Theoretical Foundations for Information Systems Success in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Theoretical Foundations for Information Systems Success in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Jan Devos (Ghent University, Belgium), Hendrik Van Landeghem (Ghent University, Belgium) and Dirk Deschoolmeester (Ghent University, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0170-3.ch005
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Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) in order to achieve business goals and obtain net benefits. However, adopting IT/IS into an existing organizational structure is a complex and risky task. Many investments in IT/IS, outsourced as well as in-sourced, never fully reach the intended objectives and are therefore considered as not being successful. In this chapter, the authors focused on IS success in small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs) in order to find theoretical foundations. They explain four well-known theories, often used in IS research, which constitute the basics of their thinking. These theories are the technology acceptance model (TAM), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the DeLone & McLean IS success model (D&M), and the transaction cost economy (TCE) model. The authors weaved the constructs of these theories into a compound framework that delivers explanatory and predicting power for the successful adoption of IT/IS in SMEs. This framework is also consistent with the nomological IS network established by Benbasat and Zmud (Benbasat & Zmud, 2003). In order to validate the framework, the authors examined the extent to which the theoretical model could provide support for the Cobit framework, often used by practitioners as an IT governance framework, and also suitable for SMEs. Findings show that the framework offers surprising coherence and proposes a strong theoretical foundation for the normative directions of the methods used in Cobit by IT practitioners.
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Smes And It/Is

Although small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a substantial part of the business environment and a major component of most economies throughout the world, IS research has primarily focused on large corporations (Lee, Kim, Choi, & Lee, 2009; Snider, da Silveira, & Balakrishnan, 2009; Wang & Ahmed, 2009). Research on IS success in small businesses has been largely disregarded and has mainly been conducted in manufacturing enterprises (Harland, Caldwell, Powell, & Zheng, 2007; Olsen & Saetre, 2007).

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