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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Sally Smith, Thomas N. Garavan, Anne Munro, Elaine Ramsey, Colin F. Smith and Alison Varey

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals transitioned to a permanent hybrid role. This study therefore contributes to the under-researched area of permanent transition to a hybrid role in the context of IT, where there is a requirement to enact both the professional and leader roles together.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised a longitudinal design and two qualitative methods (interviews and reflective diaries) to gather data from 17 IT professionals transitioning to hybrid roles.

Findings

The study findings reveal that IT professionals engage in an ongoing process of reconciliation of professional and leader identity as they transition to a permanent hybrid role, and they construct hybrid professional–leader identities while continuing to value their professional identity. They experience professional–leader identity conflict resulting from reluctance to reconcile both professional and leader identities. They used both integration and differentiation identity work tactics to ameliorate these tensions.

Originality/value

The longitudinal study design, the qualitative approaches used and the unique context of the participants provide a dynamic and deep understanding of the challenges involved in performing hybrid roles in the context of IT.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Caroline Morrison, Elaine Ramsey and Derek Bond

The purpose of this paper is to understand the processes whereby social entrepreneurs can contribute to community resilience and sustainability.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the processes whereby social entrepreneurs can contribute to community resilience and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative case study approach with 15 island communities located off the north and west coasts of Scotland and who were engaged in the development and implementation of renewable energy initiatives.

Findings

Peripheral communities provide an environment where entrepreneurial activities can flourish. Through a model of social enterprise, they were able to develop the necessary mechanisms to increase socio-economic resilience. The study indicates the importance of social capital in this process.

Research limitations/implications

External networks provide part of the framework to overcome market imperfections caused by distance and remoteness so that social entrepreneurs can develop their ability to build resilience and sustainability. More research is needed on how this framework can be utilised.

Social implications

In spite of the challenges presented in remote areas, these communities have shown the ability to adapt. This is an important component of resilience building.

Originality/value

This paper makes a unique contribution to the knowledge base through the interconnected concepts of social entrepreneurship and social capital. It provides new empirical insights into social enterprises and describes the mechanisms that help to build resilient rural communities in the context of renewable energy endeavours.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Patrick McCole, Elaine Ramsey, Andrew Kincaid, Yulin Fang and Huifang LI

Varied accounts exist regarding the role of trust and satisfaction in online continuance intention and contexts within which this occurs. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Varied accounts exist regarding the role of trust and satisfaction in online continuance intention and contexts within which this occurs. The purpose of this paper is to consider the moderating effect of structural assurance (SA) on satisfaction and trust and trust and continuance intention in a pure e-service context (online betting).

Design/methodology/approach

UK online bettors were surveyed with an instrument developed using validated variables and measurements, including continuance intention, satisfaction, trust (in vendor) and SA. Structural equation modeling with partial least squares was used to evaluate the measurement and structural model simultaneously.

Findings

SA positively moderates the trust–continuance intention relationship but not the satisfaction–trust relationship. SA is positively associated with trust.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to research focused on exploring the moderating effects of trust and satisfaction on continuance intention where institution-based mechanisms are perceived to be effective and framed to assure success.

Practical implications

An over-reliance on context-specific mechanisms is inadequate; strategic approaches to trust must consider contextual and institutional mechanisms interdependently.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the need for research relating to the institutional context within which trust mechanisms operate. This research provides a novel contribution through an exploration of the moderating effects of SA on: trust and continuance intention; and satisfaction and trust (the authors also measure the direct effect of SA on trust). This paper is one of the first studies to examine these important concepts in this context. The online betting case allows for the exploration of risk where vendor-specific and contextual risk are both high.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Elaine Ramsey, Patrick Ibbotson, Jim Bell and Brendan Gray

Given the growth of services and their importance in the economy, e‐business and the Internet have the potential to increase the competitiveness and growth of small firms…

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1727

Abstract

Given the growth of services and their importance in the economy, e‐business and the Internet have the potential to increase the competitiveness and growth of small firms. However, the general pattern is that the smaller the enterprise, the less likely they are to be prepared to adapt their business processes to accommodate this “new” technology. To illustrate the inherent issues this qualitative research utilised various projective techniques: construction, completion, and associative “tests” that have challenged the pseudo‐scientific age of business as a great human “subjective” exercise. A methodology that in the less traditional academic sense is “unusual, intriguing, fun and engaging” is innovatively employed in this small tradable service firm study to facilitate self‐expression among the respondents about particular e‐business scenarios in a less structured, indirect and more imaginative way. Consequently, the depth of the analysis and interpretation generated from the study has provided the researcher with a rich source of new leads and ideas about potential e‐business inhibitors and facilitators among SMEs not previously considered.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Derek Bond and Elaine Ramsey

Normal “mixed method” approaches to research – using standard quantitative surveys supported by qualitative methods such as semi‐structured interviews, often fail to…

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1455

Abstract

Purpose

Normal “mixed method” approaches to research – using standard quantitative surveys supported by qualitative methods such as semi‐structured interviews, often fail to measure issues “outside of the fence”. The purpose of this paper is to consider whether the challenges of bounded rationality can, in part, be addressed by including projective techniques within the “mixed methods” approach. In particular, it discusses the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in such an approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of an international pilot study into the use of projective techniques in assisting the evaluation of policies is outlined. The study is concerned with the response of small businesses to governments' policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of ICT. This is used as the basis of a discussion of the appropriateness of using ICT in such an approach.

Findings

ICT could play an important role in the use of projective techniques – including design; improving reliability and validity; distribution; analysis and interpretation.

Research limitations/implications

Much more research is needed before the appropriateness of (ICT based) projective techniques can be assessed fully.

Practical implications

The lessons learnt from this pilot study about the use of projective techniques as part of a “mixed methods” survey methodology was explored. In particular, the paper provides some practical suggestions as to how ICT might be used to reduce the overheads involved in implementing projective techniques.

Originality/value

For many people involved in traditional quantitative and qualitative research the usefulness and appropriateness of projective techniques have yet to be proven. This paper contributes some new thinking about how ICT might address some of the concerns over the suitability of projective techniques as part of a mixed methodology.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Paul Harrigan, Elaine Ramsey and Patrick Ibbotson

Relationship marketing principles have seldom been applied to the small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise (SME). The purpose of this paper is to develop what is a striking link…

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4746

Abstract

Purpose

Relationship marketing principles have seldom been applied to the small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise (SME). The purpose of this paper is to develop what is a striking link by investigating the role of internet technologies in the customer relationship management of SMEs based in Northern Ireland (NI).

Design/methodology/approach

This study took an exploratory outlook and a quantitative approach to data collection was adopted. A self‐completion questionnaire was distributed by post to a sample of 300 SMEs in NI. A response rate of 18.6 per cent was obtained.

Findings

The findings of this study illustrate that SMEs are implementing fundamental electronic customer relationship management (e‐CRM) practices and reaping the benefits from internationalisation. Challenges are few, but centre on a preference for face‐to‐face relationships and a lack of government support.

Research limitations/implications

It is hoped that this exploratory research has laid the foundation for further examination of e‐CRM in the SME context. Future studies should be able to replicate the process in other countries and on a larger scale. The potential also exists for in‐depth qualitative research.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that e‐CRM may have to move on to a more strategic and integrated level if SMEs in NI are to compete, both locally and globally.

Originality/value

This exploratory research has shed some light on the marginalised subject of e‐CRM in SMEs. For SMEs operating in a peripheral economy such as NI the benefits to be gained from e‐CRM are lucrative.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2009

Paul Harrigan, Elaine Ramsey and Patrick Ibbotson

Relationship marketing principles have seldom been applied to the small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise (SME). The purpose of this paper is to develop what is a striking link…

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4415

Abstract

Purpose

Relationship marketing principles have seldom been applied to the small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise (SME). The purpose of this paper is to develop what is a striking link by presenting empirical evidence on the role of internet technologies in the customer relationship management activities of Irish SMEs. More specifically, this is a comparative study investigating electronic‐customer relationship management (e‐CRM) in international and domestic firms. The nature and role of e‐CRM is assessed, the strategies behind e‐CRM delineated, and the ensuing benefits and challenges revealed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has an exploratory outlook and a quantitative approach to data collection is adopted to facilitate broad classification in an under researched area. A self‐completion questionnaire is distributed to a sample of 1,445 SMEs. A response rate of 20 per cent is obtained, providing 286 usable responses. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed using SPSS.

Findings

The findings of this paper confirm that SMEs are implementing fundamental e‐CRM practices. Those firms serving international markets tend to place greater emphasis on e‐CRM and are reaping greater benefits. Benefits range from enhanced customer service, reduced business cost, increased sales, and improved profitability. Challenges are few, but centre on a preference for face‐to‐face relationships and a lack of government support.

Practical implications

It is hoped that this exploratory research has laid the foundation for further examination of e‐CRM in the SME context. Future research will add explanation through in‐depth qualitative methods, while the potential exists to replicate the study in other countries. The authors conclude that e‐CRM can and must move on to a more strategic and integrated level if SMEs in Ireland are to compete both locally and globally.

Originality/value

This paper has shed light on the marginalised subject of e‐CRM in SMEs. For SMEs operating in a peripheral economy such as Ireland, the benefits to be gained from e‐CRM are lucrative. SMEs viewing their market beyond national borders are using e‐CRM to achieve a range of business benefits. The quantitative methodology adopted has provided an exploratory, yet solid, insight into an important area for academics and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

David Pickernell, Gary Packham, Paul Jones, Christopher Miller and Brychan Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether, and in what areas, graduate entrepreneurs are significantly different from non‐graduate entrepreneurs, both generally…

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4707

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether, and in what areas, graduate entrepreneurs are significantly different from non‐graduate entrepreneurs, both generally and in terms of external resources (advice, finance and public procurement contracts).

Design/methodology/approach

The available literature was evaluated to identify issues affecting enterprise generally, and external resource access and use and educational attainment specifically. The data used were generated from the 2008 UK Federation of Small Businesses Survey, providing over 8,000 usable responses for this analysis. Quantitative analysis identified significant general characteristics of graduate entrepreneurs compared with non‐graduate entrepreneurs. Factor analysis was then used to identify the sets of advice, finance and public procurement customers of greatest interest, with independent samples t‐tests used to compare graduate and non‐graduate use thereof.

Findings

Graduate entrepreneur‐owned firms were statistically significantly more likely (than non‐graduate‐owned firms) to have younger owners, be younger and more export‐oriented businesses, in high knowledge services, to have intellectual property, make more use of web sites and be of high growth potential. In terms of external resources, graduate‐owned businesses were more likely to have received beneficial business advice from informal networks/trade associations, government business services, friends and family, customers and suppliers, and to have public procurement customers at the national/international level.

Originality/value

The study provides important empirical baseline data for future quantitative and qualitative studies focused on the impact of enterprise education specifically.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2013

David Pickernell, Julienne Senyard, Paul Jones, Gary Packham and Elaine Ramsey

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether new and young firms are different from older firms. This analysis is undertaken to explore general characteristics, use…

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1927

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether new and young firms are different from older firms. This analysis is undertaken to explore general characteristics, use of external resources and growth orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the 2008 UK Federation of Small Businesses survey provided 8,000 responses. Quantitative analysis identified significantly different characteristics of firms from 0‐4, 4‐9, 9‐19 and 20+ years. Factor analysis was utilised to identify the advice sets, finance and public procurement customers of greatest interest, with ANOVA used to statistically compare firms in the identified age groups with different growth aspirations.

Findings

The findings reveal key differences between new, young and older firms in terms of characteristics including business sector, owner/manager age, education/business experience, legal status, intellectual property and trading performance. New and young firms were more able to access beneficial resources in terms of finance and advice from several sources. New and young firms were also able to more easily access government and external finance, as well as government advice, but less able to access public procurement.

Research limitations/implications

New and young firms are utilising external networks to access several resources for development purposes, and this differs for older firms. This suggests that a more explicit age‐differentiated focus is required for government policies aimed at supporting firm growth.

Originality/value

The study provides important baseline data for future quantitative and qualitative studies focused on the impact of firm age and government policy.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Elaine Ramsey and Patrick McCole

The aim of this study is to understand why some New Zealand firms in the professional services industries have been slow to embrace e‐business technologies.

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2796

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to understand why some New Zealand firms in the professional services industries have been slow to embrace e‐business technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employ a postal survey approach and involve a sample of 500 professional service small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand.

Findings

The main conclusion derived from this study is that a combination of factors influences a firm's current and future level of e‐business adoption. These factors include: being able to understand potential e‐business benefits; being able to respond to customer and competitor practices; being prepared to develop staff skills and knowledge of internet‐based technologies (IBTs); and having a well justified and strategic orientation towards e‐business.

Research limitations/implications

The research was restricted in scope to professional service sector SMEs in New Zealand. Further research is planned to provide valuable benchmarks of other country and sectoral adoption and diffusion behaviours.

Practical implications

Adopting firms must continue to extend their e‐business capabilities and levels of sophistication. The biggest challenge that lies ahead is how to change the mindset of non‐adopters and make them realise the benefits that e‐business can deliver. In the final analysis choices about new technology and the exploitation of e‐business opportunities must be owner‐manager led.

Originality/value

The contribution of this research is that the relationship between technology adoption and professional service‐sector firms in New Zealand has become better understood. Implicitly the study has revealed the factors that impact on the decision‐making processes of owner‐managers in relation to the adoption (or otherwise) of IBTs for business purposes.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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