Sense-loafing in Use of Information Technology in Public Sector Organizations

Document Type : Research Article (with qualitative approaches)


1 University of Tehran

2 professor, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran

3 Professor, Faculty of Management and Economics, University of Tarbiyat Modarres.

4 Associate Professor, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran


Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the hidden deviations occurring during formation of information systems which in turn deprives the organizations from real benefit of the technological transformation.Design/ Methodology/ Approach: In-depth individual interviews were conducted with employees, managers and information system developers of public organizations. Data collection and analysis were carried out simultaneously and complied with Straussian grounded theory techniques.Research Findings: Two core categories representing attitudes of the players -regarding the processes in which the final system is formed- which named as sense-loafing, were, deviation and confrontation. Causal conditions,  context,  strategies, consequences with subcategories delineated fully.Limitations & Consequences: Interviewees in sense-loafing situation, neglect alternative framing of issues. Hence providing examples needed to help interviewees make sense and tell what they have experienced.Practical Consequences: Findings implicate the complexity of technology in organizations; It warns that policy makers, seeking technology-based transformation, should promote organizational innovators.Innovation or Value of the Article: The framing in which this paper deals with technology and public organizations is far beyond the traditional framing like technology maturity proposes.


  1. Arasti, M., Modares Yazdi, M., & Delavari, M., (2008), A Comprehensive Model for Selecting Appropriate Mode of Technology Transfer. Industrial Engineering and Management, 24(43), 145-153(In Persian).
  2. Coleman, G., & O’Connor, R. (2007). Using grounded theory to understand software process improvement: A study of Irish software product companies. Information and Software Technology, 49, 654-667.
  3. Corbin, J., and Strauss, A., (2008). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Third edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage publications.
  4. Digital Planet (2017) Institute for Business in the Global Context (2017). Retrieved in 2/10/2018 from
  5. Gartner institute (2016). Gartner Highlights Top 10 Strategic Technologies for Government in 2016, available at: Seen in 2/9/2018, at 08:00:00.
  6. Guba, Egon G. (1981). ERIC/ECTJ Annual Review Paper: Criteria for Assessing the Trustworthiness of Naturalistic Inquiries. Educational Communication and Technology, 29(2), 75-91.
  7. Haji Ali Asgari, F., Tabatabaeian, S.H., Taghva, M.R., Abolhassani, (2018). Policies for Information Technology Maturity in Heath Organizations via ITIL. Public Policy Q., 3(4), 29-50 (In Persian).
  8. HajiHosseini, H., Mohammadi, & M., Hamidi, (2011). Classification of the factors and criteria affecting the choice of proper method for technology transfer, Industry and University, 6(21, 22), 19-36, (In Persian)
  9. Holt, N. L., Tamminen, K. A. (2010). Moving Forward with Grounded Theory in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 419-422.
  10. Hunter A.; Murphy K.; Greaush A.; Casey D.; & Keady J. (2011b). Navigating the Grounded Theory Terrain. Part 2. Nurse Researcher, 19(1), 6-11.
  11. Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1993). Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration. Journal of personality and social psychology, 65(4), 681.
  12. LaRossa, R. (2005). Grounded Theory Methods and Qualitative Family Research. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 837-857.
  13. Manteqhi, M., Naqizadeh, M., Safardust, A., & Baqersad, M. (2017). Probing National Culture Relation in Effective Transferrin Technology: Describing Roles of Organization Culture, Management Researchs in Iran, 21(1). (In Persian).
  14. Mashayekhi, A., Farhangi, A., Momeni, F. Study of Effective Key Factors on Applying Information Technology in Iran Public Organizations: Applying Delphi Method. Seasonal Journal on Teaching Art Sciences, 42 (In Persian).
  15. Ministery of I.C.T, (2015). Four Yearly Plan of FAVA (In Persian), retrieved at 10, September 2, from
  16. Molayi Nasab, M., (2011). Roots of Obstacles in Entrepreneurship in Iran, (in Persian), retrieved at Aug 10th 2018 from: -molaeinasab
  17. Pauleen, D. J., Corbitt, B., & Yoong, P. (2007). Discovering and articulating what is not yet known: using action learning and grounded theory as knowledge management strategy. The learning organization, 14,. 222-240.
  18. Piezon, Sherry, L., & Ferree, William, D. "Perceptions of Social Loafing in Online Learning Groups: A study of Public University and U.S. Naval War College students. June 2008. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(2).
  19. Pourezzat, A. (2017a). Sense-Loafing in Critical Management in Iran: From Sens-loafing to making deliberative awareness, Channel of Government and Management science,(Note 21) retrieved at 1st sept 2018from: t.mepourezzatir, (In Persian).
  20. Pourezzat, A. (2017b). Avoiding ill-sense-making, Channel of Government and Management science (note 24), retrieved 1st sept 2018 from: t.mepourezzatir, (In Persian).
  21. Rezaei Pandari A., & Yekke Zare M. (2016). Design-interpretive Structural Model of Successful Technology Transfer in Order to Achieve Sustainable Development. Management Researches in Iran, 20(1), 61-79. (In Persian).
  22. Safdari, A. (2017). Structure of Government and Managing Costs in Public Budget Development and Foresight Center, (Unpublished report). retrieved news version at June 2018 from (In Persian).
  23. Sardar, Z., & Sweeney, J. A. (2016). The three tomorrows of postnormal times. Futures, 75, 1-13.
  24. Saunders, Mark; Philip Lewis; & Adrian Thornhill (2009). Research methods for business students. Fifth edition. Harlow: Pearson.
  25. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Second edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage publications.
  26. Strauss, A., Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Translated by Afshar, Ibrahim, Nashr Ney; Tehran (In Persian).
  27. Vaezi, (2017). Ministry Report: Growth in IT Shares in Iran's Public Budget, IRNA, (In Persian). Retrieved at september 2017, from
  28. Westerman, G., Bonnet, D., & McAfee, A. (2014). Leading digital: Turning technology into business transformation. Harvard Business Press, Translated to Persian by Shami Zanjani, M., Irandust, Sh., Published by Nas.
  29. Zhu, M., & Wang, H. (2018). A Literature Review of Social Loafing and Teams with Group Development. Available at SSRN 3176383.