Implementation of electronic records management systems. Lessons learned from Tlokweng land Board-Botswana

Publication Date11 Sep 2019
AuthorLiah Shonhe,Balulwami Grand
SubjectInformation & knowledge management
Implementation of electronic
records management systems
Lessons learned from Tlokweng land
Liah Shonhe and Balulwami Grand
Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana,
Gaborone, Botswana
Purpose Technology has inuenced the implementation of electronic records management systems
(ERMS) in governmentagencies. The high incidence of poor service delivery in governmentagencies is a key
factor that has put pressure on the government to implement ERMS. Despite the potential benets of
implementing ERMS, the adoptionand use of these programs has been slow and some systems have failed.
Therefore, the purpose of this studyis to assess how Tlokweng land board (TLB)implemented its electronic
records management program using Kotters model and awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and
reinforcementchange model.
Design/methodology/approach The study adopted a pragmatic paradigm and used a case study
research design to collect data at TLB. The research made use of mixed methods approach to collect data
using questionnaires,interviews and document reviews.Purposeful sampling was used to solicit data from 53
participantsin the land board.
Findings The ndings of the study revealed that communicationhas been used as the most effective tool
for managing change at TLB. However, TLB has not yet managed to reinforce the change implemented
because of the lack of adequate training and motivation of change champions. Moreover, the change
management team has little training on the change management framework produced by the Ministry of
Lands and Housing.
Research limitations/implications The study waslimited to one land board in Botswana. Therefore,
the ndings maynot be generalized to all land boards.
Originality/value This is the rst study to be conducted in Botswana that has assessed change
management practices in the implementation of records management systems. This study therefore
recommends adoption of the change management lens/framework by a records professional when
Keywords Change management, Botswana, ADKAR,
Electronic records management systems (ERMS), Kotteru2019s change model, Tlokweng land board
Paper type Research paper
Technology has ushered in a new era whereby governments strive to work in new ways,
including going paperless and providinge-service delivery to improve productivity, service
and reduce costs. Technology has becomea driver and an enabler for change in all domains
(Li and Abdalla, 2014). The majority of governments around the world are implementing
various e-government initiatives because the international trend is towards online service
delivery and greater citizen interaction. At the foundation of these e-government initiatives
is the creation of electronic records. Thesee-records require electronic records management
systems (ERMS) or electronicrecords and document management systems (EDRMS), which
Received18 March 2019
Revised18 March 2019
22May 2019
Accepted11 July 2019
RecordsManagement Journal
Vol.30 No. 1, 2020
pp. 43-62
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/RMJ-03-2019-0013
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
will enable them to be managed, used, stored and effectively preserved (Mutimba, 2014;
Records Solutions, 2010). ERMS ensure effective management of resources, minimizes
litigation risks, improves accountability and transparency and provides the basis for
complying with legal requirements(Abuki, 2014;Coetzer, 2012;Moatlhodi, 2015;Sebinaand
Zulu, 2014;Zulu et al.,2012). Therefore, managers should adopt appropriate strategies for
successful implementation of ERMS. Implementation of electronic records management
programs requires management skills pertaining to procurement, project management,
change management and training(Smith, 2007). Sim (2010) stresses the necessity to develop
a comprehensive change management plan because the success of the project will largely
depend on the acceptance and usage of the system by employees. Thus,this study sought to
establish how ERMScan be successfully implemented by adopting Kotterseight step model
and awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement (ADKAR) change model
(Kotter, 1996;Prosci,2015).
Statement of the problem
Various government ministries all over the world have been facing problems in the
management of records and consequently this has affected the quality of public service
delivery (Abuki, 2014;Kemoni and Ngulube, 2008;Mampe and Kalusopa, 2012;Marutha,
2011;Moemi and Rotich, 2015;Oyaro, 2013;Wamukoya and Mutula, 2005). The high
incidence of poor service delivery in government agencies is a key factor that has put
pressure on the government to implement ERMS (Ali and Nasir, 2010;Neumeier, 2013;
Kettani and Moulin, 2014;Nkohkwo and Islam, 2013). These ERMS are implemented with
the aim of improving efciency and effectiveness, accessibility of records and quality of
records management practices (Martin and Voynov, 2014;Mosweu et al.,2014;Ndukwu
et al.,2013;Usman, 2010). However, despite the potential benets of implementing ERMS,
the adoption and use of these programs has been slow and some systems have failed (Ben-
Assuli, 2015;Bwalya and Healy, 2010;Katani, 2014). Consequently, poor service delivery
has continued to prevail (Dyk, 2014;Mampe and Kalusopa, 2012;Nkwe, 2012). When
changes are introduced in an environment, the most likely response is user resistance
(Boohene and Williams, 2012). If records managers are not properly taken through the
process of change, they might resist the new initiatives being introduced to improve
recordkeeping practices. Therefore, this study departs from major research endeavours by
studying change management as a critical factor that can enhance successful
implementation of ERMS in the public sector. The aim of this study was to assess how
Tlokweng Land Board (TLB) implemented its ERMS, with a view to recommend change
management strategiesthat can be adopted when implementing ERMS.
Literature review
According to Galanti et al. (2012) when implementing ERMS, records managers must rst
prepare for change by dening change management strategy and formulating a change
management team to spearhead the transition. After that, the sponsorship model is
developed to show who will be responsible for provision of funds in the implementation of
the change management strategy. Secondly, change should be managed by developing the
change management plan to outline how activities will be carried out. Then appropriate
action should be taken to implement the plan. Lastly, the change should be reinforced by
collecting and analysing feedback from users. Gaps can be diagnosed and resistance by
employees can be managed. Corrective actions can then be put in placeto ensure successful
implementation. Havinga strategy in place will open a roadmap for the implementation of a
change management methodology. A study by Njunge and Kagiri (2015) conducted in

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