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The SMEs’ technology acceptance of digital media for stakeholder engagement

Mark Anthony Camilleri (Department of Corporate Communication, University of Malta, Msida, Malta) (Business School, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 8 October 2018

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly communicating and interacting with stakeholders through digital media. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the SME owner-managers’ attitudes toward the pace of technological innovation, and it examines their perceived use and ease of digital media for stakeholder engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology integrated measuring items from the technology acceptance model, the pace of technological innovation and corporate social responsibility, to better understand the SME owner-managers’ rationale for using digital media. The respondents were expected to reveal their attitudes toward commercial, ethical and social responsibilities.

Findings

A factor analysis indicated that the SME owner-managers were perceiving the usefulness of digital media to engage with marketplace stakeholders. Whilst, a stepwise regression analysis reported positive and significant relationships between the pace of technological innovation and the SMEs’ perceived usefulness of digital media for communication purposes. The results also revealed that young owner-managers from large SMEs were more likely to utilize digital media than their smaller counterparts.

Originality/value

This contribution implies that both small and micro businesses are utilizing digital media to improve their stakeholder engagement. This study indicates that the pace of technological innovation, the SMEs’ perceived ease of use of digital media, as well as their commercial responsibility were significant antecedents for the SMEs’ online communication.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author thanks the General Retailers and Traders Union for disseminating the survey questionnaire among their members, and for allowing the researcher to communicate about this research project in their annual event. The author also expresses his gratitude to the journal editor and to the reviewers for their constructive remarks and suggestions.

Citation

Camilleri, M.A. (2019), "The SMEs’ technology acceptance of digital media for stakeholder engagement", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 504-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-02-2018-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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