Engaging with change: information and communication technology professionals’ perspectives on change in the context of the ‘Brexit’ vote

Lomas, Elizabeth and McLeod, Julie (2017) Engaging with change: information and communication technology professionals’ perspectives on change in the context of the ‘Brexit’ vote. PLoS ONE, 12 (11). e0186452. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186452


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been a key agent of change in the 21st century. Given the role of ICT in changing society this research sought to explore the responses and attitudes to change from ICT professionals and ICT academics in dealing with the potentially far reaching political challenge triggered by the UK’s 2016 European Union Referendum and its decision to leave the European Union (referred to as Brexit). Whilst the vote was a UK based decision its ramifications have global implications and as such the research was not confined to the UK.

Methods and findings:
Data was collected through a survey launched on the first working day after the Brexit referendum vote to leave the EU and kept open for four weeks. The survey contained qualitative and quantitative questions. It sought to understand the opportunities and threats that would exist post-Brexit for ICT professionals and academics triggered by the decision. The research captured a complex rich picture on ICT professionals’ responses to the potential challenge of change triggered by the Brexit vote. Immediately after the Brexit decision the research reveals uncertainties amongst ICT professionals regarding what the decision would mean, with just under half of the participants not identifying any opportunities or threats. For those who did, threats outweighed opportunities by just more than double. Whilst understanding the global possibilities and dangers, participants saw their position from national and organizational perspectives. The highest frequency coded threats related to areas outside the participants’ control and the highest frequency opportunities related to areas where there was the potential for ICT interventions. This survey is part of longitudinal piece of research. Using the same methodological approach two further surveys are planned. The second survey will be one year after Article 50 was triggered on 29 March 2017. The final survey will be one year after the UK exit from the EU, assuming this occurs.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L200 Politics
P100 Information Services
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 12:29
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 10:15
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/32384

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