Information Technology

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Impact of Information Systems and Technology on Environmental Sustainability

Table of Cotntents

Chapter 1: Introduction3

Background of the study3

Problem Statement4

Purpose of the study5

Significance of the study6

Rationale of the study7

Research Queatuion8

Chapter 2: Literature Review9

Chapter 3: Methodology12

Research Method Used12

Recommended Method12

Conceptual Framework13

Research Design15

Sampling & Data Collection15

Data Management16


Data Display16

Data Coding17

Design & Evaluation Framework17

Bias and Validity18



Chapter 1: Introduction

Background of the study

Although there has been an increasing focus on environmental sustainability and sustainable development in recent years, these two discrete concepts are not well understood in many cases (Buckingham & Theobald, 2003). For instance, Buckingham and Theobald (2003) point out that, in contrast to sustainable development which encompasses a broad range of social, environmental, and economic development objectives, the term environmental sustainability is used to describe specific initiatives that are intended to prevent the environment from being depleted or damaged beyond what has already taken place. Paralleling this growth in interest in environmental sustainability has been an explosive increase in the proliferation and capabilities of information systems and technology (Matutinovic, 2007). A number of studies have also been conducted to identify potential solutions to the need to achieve environmentally sustainable solutions for the future in an effort to change current practices for the better (Whitford & Wong, 2009). Because of the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated information technologies in recent years, it is not surprising, then, there has also been an increased focus on how information technologies can be applied to promoting environmental sustainability initiatives around the world, a trend that directly relates to the opportunity to be explored in the study proposed herein which is discussed further below.

Problem Statement

The need for informed approaches to addressing the threats to the global environment has never been greater (Glenn & Gordon, 2006). At present, more than half of the global life-support systems have already vanished or are in jeopardy of collapsing and environmental degradation will only become more severe by mid-century when an additional 2.6 billion people are added to the world's population (Glenn & Gordon, 2006). Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the population growth that will occur by mid-century (90%) is projected to take place in the world's poorest nations (Yeager & Barker, 2000). According to Glenn and Gordon (2006), “Current absorption capacity of carbon by oceans and forests is about 3 to 3.5 billion tons per year. Yet, 7 billion tons are added to the atmosphere annually, which could increase to 14 billion tons per year if current trends continue--eventually leading to greenhouse effects beyond the ability of humans to control” (p. 20).

Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, economic development has taken place in many regions of the world with little or no regard for its impact on the environment. This has been particularly evident in the developing nations of the world where the need for economic development outweighs the importance of environmental sustainability. In an increasingly globalized marketplace, though, the opportunity to reverse these ugly trends exists, but only if thoughtful approaches to the use of information technology ...
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