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Perceived performance effects of ICT in manufacturing SMEs

Alberto Bayo‐Moriones (Department of Business Administration, School of Business and Economics, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain)
Margarita Billón (Department of Economic Development, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Fernando Lera‐López (Department of Business Administration, School of Business and Economics, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 25 January 2013




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether information and communication technologies (ICT) resources, including investment and use of specific types of ICT as well as innovative work practices, have a positive impact on several dimensions of firm performance, taking into account both direct and indirect effects and both short and long‐term effects.


An empirical study using data from a sample of 267 Spanish manufacturing SMEs was conducted. Path analysis was used to study direct and indirect ICT impacts and OLS regression was the estimation method employed.


The findings show a positive relationship between ICT adoption and all the measures of perceived performance analyzed, although the impact is not always immediate since the lag effects and length differ according to the type of ICT. Managers' perceptions of ICT impact are related to the adoption of new work practices but the effects also depend positively on the number of years since new work practices were implemented. ICT impact on final performance (market share and profits and margin) takes place mainly indirectly through the improvement of internal and external communication, as well as through operational performance.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of the research stem from the specific geographical context under consideration and restrictions relating to the cross‐sectional nature of the data.

Practical implications

The results reveal the wide scope of the benefits of ICT adoption in SMEs and point to the need for persistence in use so as to obtain good results in some areas. They also stress the positive effects of adopting ICTs together with organizational innovation.


This research extends the scope of the analysis of ICT payoff literature by analyzing direct and indirect effects and by focusing on a broad range of technologies, a variety of performance measures and several time lags to study ICT adoption impacts in SMEs.



Bayo‐Moriones, A., Billón, M. and Lera‐López, F. (2013), "Perceived performance effects of ICT in manufacturing SMEs", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 113 No. 1, pp. 117-135.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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