This study intends to emphasize the importance that external sources of pressure may have on the level of ICT involvement among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Italy. While past research tends to prioritize the role of endogenous conditions for the adoption of information and communication technologies— that is, financial resources, organization conditions, management culture—the high dependence of SMEs on their environment requires paying especial attention to external pressures as well. Both competitive and institutional pressures are proposed and tested through an ordinal regression model on a sample of 285 SMEs. The results suggest both policy and management implications.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Firms with a number of employees comprised between 20 and 249
Technology Organization Environment (TOE): Theoretical framework developed by Thornatzky and Fleischer in 1990, which identify the features of technology, the organizational readiness of the firm, and the environmental conditions as key drivers of technology adoption
Competitive Pressures: Element of the environment, which interact with firm’s decisions, that are specific to the competitive market where the firm play
Institutional Pressures: Element of the macro-institutional environment where the firm plays that can influence, through norms and habits, the firm’s decisions
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM): Theoretical framework developed by Davis in 1989 which identify perceived usefulness, ease of use, and cultural orientation of the decision maker as key drivers of technology adoption
Ordinal Regression: Regression model used when the dependent variable is a ranking-order variable (3 is higher than 1 but it is not necessarily three times one).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services: That part of the technology solutions to manage information and communication processes made up with software and other intangibles which are not material assets such like Hardware