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Exploring the needs of SMEs for mobile data technologies: the role of qualitative research techniques

Debra Harker (Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)
Jeanette Van Akkeren (Associate Lecturer in Information Systems, Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 1 September 2002

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Abstract

The technological environment in which contemporary small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) operate can best be described as dynamic. The seemingly exponential nature of technological change, characterised by perceived increases in the benefits associated with various technologies, shortening product life‐cycles and changing standards, provides for SMEs a complex and challenging operational context. The development of infrastructures capable of supporting the wireless application protocol (WAP) and associated “wireless” applications represents the latest generation of technological innovation with potential appeal to SMEs and end‐users alike. This paper aims to understand the mobile data technology needs of SMEs in a regional setting. The research was especially concerned with perceived needs across three market segments: non‐adopters of new technology, partial‐adopters of new technology, and full‐adopters of new technology. The research was exploratory in nature as the phenomenon under scrutiny is relatively new and the uses unclear, thus focus groups were conducted with each of the segments. The paper provides insights for business, industry and academics.

Keywords

Citation

Harker, D. and Van Akkeren, J. (2002), "Exploring the needs of SMEs for mobile data technologies: the role of qualitative research techniques", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 199-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522750210432002

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited