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Internet/e‐business technologies acceptance in Canada's SMEs: an exploratory investigation

Princely Ifinedo (Department of Financial and Information Management, Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Canada)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 28 January 2011




This study aims at contributing to the discussion related to what causes Canadian small and medium‐size enterprises (SMEs) to be reticent about accepting internet and e‐business technologies (IEBT) in their operations. The research also seeks to gain an understanding of the relative importance of each of the selected factors in the research setting.


A survey was conducted in the Atlantic region of Canada. Questionnaires were mailed to key SMEs' informants. Data analysis was performed using the partial least squares (PLS) approach. A research framework based on the technology‐organization‐environment (TOE) frameworks was used to guide the research effort. Such contingent factors as perceived benefits, management commitment/support, organizational IT competence, external pressure, information systems (IS) vendor support, and availability of financial support, were used to develop relevant hypotheses.


The study's findings indicated that perceived benefits, management commitment/support, and external pressure are significant predictors of IEBT acceptance in the sampled SMEs; the results did not show that organizational IT competence, IS vendor support, and availability of financial support positively influence IEBT acceptance in the sampled SMEs.

Practical implications

Policy makers, industry leaders, and small business operators wishing to understand some of the reasons why certain SMEs in the country lag in the adoption of IEBT and related technologies can benefit from the information provided in this study. The study also alerted the attention of local IS vendors and financial institutions to what can be done to strengthen IS adoption in Canadian small businesses.


A handful of previous research in Canada has researched IEBT adoption; however, some of these studies are dated. A such, this current investigation of IEBT acceptance in a less endowed part of the country is timely and welcoming; it also serves to complement other prior studies in the country and elsewhere. A scan of the extant literature indicates that no previous study in the country has modeled some of the factors (e.g. the availability of financial support) as were used herein. The inclusion of such a factor enriches insight in this area of study.



Ifinedo, P. (2011), "Internet/e‐business technologies acceptance in Canada's SMEs: an exploratory investigation", Internet Research, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 255-281.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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