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Journal Article

Does Entrepreneurial Experience and Strategy Really Matter for ICT Performance? A Greek Cross‑Border Empirical Study  pp177-186

Avraam Papastathopoulos, Christina Beneki

© Oct 2010 Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010, Editor: Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys, pp97 - 196

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Abstract

Small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on a global scale in order to derive the undeniable benefits accruing from their use. The critical question arising here is which SMEs benefit from the adoption of ICTs. Thus, the purpose of this study is to find out why some SMEs reap more benefits than others from the adoption of ICTs, and which factors determine the successful use of ICTs. This paper analyses the influence data from the adoption of ICT in the Greek SME sector. In particular, SMEs were asked to rate the influence on the improvements of existing production procedures, enhancement of productivity and reduction of labor costs from the adoption of ICT. The ordinal regression method was used to model the relationships between the ordinal outcome variables and the predictor variables concerning ICT‑Strategy (implementation of a specific strategy for the adoption and use of ICTs) and entrepreneurial knowledge‑experience on ICT. A joint methodology using a fully‑structured questionnaire and in‑depth interviews was selected as the primary research instrument in order to paint as broad a picture as possible of the issues surrounding the application of ICT. The three ordinal regression models indicate that predictor variables such as the presence of specific strategy and entrepreneurial knowledge on ICT are associated with the influence of the ICT‑usage. Furthermore, the results of the study reveal that strategy plays a major role in the adoption and the appropriate use of ICT by SMEs. In addition, the prior entrepreneurial experience‑knowledge of ICT was significantly associated with the ICT performance. Both variables provide strong evidence that the technology performance must be a result of rational planning and knowledge. This study makes a major contribution in two ways. Firstly, it has demonstrated how the strategy and entrepreneurship are inter‑related parts of the ICT adoption process. Secondly, the information and communication technologies make the difference and offer tangible and intangible benefits only if properly applied.

 

Keywords: ICT-strategy, entrepreneurial experience, ICT-performance, ICT-adoption, ordinal regression

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010 / Oct 2010  pp97‑196

Editor: Shaun Pather, Corrie Uys

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Editorial

We have pleasure in presenting this special issue of EJISE.  As Information and Communications Technologies and the related Information Systems become ever more pervasive across all spheres of business, government and community based organizations, the scope of this journal has flexed to accommodate these varied settings in which pertinent research problems are located.   Consequently, in this special issue wide‑ranging problems related to the broad ambit of IS evaluation is reported on: 

As many countries continue to develop policies to enhance and sustain the growth of the SME sector, so too does the expenditure and consumption of IT amongst this category of business grow at an ever increasing rate thus warranting the attention of evaluation research. Avraam Papastathopoulos and Christina Beneki investigate an important concern with regards to the factors which are associated with the benefits from the adoption of ICTs amongst SMEs. In a study of the Greek SME sector the paper provides evidence that strategy plays a major role in the adoption and the appropriate use of ICTs.  Importantly their research also finds that prior entrepreneurial experience‑knowledge of ICT is significantly associated with the ICT performance. 

RFID technologies are increasingly used in a number of organisational settings for inventory control and management. Paul Golding and Vanesa Tennant contribute to our understanding of evaluation by proposing a methodology to evaluate the RFID inventory reader in a library.  Whilst the findings of this paper hone in on the application of RFID in a specific environment, the findings provide a basis for which evaluation of RFID in other similar contexts can take place, and thus adds to the conceptual base on RFID performance testing.

Notwithstanding many years of case studies and an increasing body of literature on ERP implementation and evaluation thereof questions continue to arise in respect of successful outcomes.  Brian O’Donovan and his co‑authors argue that during the ERP usage stage the intended efficiencies from ERP systems are not always realised. Having studied organisational memory mismatches and the resultant coping strategies their research posits that mismatches and short‑term coping strategies were found to contribute to ERP underperformance. 

In their paper Peter Weimann and co authors investigate the role of communications culture in a distributed team environment.  In assessing the role of ICTs in such an environment the paper argues that team member satisfaction and team success can only be accomplished if the communication culture in the company takes into account the technologies used and the distributed work setting. 

From amongst the various IS evaluation approaches, those apporaches which focus on the role of human stakeholders  are  worthy of a deeper understanding. Jeffrey Bagraim examines the multiple commitments of information technology knowledge workers and the related outcomes of such commitment. The results of his study challenges managers to review their assumptions about the organizational commitments of information technology knowledge workers.

Web 2.0 applications also receive attention in this issue.  Hooper and Evans investigate the value congruence of social networking services in New Zealand, and make an assessment of ethical information handling.  Their findings demonstrate significant shortcomings in the contractual relationships between the users and social networking services and they argue that this could be exploited in order to misuse personally identifiable data.

The paper by Racheal Lindsay and co‑authors discusses measures which are used to monitor data quality in the context of mobile devices in the UK police force.  Their findings show that whilst there are processes in place to verify data standards, these processes only take into consideration the structural completeness of data, and not other measurements of data quality, such as accuracy, timeliness, relevance, understandability and consistency.

Robbert in't Hout and coauthors studied how a wiki could be used to improve knowledge sharing.  The paper reports on a case study in which a consulting company was able to improve knowledge sharing amongst consultants during the devleopment of a Municipal Traffic and Transport Plan.  The findings  suggest that wikis need to be tuned to the learning styles that are available within the community that will use the tool.  In the context of knowledge sharing impolrtant lessons for wiki design are offered.

Finally, in a study of e‑government adoption, Rangarirai Matavire and co‑authors report on factors which inhibit the successful implementation of e‑government in South Africa. The findings of their research demonstrate that leadership, project fragmentation, perceived value of Information Technology, citizen inclusion and task co‑ordination are among the key inhibitors of e‑government success.

Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys

South Africa, October 2010

 

Keywords: affective commitment, boosting behaviour, communication culture, communication pattern, communication technology, data quality, e-Government, enterprise systems, entrepreneurial experience, ERP customising, ERP systems, ERP training, ERP usage, evaluation, grounded theory, helping behaviour, ICT-adoption, ICT-performance, ICT-strategy, interface design , knowledge management , law enforcement, library, mobile working, Municipal Traffic and Transport Planning, New Zealand Privacy Act 1993, ordinal regression, organisational memory, performance , personal security, personally identifiable information, privacy policies, RFID, social networking services , social software, South Africa, turnover intentions, value congruence, virtual teams, Wiki

 

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