In the thesis Gary Cifuentes argues that political dimension of ICT integration in higher educationhas not been researched sufficiently, and a deeper examination of how policies are understood and what people do in the name of those policies is necessary. Therefore, a more comprehensive and broad understanding of the political dimension of ICT integration is adopted in this thesis, proposing a shift from an implementation rationale to a policy enactment analysis in higher education. In other words, a necessary interrelation of the material, the hermeneutic and the discursive dimensions of ICT policies is posed as a critical stand toward the prevalence of an implementation rationale.
As a paper based thesis, this work is divided into three parts. The first part describes the research problem and the research design in terms of a movement from an implementation rationale to a more critical analysis of the enactment of ICT policies. In the second part, the enactment of ICT policies is conceptualized through the analysis of three concrete practices, i.e., ICT leadership (Paper 1), policy translation (Paper 2), and the government of subjects (Paper 3). In that conceptualization, the nature of ICT policies is re-examined. The third part provides further considerations to this research via two additional contributions. One of them examines closely ICT units, which are underexplored and special settings within institutions that enact what I call the ‘will to innovate’ in Colombia (Paper 4). The last paper discusses those who are critical to ICT integration as relevant policy positions. Their analysis enlightens and expands a policy enactment theory in higher education (Paper 5).
The thesis concludes by discussing three of its main contributions: first, the need for conceptualizing ICT policies; second, the relevance of revising and expanding a policy enactment model for higher education; and third, making alternative enactment zones visible for research. Finally, I argue that the ontological, epistemological and methodological implications of a policy enactment approach should be considered in further research addressing the political dimension of ICT integration in higher education.