Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effect of critical success factors (CSFs) on information technology (IT) governance performance in public sector organizations in a developing country such as Tanzania. Design/methodology/approach - Based on a previous study and a further literature review, a research model was developed for analysing the relationship between the CSFs found for effective IT governance in this environment and their effect on IT governance performance. A survey research method was applied for data collection and sample data from Tanzanian public sector organizations (this environment) obtained. Subsequently, a second-generation structural equation modelling technique, namely partial least squares, was applied to test statistically the correlated effect. Findings - The results indicate significant small to strong positive correlated effects on IT governance performance. The CSF with the most significant correlated effect was "involve and get support of senior management" and the one with the least "consolidate, standardize and manage IT infrastructure and application to optimize costs and information flow across the organization". Finally, a CSF model for effective IT governance in this environment was proposed. Research limitations/implications - The findings imply that decision makers can optimize IT-related plans and use of scarce resources by concentrating on the CSFs that have a significant effect on IT governance performance that could lead to an improvement of public service delivery. This study is limited to a single developing country but future studies can involve more such countries to broaden the insights into the effect of CSFs on IT governance performance in such environments. Originality/value - By establishing the correlated effects between these CSFs and the IT governance performance, this study has revealed a significant impact of CSFs on IT governance performance. It also suggests a CSFs model for effective IT governance in this less-resourced environment in which such studies have not been conducted before, yet which are vital for analysing and improving IT governance. © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
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