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Key success factors influencing SME managers’ information behaviour on emerging ICT (EICT) adoption decision-making in UK SMEs

Sunday C. Eze (Landmark University, Omu Aran, Nigeria)
Sulaimon Olatunji (University of Befordshire, Luton, UK)
Vera C. Chinedu-Eze (Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria)
Adenike O. Bello (Landmark University, Omu Aran, Nigeria)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 17 October 2018

Issue publication date: 1 November 2018

5203

Abstract

Purpose

While a substantial number of studies have examined information behaviour, most centred on choice of information source, student information behaviour, information behaviour of women, environmental uncertainty and scanning behaviour of top-level hotel executives. However, little is known about how the small and medium enterprise (SME) managers scan, seek, gather, document and use information relevant for emerging information and communication technology (EICT) adoption decision-making. This paper aims to examine the key success factors influencing SME manager’s information behaviour on EICT adoption decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

This study deploys a qualitative approach to exploring 16 key success factors shaping SME managers’ information behaviour on EICT adoption decision-making. More specifically, the study adopted both unstructured and semi-structured interviews with 20 small business managers drawn purposeful from Crunch Database.

Findings

This study develops an extended technology, organisation and environment framework by incorporating the information context which helped to unravel 16 key success factors influencing small business managers’ information behaviour on EICT. From the technology context, uncertainty driven, compatibility, replacement of legacy technology, relative advantages, lack of technical know-how and perceived affordability fit for purpose influence SME managers’ information behaviour. Users’ acceptance information, efficiency driven, owner’s support shape the organisation context of perceived information need; competitor’s intelligence gathering, customer’s information gathering provider credibility and government policy influence the environmental context of perceived information need; and finally, perceived information sources credibility, herding event, testimonial and openness to other people’s ideas and experiences are shaped by the information context.

Research limitations/implications

Qualitative research is normally subjective, interpretive and limited on the sample used. Because of the limited number of interviews, the generalisation of the framework and the finding is difficult. Therefore, the finding and the framework need to be established across broader population. The findings are vital considering the fact that small business managers are limited in knowledge and the study may improve the way and manner they go about seeking and gathering information relevant in adopting new ICT.

Originality/value

This research provides further insight into SME managers’ information behaviour by developing a framework and identifying main factors influencing SMEs information behaviours on EICT. Therefore, understanding such factors will enrich their knowledge on some of the factors that may shape their decisions during EICT adoption decision to make effective decision.

Keywords

Citation

Eze, S.C., Olatunji, S., Chinedu-Eze, V.C. and Bello, A.O. (2019), "Key success factors influencing SME managers’ information behaviour on emerging ICT (EICT) adoption decision-making in UK SMEs", The Bottom Line, Vol. 31 No. 3/4, pp. 250-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-02-2018-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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