The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Issue
Volume 12 Issue 2 / Dec 2009  pp129‑198

Editor: Shaun Pather

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The Influence of net Benefits on Collective, Innovative, Configural System use: a Case Study of Small‑to‑Medium Enterprises  pp129‑140

Carla Wilkin

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Abstract

In today's business world, Small‑to‑Medium enterprises (SMEs) increasingly join their larger counterparts in regarding use of Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) as fundamental to business operations. For SMEs, investment in packaged software that has not been customized to individual enterprise needs, allows ready access to much of the IT function enjoyed by their larger counterparts. However, given these systems are not exclusively tailored to the enterprise and further given the collective nature of the work‑place in these enterprises, the likelihood increases for work‑arounds and unexpected usage to occur to manage enterprise needs. Studies that explore system use typically focus on individual use. Using an interpretive case study approach, this study considers users of a common system in individually owned SMEs to explore evidence of collective, innovative, configural (CIC) use, the causes of this and its impact on fellow workers. Results provide insight into the role of systems as dynamic business tools and show that despite impacts on financial and operational reporting, CIC use occurs for reasons of operational efficiency and also out of frustration with system functionality. This provides some insight into attitudes concerning Use and Net Benefits in the IS Success Model, which in turn informs system evolution. 

 

Keywords: collective use, work-arounds, innovative use, configural use, small-to-medium enterprises, net benefits

 

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