggests a framework for the adoption of ICT to enhance transparency in Public Funds Management in the DRC.
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    Digital skills preparedness of higher education students for the “Real Estate, Finance and Business” sector in South Africa.
    (2020) Civilcharran, Surika.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    The 21st century is experiencing rapid technological advancements. Industry need to keep abreast of these advancements, in order to remain competitive. These rapid technological advancements create added pressure for higher education institutions to equip their graduates to meet industry demands. This means that graduates must possess the digital intelligence necessary for the workplace, in order to ensure a thriving economy. Research further suggests that society has high expectations of universities to provide employable graduates. However, with the job market changing so rapidly, universities are finding it difficult to deliver digitally prepared graduates to industry. Furthermore, while researchers view digital skills with the same importance as reading or arithmetic, the South African Qualifications Authority have not yet established and implemented a digital skills framework in their South African National Qualifications Framework with the aim of reducing the digital skills gap. It is therefore important to understand the digital skills that are required of graduates by industry, the digital skills gap between graduates’ digital abilities and the expectations of industry. Further to this, it is also essential to identify the incessant challenges that create the lag in the delivery of adequately equipping graduates with the necessary digital skills, as well as the challenges that impedes the alignment between industry requirements and higher education offerings. In order to achieve these aims, the study adopted a multiphase mixed methods approach, constituting three phases: (1) quantitative, (2) quantitative, and (3) qualitative. In phase one, professionals from the Real-Estate, Finance and Business Services sector in South Africa were surveyed by means of convenience sampling. In phase two, final year commerce students from the top four universities in South Africa that typically feed into the said industry sector, were surveyed by way of proportionate cluster sampling. In phase three, the academic leader of teaching and learning, or the equivalent, from each of the top four universities were purposively selected for structured interviews. Phase one of the study has identified and outlined the digital skills that are required by the Real Estate, Finance and Business Services sector in South Africa, in addition to the level of importance of each digital skill from three individual constructs, namely use of software applications and Web tools, use of information systems, and security measures in digital environments. The results from phase one similarly prompted the development of the proposed digital skills framework, which was designed to be versatile and may be used as a ‘blueprint’ for other industry sectors in South Africa, as well as by other countries to determine the digital skills needed for their industry sectors(s). Phase two results indicated that South African higher education institutions are not adequately preparing their students to meet the requirements of the said industry sector, and this is attributable to a number of challenges. The results from phase three presents ten challenges that hinders the alignment of academic curricula to industry’s digital skills requirements. It further presents the mechanisms used to address the digital skills expected of graduates by industry, in addition to higher education’s envisaged transformation needed to ensure that their digital skills offerings are aligned to industry requirements. These findings will help higher education institutions to systematically align their curricula to meet this sector’s digital skills need. Additionally, the proposed framework may be used to periodically determine the changing needs of the said sector, and may be applied by researchers to determine the digital skills requirements of other industry sectors within South Africa, as well as globally. Furthermore, scholars may use this framework to underpin their study by building additional constructs/items onto it that was not considered in this study. It can be further used as a benchmark by tertiary institutions to determine probable curriculum inadequacies. These findings will also help government in understanding the type of support required by higher education institutions to ensure that graduates are adequately equipped with the necessary digital skills for the said industry sector, which will ultimately sustain the economy and reduce the unemployment rate of graduates that ought to feed into Real-Estate, Finance and Business Services sector of South Africa.
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    The interpretation and application of triangulation in information systems research.
    (2020) Mutinta, Given Chigaya.; Govender, Irene.; McArthur, Brian Walter.
    Scholars argue that a single research method is inadequate to investigate a complex phenomenon. As a result, there is growing interest in academic communities in the practicability of mixing research techniques in a process of triangulation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interpretation and application of triangulation within the disciplines of information systems (IS) at four universities in South Africa; the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Cape Town, the University of the Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch University. This study employed the exploratory and descriptive research designs, and mixed methods. The target population were academic staff in the IS disciplines. Census and purposive sampling were used to select participants for the quantitative and qualitative study respectively. A sample size of fifty (50) and eight (8) academics was drawn for the quantitative study and qualitative study respectively. Data was collected using document collection, questionnaires, and in-depth interviews. In-depth interviews and documents were analysed using thematic analysis technique. Questionnaires were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.1. The findings show that all (100 per cent) respondents were aware of triangulation. Data source triangulation (100.0 per cent) and methodological (82.4 per cent) are the most known types of triangulation. Methodological (90.2 per cent), investigator (67.0 per cent), data source (65.6 per cent), space (60.8 per cent), theory (52.9 per cent), time (41.1 per cent) and analyst (14.0 per cent) triangulation are the most used in this order. In spite of high respondents’ high levels of knowledge of triangulation, the seven types of triangulation are mainly used to validate research findings and explain research problems. There is thus a gap between the knowledge of triangulation and application of triangulation. IS academics find it easy to use data source (65.6 per cent), time (45.3 per cent), methodological (37.0 per cent), investigator (35.0 per cent), time (40.0 per cent), time (29.0 per cent), and space triangulation (23.5 per cent) in this order. Intradisciplinary triangulation is the most used than interdisciplinary triangulation. The findings indicate that academics with doctorates find it easier to use different types of triangulation than those with master’s degrees. The findings show that the frequently used type of triangulation is data source (19.0 per cent) and methodological (14.0 per cent). Largely, the study suggests that triangulation should be interpreted as Data source, Investigator, Theoretical, Methodological, Analyst, Space, and Time (DITMAST) triangulation, and to be used to Validate findings, Explain research problem, Enrich research instruments, and Refute findings (VEER). There is need to empower IS academics with knowledge on the interpretation of the different types of triangulation (DITMAST) and their application (VEER) in research.
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    User acceptance of systems for archiving and securing degree certificates and related documents.
    (2019) Myeza, Philisiwe Joyce.; Blackledge, Jonathan Michael.; McArthur, Brian Walter.
    Changing economic circumstances have led to the investigation of alternative solutions to economic problems. This has had an impact on communities who see academic qualifications as a solution to securing employment. With the increase in job opportunities requiring suitable qualifications, an increase in ‘qualification competition’ has occurred. This has resulted in academic qualifications being seen as a ‘key’ to securing employment. Unfortunately, such a perception has caused many individuals to pursue opportunities using ‘quick fix’ solutions and acquiring academic qualifications through breaches of security around these qualifications. Higher Education is one of the many sectors that is battling with security issues of this type. In South Africa alone, for the past few years, there has been a considerable increase in cases of persons who have been found to have faked either their senior certificates or university degrees, including doctorates. This is becoming a growing concern as it taints the image of the higher education sector in South Africa, and places at risk international relationshipsin higher education and beyond that the country has enjoyed over many years. Many education sectors are based on security systems in which the basic data of a person’s name and surname, for example, are retained when they graduateand the qualification they have legitimately received is recorded. This data is used when a re-print of a certificate is required. Though this method has been working well for some time, it has developed major flaws, in line with the sophistication of information and communications technology in general. This applies especially to the ability to edit e-versions of a certificate using image processing software. Thus, proper verification of the data captured in an e-version or hardcopy of a certificate (when reprinted, for example), represents an increasing risk, and, in some cases, results in a breach of security. Furthermore, some individuals have found ways to e-edit and print their own certificates, which look effectively identical to the authenticated certificates. While the emerging trend in various sectors is to store all data using the appropriate technology tools as a security measure for protecting information, organizations are becoming exposed to cybercrimes. As a result, data security has increasingly become a cause for concern. What is most disturbing, is that computer security breaches have increased, and in many cases, shown to be the result of ‘insider misuse and abuse’ of the information security measures established by an organization. It is for this reason that the current study and the work reported in this thesis has been undertaken and involves a focus on understanding what causes users to accept and follow an organization’s information systems security measures. The study is informed by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), as a framework to explore securing and archiving academic transcripts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The results showed that the intention of the UKZN staff to use the system positively, relates to their performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions. The use of UTAUT in a mixed methods study within an academic environment assesses the existing measures of securing and archiving academic transcripts and identifies various weaknesses in the current system. Based on the findings of the study, the steganographic method is demonstrated and suggested as an improved method of securing and archiving academic certificates at UKZN. The original contribution is an in-depth study at UKZN that answered the user acceptance research questions and demonstrated the practical application of the steganographic method in securing and archiving data.
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    Bridging the training needs of cybersecurity professionals in Mauritius through the use of smart learning environments.
    (2020) Sungkur, Roopesh Kevin.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Teaching and Learning confined to within the four walls of a classroom or even online Learning through Massive Online Courses (MOOCs) and other Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) are no longer seen as the optimal approach for competency and skills development, especially for working professionals. Each of these busy learners have their own training needs and prior knowledge. Adopting the one-size-fits-all teaching approach is definitely not effective, motivating and encouraging. This is why this research presents the use of SMART Learning Environment that makes use of Intelligent Techniques to personalise the learning materials for each learner. It has been observed that on one hand the country is not able to provide the required number of IT professionals with the desired skills and on the other hand, the number of unemployed graduates in areas other than IT is increasing. This mismatch in skills is becoming a pressing issue and is having a direct impact on the ICT Sector, which is one of the pillars of the Mauritian Economy. An in-depth Literature Review was carried out to understand the training needs of these Cybersecurity professionals and also to understand the different Intelligent Techniques that can be used to provide personalisation of learning materials. Data was collected during three phases, namely an Expert Reference Group Discussion, a pre-test questionnaire and a survey questionnaire. The Expert Reference Group Discussion was carried out to further shed light on the research question set and to further understand the training needs and expectations of Cybersecurity professionals in Mauritius. A SMART Learning Environment making use of Artificial Neural Networks and Backpropagation Algorithm to personalise learning materials was eventually designed and implemented. Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM), Activity Theory, Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Technology Acceptance Model were used in this study. Due to the inherent limitations of the models mentioned, the researcher also proposed and evaluated an emergent conceptual model, called the SMART Learning model. The major findings of this research show that personalisation of learning materials through the use of a SMART Learning Environment can be used to effectively address the training needs of Cybersecurity professionals in Mauritius.
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    Enhancing access to socioeconomic development information using mobile phone applications in rural Zimbabwe: the case of Matabeleland South Province.
    (2018) Maphosa, Vusumuzi.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Mobile phone access has grown exponentially, transforming access to information and communication in Africa. Mobile phone penetration has increased dramatically across the urban-rural, rich-poor and literate-illiterate divides, which other technologies failed to bridge. The number of mobile phone subscriptions grew astronomically, from less than two million in 1998 to more than 620 million subscribers in Africa (Carmody, 2012). Internet users grew 85-fold from 4.5m users in 2000 to over 388m users in Africa at a rate higher than any other region (Internetworldstas, 2018). Global mobile app downloads have reached 175 billion in 2017, generating more than $85 billion, yet most African countries possess an insignificant share of this, due to low literacy levels, low economic opportunities and an infrastructure that is still developing (The Guardian, 2014; Perez, 2018). The growing presence of mobile phones must be harnessed to enhance access to socioeconomic information, in order to improve standards of life in the global south. Scholars and communication enthusiasts have argued that simply providing access to the internet, without considering the relevance of content, will not change the fortunes of rural communities (Internet.org, 2014; GSMA, 2015). There is the need to provide localised and relevant content – such as local news, market prices and bus timetables – to these communities. This research resonates with Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to increase access to information and communication technology, and provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020 (UN, 2016). In Zimbabwe, radio and television are basic technologies used for disseminating socioeconomic information, yet most of the rural communities have no access to radio and television signals, 37 years after independence. Rural mobile phone ownership is about 80%, and broadband penetration is 46.5% (ITU, 2013). In addition, Zimbabwe’s average rural literacy is about 90%. These two factors – high rural literacy levels and high rural mobile phone ownership – motivated the researcher to develop a mobile phone application prototype that could be utilised by rural communities to enhance their access to socioeconomic development information that could, in turn, anchor sustainable development. The mobile phone application prototype has the potential to provide a new platform for accessing socioeconomic development information in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, including information on agriculture, health, community activities, education and the markets, plus local and national news. These can all promote sustainable development. The study followed a seven-cycle design science research methodology, from problem identification to communicating the utility of the aertefact which guided the development of the mobile phone application (Hevner, 2007). The development of the prototype followed a user-centred design, as well user experience, where high-fidelity prototypes were presented to participants selected through a random sample to be part of the development process. This process is iterative, incorporating user feedback and redesign of the prototype until the users and developers agree on the design. After designing the prototype, participants were randomly selected to evaluate the mobile phone application prototype using an adapted TAM2, whose main constructs relate to perceived usefulness and ease of use (Davis, 1989).
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    An analysis of the role of competitive intelligence (knowledge management and business intelligence) in globalisation of Saudi Arabia ICT firms.
    (2019) Alarjani, Hasan Mesfer Falah.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    This study explored the role of technological, organisational, environmental and attitudinal factors in facilitating the globalisation of Saudi Arabian ICT companies. In particular, the study focused on identifying the drivers of globalisation, especially knowledge management and business intelligence, and steps Saudi ICT companies should take before expanding their businesses outside of Saudi Arabia. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. A total of 81 ICT companies registered with the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in Saudi Arabia participated in this study, including the three largest ICT operators in Saudi Arabia, namely STC, Mobily, and Zain. Publicly available data from the Saudi stock exchange and other sources were analysed in respect of the three large ICT companies. The CITC organisations were surveyed via questionnaires. A quantitative analysis of the survey data viewed through the lens of the Technology, Organisation, Environment (TOE) framework and the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) model was undertaken, while a qualitative analysis of the documentary data from the three large companies was viewed through the TOE lens only. It was identified that the efficiency of software used in organisations helps them to globalise at any time and that competitive intelligence tools (KM and BI) are also very important. The organisational context is important; large ICT companies can globalise their activities while smaller companies have difficulties in doing so even though they recognise the potential economic benefits of regionalisation and globalisation. Regarding the environmental context, a country’s legislation helps and supports companies to globalise their activities. This is clearly noticeable in the three telecommunications operators, which have no obstacles to prevent them from operating in any country in the world. Finally, ICT and the attendant networked applications have accelerated the integration of the world’s economy through the globalisation of businesses. These effects are also felt by Saudi ICT companies, which are reconsidering their roles as regional economic players.
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    Assessing the cyber-security status of the metropolitan municipalities in South Africa.
    (2018) Mabaso, Nkosiyephana Jerome.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    The intention of this enquiry was to assess the status of cyber-security in the metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. The focus on this level of local government was driven by the fact that metropolitan municipalities are the economic hubs with a variety of industrial facilities and are the places with high population densities. The metropolitan municipalities have adopted information infrastructures to support the daily administrative processes and, equally important, to support the delivery of essential services such as the distribution of electricity and clean water to the local citizens and communities. Entrenched in the adoption of information infrastructures are the cyber ills which if left unattended could have devastating consequences on people and industrial facilities. Failures or interruptions to information infrastructures have cascading effects due to interconnectedness of these infrastructures. The study used the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology to explore the activities that are performed by the metropolitan municipalities with the intention to determine what needs to be in place to safeguard their information infrastructures from cyber ills. Cyber-security is a serious concern in all types of businesses that are largely supported by information infrastructures in pursuit of the business objectives. Information infrastructures are susceptible to cyber-security threats, which if left unattended can shut the municipality operations down with disastrous consequences. A substantive theory of integrated development cyber-security emerged from the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology processes of data collecting through comprehensive interviews, initial coding, focused coding, memoing, and theoretical coding. A municipal cyber-security conceptual framework was developed from the integrated development cyber-security theory constructs of integrated development cyber-security which are the core category, cyber-security governance category, cyber-security technical operations category, and human issues in cyber-security category. The conceptual framework was used to formulate the cyber-security status assessment survey questionnaire that was adopted as an instrument to assess the cyber-security status in the metropolitan municipalities. The cyber-security status assessment instrument was deployed in metropolitan municipalities, wherein data was collected and statistically analysed to test and confirm its validity. The assessment results were analysed and showed the as is posture of cyber-security, the gaps in the current implemented cyber-security controls were identified together with the risks associated with those gaps, corrective actions to address the identified deficiencies were identified and recommended/communicated to the management of relevant municipalities.
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    Alleviating higher education challenges through strategic integration of technology: a case of selected universities in Africa.
    (2018) Abatan, Omotayo Kayode.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    The higher education sector in Africa is evolving and information technology continues to play a key role in driving these changes. Information and communications technologies are improving the creation and transmission of knowledge. This is attributed to the way people learn and create ideas as well as disseminate information within the educational environment and in the public sphere. In this study, an exploratory research was conducted to identify and understand the challenges and opportunities associated with information technology integration in higher education. A survey of 592 staff at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and University of South Africa was undertaken to address the research problem. The study makes use of a blend of theoretical frameworks to provide the foundation for identifying, proposing, planning and suggesting information technology strategies that can be integrated into higher education to alleviate higher education challenges in order to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. The three models used are: The Change Management Model; Model of Technology Adoption in the Classroom; and the Diffusion of Innovation Theory. The study evaluates the role of ICTs in higher education and also identified issues, challenges and instances of ICT strategic integration in higher education institutions at the selected universities in Africa. In the process of understanding the strategic integration of information technology in higher education institutions at the selected universities, the study identified what was considered successful technology integration strategies, what were not as successful, and why this was the case. The study further identified the factors that influence information technology integration in higher education. Having identified the limitations to technology integration and the significance of information technology in higher education at the selected universities, the study proffered recommendations and proposed a strategic framework. The framework offers strategies for the integration of information technology into higher education which can be used to alleviate higher education challenges, enhance teaching and learning outcomes, sustain the integrated information technologies and achieve ICTs promised benefits to higher education.
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    Three-dimensional security framework for BYOD enabled banking institutions in Nigeria.
    (2019) Ofusori, Lizzy Oluwatoyin.; Subramaniam, Prabhakar Rontala.
    Bring your own device (BYOD) has become a trend in the present day, giving employees the freedom to bring personal mobile devices to access corporate networks. In Nigeria, most banking institutions are increasingly allowing their employees the flexibility to utilize mobile devices for work-related activities. However, as they do so, the risk of corporate data being exposed to threats increases. Hence, the study considered developing a security framework for mitigating BYOD security challenges. The study was guided by organizational, socio-technical and mobility theories in developing a conceptual framework. The study was conducted in two phases, the threat identification and the framework evaluation, using a mixed-methods approach. The main research strategies used for the threat identification were a questionnaire and interviews while closed and open-ended questions were used for the framework evaluation. A sample consisted of 380 banking employees from four banks were involved in the study. In addition, the study conducted in-depth interviews with twelve management officials from the participating banks. As for the framework evaluation, the study sampled twelve respondents to assess the developed security framework for viability as far as mitigating security threats emanating from BYOD in the banking sector is concerned. The sample consisted of eight executive managers of the bank and four academic experts in information security. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 21 while qualitative data was thematically analysed. Findings from the threat identification revealed that banking institutions must develop security systems that not only identify threats associated with technical, social and mobility domains but also provide adequate mitigation of the threats. For the framework evaluation, the findings revealed that the security framework is appropriate in mitigating BYOD security threats. Based on the findings of the study, the developed security framework will help banks in Nigeria to mitigate against BYOD security threats. Furthermore, this security framework will contribute towards the generation of new knowledge in the field of information security as far as BYODs are concerned. The study recommends ongoing training for banks’ employees as it relates to mitigation of security threats posed by mobile devices.
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    Business intelligence information systems success : a South African study.
    (2016) Mudzana, Taurayi.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Business Intelligence (BI) systems hold promise for improving organisational decision making in South Africa. Additionally, BI systems have become increasingly important over the past few decades and are one of the top spending priority areas of most organisations. Yet till now, the factors influencing the success of BI systems in South Africa have not been fully investigated. The study found no scholarly research for managers and other practitioners to assess post implementation success of BI systems in South Africa. This lack of research may directly affect managers’ not knowing how best to implement BI systems and could thereby delay the successful implementation of BI systems in South African organisations. The study extends that of DeLone and McLean (2003), conducted in developed economies by applying it to a developing economy context, namely South Africa. The DeLone and McLean (2003) model has been widely utilised to study factors that influence information systems (IS) success. This study extends the DeLone and McLean (2003) by adding a user quality factor and suggests a theoretical model consisting of six factors, which are: (1) system quality, (2) service quality, (3) information quality, (4) user satisfaction, (5) individual impact, (6) and user quality. The theoretical model was formulated from the literature review. It was then validated and enhanced through a qualitative study of three interviews with end users of BI systems based in South Africa. The theoretical model was then presented to a panel of experts for verification. A questionnaire survey method was employed as the main method to collect data and to answer the main research question. Statistical analysis methods and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) with SPSS was used to analyse the data. The results of the hypotheses were mixed. Three suggested that relationships were statistically significant, while the other four did not. The study finds that information quality is significantly and positively related to user satisfaction in a BI system. The results also indicate that user quality is positively related to user satisfaction in a BI system and system quality is positively related to individual impact in a BI system. The results have both managerial and research implications. The results of this study will add value to IS and specifically BI literature. Organisations, which have adopted BI or are planning to adopt BI, can use the important variables of the study to undertake an internal check to find out how they compare in terms of these variables. The unique contribution of this study is the identification of post implementation success factors of BI systems in a South African context. The factors identified also served in providing a set of management guidelines for the BI environment in South Africa.
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    Computer-based productivity estimation of academic staff using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and fuzzy topsis method.
    (2014) Parbanath, Steven.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Universities generally use a human-intensive approach such as peer evaluations, expert judgments, group interviews or a weighting system to estimate academic productivity. This study develops an algorithmic approach by integrating the fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) and the fuzzy TOPSIS methods to estimate productivity of academic staff at tertiary institutions. Currently, evaluations are done in the conventional manner and as a result, the outputs are difficult to quantify. There are no standard methods in evaluating the outputs and the estimates are therefore hard to validate. It is therefore suggested that a data intensive approach (also referred to as algorithmic approach) be adopted. An algorithmic approach is empirical and will produce results that are easily quantifiable. The algorithmic approach allows for the IS Principles of data collection, processing, analysis and interpretation to be easily applied. If an algorithmic approach were adopted, it would generally revolve around the numeric-value approach, which produces a precise measure of productivity. Recently however, the software engineering domain had to also consider non-numeric attributes (also referred to as linguistic expressions) such as very low, low, high and very high for productivity estimation (Odeyale et al., 2014). The imprecise nature of these attributes constitutes uncertainty in their interpretation and therefore could not be measured or quantified appropriately in the past. It is now possible to do so using fuzzy logic and fuzzy sets. Since academic departments are constantly faced with imprecision and uncertainty, an algorithmic fuzzy-based decision model is the most suitable approach that can be used to estimate productivity. The nature of duties performed by academic staff lends itself more efficiently to a qualitative rather than a quantitative evaluation (Chaudhari et al., 2012). These qualitative evaluations are reliant on human judgment and could be described using linguistic expressions such as weak, average, good and excellent (Khan et al., 2011). In this study, a fuzzy MCDM method called Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) is used to estimate productivity of academic staff. Choosing the most preferred alternative, ranking and selection will be done using the fuzzy TOPSIS method. The Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) was used to develop a fuzzy-based productivity estimation system using these two methods. The results of the study indicated that the fuzzy-based system produced results that were more reliable than conventional methods. Future research should however explore how fuzzy logic and fuzzy set theory could be integrated into other productivity estimation techniques such as the DEA and SAW models.