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A paucity of research examines the factors which are most important in helping community-based, non-profit organizations to design websites that achieve their aims. This article attempts to fill this research gap by exploring website management issues within 17 organizations in two locations: Victoria, Australia and Tuscany, Italy. Integral to the research was an examination of structural barriers and inter-organizational relationships that act to facilitate the take-up, or otherwise, of technology. Theory regarding the diffusion of innovations and social network analysis provided the background. The qualitative method chosen for the study was constructivist grounded theory. The sample was purposively selected and data collection included semi-structured interviews with key actors; the mapping of organizational relationships; and the examination of websites. The findings indicate that organizations with a combination of good internal skills, and strong access to external advice and skills are in the best position to create websites that satisfy their needs, with good access to external information and communication technology services and advice more important than strong internal skills. Organizations must also consider how to deal with six broad areas related to the development and maintenance of websites: strategy; technical knowledge and design; project management; support; training; and funding. The conclusion sums up the views of the organizations in the study about the best ways to gain the skills they need to provide good web design.
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Keywords: ICTs; community informatics; organizational studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Caulfield School of Information Technology, Monash University, PO Box 197 Caulfield East, 3145, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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