Centre for INformation SYstems and Techno-culture

Centres And GroupsCentre for INformation SYstems and Techno-culture

Centre for INformation SYstems and Techno-culture


The Centre for INformation SYstems and TEchno-culture (INSYTE) is an interdisciplinary, cross-school research centre in the field of information systems and organizations. In 2006 INSYTE was one of the largest research groups in the Institute of Technology sector in terms of postgraduate numbers.

INSYTE offers a combination of part-time and full-time research programmes and can accommodate international students located overseas

INSYTE Centre for Information Systems and Technoculture

Since the dawn of time people have developed ways of communicating, recording important information, and using this to work and live together. In the digital age, the technology to communicate, record and apply information may be markedly different, but the premise is the same: information is about communicating knowledge and meaning between people. INSYTE embraces this “human-centred systems” philosophy by focusing upon the people and communities who use digital systems to live and work, including the cultural patterns, organisational impacts and societal change this brings about.

Research themes at INSYTE include automation and control systems, artificial intelligence, risk management, supply-chain logistics, computer ethics, systems development methods, technology and international development, and many more.  Since its inception in 2001, INSYTE have collaborated with researchers in over thirty countries, regularly publishing in leading academic journals and international conferences, and have graduated more than twenty postgraduate students with research degrees up to PhD level.

Emerging waves of digital technologies continue to impact and disrupt our lives in ways never seen before, offering both wonderful potential and perilous danger to the human condition and our shared global society.  INSYTE are dedicated to understanding these emerging trends and offering socially-responsible technology leadership in this brave new digital world.

INSYTE Fulltime Faculty Members                                                                            

Larry Stapleton 

Liam Doyle

Peter Carew 

TJ McDonald

Anita Kealy 

Sinead O’Neill 

Christine O’Dowd-Smyth

Mary Doyle-Kent

Stephen Norton

Orlagh Costello

All INSYTE publications can be seen and accessed via INSYTE’s Google Scholar profile

INSYTE approaches its work by focussing upon key research questions in the domain of Information Systems, Organisational Culture, the Information Society and IT education. It then engages in various funded and non-funded projects to generate research activity in this space. The following are some indicative longer-term projects which the group has published:

Technology Leadership and Culture:

INSYTE are conducting a PhD level study funded by a City Council Grant into what constitutes successful technology leadership? What leadership styles and issues lead to successful, complex information systems development projects? This study is currently especially focussed upon post-crisis developing countries where the need for excellent technology leadership is very critical for economic development.

Information Technology Adoption Factors:

This project is made up of a number of subprojects which examine the key adoption factors for advanced technology in various organisational settings. The studies involve an examination of key failure factors and generate technology management frameworks for the successful management of business intelligence systems projects, ERP-type projects etc.

In conjunction with our partners, the University of Business and Technology in Pristina, Kosova, INSYTE are conducting a longitudinal Supply Chain Management Systems Adoption in Kosova, looking at the adoption factors and barriers associated with inter-organisational systems, and the impact this is having on the globalisation of the economy there. Plans are in place to develop a new collaboration in 2010-11 with the IFM Centre in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania with a fully-funded PhD student beginning in January 2011.

Information Systems Security:

This project is a PhD study funded by IRCSET and builds upon a prior two year MSc by Research study into systems security in Irish organisations. The MSc project showed that most systems security failures and risks are due to human and organisational problems, rather than technical failures. The present project deals with the human factors which lead to systems security failure, a very common problem in Irish industry.

The goal of the project is to develop a model of systems security culture. This model will be, in turn, utilised to develop a technology management framework for information systems security and audit tools for assessing systemic cultural risks associated with systems security in an organisation.


The centre is conducting a series of major e-privacy studies which examine human and social dimensions of e-privacy in the information society. It addresses two primary questions:

Given the sophisticated privacy technologies available, why do information systems developers continue to deliver poor privacy protection in internet-based systems?
What are the key dimensions of people’s perceptions of e-privacy across cultural and demographic boundaries?
Development of Higher Education (HE) in Science and Information Technology:

INSYTE have been partners in two EU projects to help build HE capacity in Kosova with a view to improving economic activity towards a smart economy. This has involved issues surrounding accreditation, curriculum building, transferrable skills etc. etc.  The Centre also has conducted research into industry certification of Irish HE IT curricula, professional competency frameworks for use in  curriculum development, problem based learning strategies for information systems HE programmes etc. Initial plans are in place to start a MSc by Research two year study in Assistive Technologies in 2011.

Socio-technical Systems Approach to Systems Development:

INSYTE are conducting a study of the socio-technical design and development issues associated with major systems development projects. The study develops new, socio-technical theoretical frameworks for understanding failure behaviour during and after systems implementations. A number of studies have been conducted in this area. The latest study is at PhD level and involves an examination of education systems development and implementations. INSYTE also are in discussion with two new potential PhD candidates from the MSc ISP programme who wish to explore various inter-cultural and anthropological aspects of online communities in this context.

INSYTE  also has a new collaborative arrangement to support Kosovan graduates coming into Ireland to take up MSc in ISP studies in 2010-11. The framework for the agreements are in place and the programme should be set up to receive the first intake from Kosovo in the coming academic year.

Academic Collaborations

INSYTE have a large number of international academic relationships across the world. Firstly, we have a visiting professor to the group:

Professor Karamjit Gill who is:

Professor Emeritus, Human Centred Systems, University of Brighton
Honorary Professor of Human Centred Systems, University of Urbino, Italy
Visiting Professor, University of Wales, Newport
Editor, AI & Society: Journal of Human centred System, Springer-Verlag, London
Academic Coordinator, Navigating Health in the Community Network, University of Brighton
International Coordinator, International Institute of Human centred Systems (IRIHCS),
Founding Director, SEAKE (Social and Educational Applications of Knowledge Engineering) Centre
Co-chair, MOSAICC, the Cross-Cultural Innovation Academy of MOSAI, New Delhi
Coordinator/Director, EU-India Cross Cultural Innovation Network, European Commission
Honorary Member, INGENTIBUS, Rome

Co-Director, International Institute of Soft Technology (IAST), Beijing

We also have a senior visiting research associate, Dr. Gabriel J. Byrne, from the Smurfit Graduate Business School in UCD. Dr. Byrne is a cultural anthropologist who specialises in organisational culture, leadership and strategy. He is a former senior executive in General Electric.

Our institutional collaborators are many and varied. These are some important, indicative relationships which show case the breadth of the work at the centre:

  1. Technical University of Vienna (TUWien), Austria: Lead partner in our EU project MSMMK. INSYTE Group Director Larry Stapleton holds a visiting lectureship in Information Systems at the CEC Executive Education Centre at TUWien. INSYTE are involved with the International Federation of Automation and Control Systems Technical Committee ‘SWIIS’ which deals with International Stability and Technology studies with Dr. Stapleton as vice-Cahioperson of that committee since 2002. Emeritus Professor Peter Kopacek of TUWIEN currently chairs this committee. TUWien researchers are co-authors with INSYTE people on several research papers.

  2. University of Business and Technology, Kosova: INSYTE are conducting a major longitudinal study of Supply Chain Management Systems Adoption and other IT adoption studies in post-conflict regions through this university. We are also conducting an e-privacy study there as part of a comparative inter-cultural study of e-privacy attitudes. UBT are beneficiaries of our EU project MSMMK delivering high quality higher education in technology and engineering studies. Dr. Stapleton holds a visiting Professorship in Information Systems in the University.

  3. South Carelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland: We have a long standing relationship with Dr. Ovaska’s group in Finland and have published international academic papers with their team. Our work focuses upon complex large scale information systems development and an e-privacy study. Dr. Stapleton presented a keynote speech at a National Conference organised by this University partner in Feb 2010.

  4. Romanian Academy of Sciences: We are working closely with Professor Bulz’s team at the institute of informatics. This work involves the re-examination of complex systems in the context of the information society. Whilst Dr. Bulz’s team are heavily influenced by Godel’s work, we are theorising through lenses such as an investigation of instrumentally-mediated social reality, post-phenomenology and post-structuralism. Dr. Stapleton visited the centre in Bucharest in October 2009 and publications have arisen from the work (see publications listing).

  5. University of Bordeaux: We have a long standing relationship with Dr. Lise Viera’s team which is largely funded out of the EU Grundtvig programme. This work looks at IT applications and particularly the use of SCM technologies in various sectors such as tourism and environmental studies.

  6. INSYTE have recently begun a new collaboration with the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. We are now actively involved in THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON E-TECHNOLOGIES AND NETWORKS FOR DEVELOPMENT (ICEND2011) and have an application for a new PhD student starting in INSYTE in January 2011 funded by the international agencies in Tanzania (through the IFM in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania).

Industrial Collaborations

We have researched many companies in various countries. For example, one of the biggest studies involves take-up of information technologies in Kosova where we have gathered data on about seventy companies over a period of several years. We have also gathered data from firms in several other countries involved in our various research studies into technology and organisational culture. The following two firms were partners in our most recent bids.

  1. ELUCIDATE: e-Government firm. We hosted international workshop on e-Government and a training mission from the EU MSMMK project. Elucidate were Irish industry representatives. INSYTE have also partnered with ELUCIDATE on two bilateral proposals.

  2. M-CAM: Leading American Knowledge Management firm with whom we collaborated on e-government proposals and have a long standing relationship dealing with developing countries dating back to 2004 and the EU-India SRSTI project in which we were involved.

  3. International Federation of Automation and Control (IFAC): IFAC is a professional/academic organisation of systems engineers and scientists. INSYTE researchers regularly present their work at IFAC events, and are heavily involved in Theme 9 of IFAC: Social Systems. We are members of the Technical Committee (TC 9.1) of the Social Impact of Automation and we are members of TC 9.5 Supplemental Ways of Improving International Stability (Technology and International Stability) on which Dr. Stapleton is vice-chair.

  4. National Round Table for Supply Chain Management Systems: Liam Doyle is founder member of the round table in SCM which is a professional organisation examining SCM technology in Irish industry and services.

  5. Telemedical Centre, Kosova: We are currently carrying out a study of technology leadership and culture at this award winning centre. This study is part of a larger PhD study conducted by Anita Kealy at our research centre.

Dr. Larry Stapleton
Director of INSYTE
Waterford Institute of Technology
Cork Road

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +353-51-302059