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IT Driven Modernization in Agriculture

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  • Agricultural Science
  • Communication


The information systems (IS) literature has largely neglected the study of implementations of large scale strategic initiatives to modernize the agricultural business. This paper reports on an ongoing empirical study that follows the efforts of a multibillion-dollar organization to modernize its operations through the modernization of its supplier base. Modernization, as an external force effecting organizations, is a new and different phenomenon respect to organizational change normally considered as an internal effort. Modernization is an ongoing, evolutionary, process performed by organizations in order to survive and prosper. Yet, the rationality of the decision to modernize is likely to face the forces of entrenched traditions and practices, the feelings and the social significance of established ways of those with the power to derail the modernization project. Using institutional theory as theoretical lens to study the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in modernization strategy, the paper suggests that managers should care beyond the reasons for change, considering the physical, social and cultural needs of the stakeholders involved. Our study extends the extant literature on agribusiness management highlighting the tensions between the initiator of the modernization effort and the suppliers with their need to adapt and respond.

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