Journal of the Association for Information Systems


The macro-level impacts of information and communication technology (ICT) investments on institutionalized democracy and foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in emerging societies are examined within a multi-theoretic framework that considers societal structure, power, and globalization-driven societal change. Using multilevel change modeling and longitudinal data from 48 emerging societies across seven years, ICT investments are observed to produce positive direct impacts on future levels of institutionalized democracy and FDI. After controlling for several covariates, the direct impact of ICT investments on future levels of institutionalized democracy in emerging societies is shown to partially explain the observed relationship between ICT investments and future FDI in those societies. The implications of these results are discussed in light of an emerging and exemplary World Bank debate over the historical search for a simple recipe for emerging society development and the need for a new way of thinking represented by what has been referred to as “new structural economics”.