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Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).
The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.
This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.
Many accounting researchers use direct mail survey questionnaires as a means of data collection. There are many advantages in using mail surveys. For example, surveys are…
Many accounting researchers use direct mail survey questionnaires as a means of data collection. There are many advantages in using mail surveys. For example, surveys are a cost‐effective and efficient means of collecting research data and they provide a means of obtaining data from a geographically diverse population. However, there are several potential problems associated with the use of questionnaires in general and mail survey questionnaires in particular. These include sampling bias, low response rates, response bias, and poor questionnaire design. Numerous suggestions and procedures have been proposed in the literature to reduce the impact of these factors — unfortunately, most of these suggestions have gone unheeded. A study recently published in this journal (Guilding and Kirman, 1998) is critiqued in order to point out the potential limitations associated with using survey questionnaires, and to indicate what researchers can do to mitigate the effects of these problems.
This article reviews research findings related to the “art” of constructing survey questionnaires. It discusses some of the important issues that should be considered in…
This article reviews research findings related to the “art” of constructing survey questionnaires. It discusses some of the important issues that should be considered in gathering quality data via questionnaires, provides general suggestions for their construction, includes a comprehensive list of important reference sources, and examines some of the survey‐based studies published in Integrated Manufacturing Systems. Constructing a good questionnaire requires a thorough grasp of the intricacies of the topical area and detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the different survey administration modes. In addition, questionnaire construction entails close attention to details about the wording of questions, their instructions, their response choices, and their sequence. Most importantly, the research instrument should be refined based on guidance from repeated pretests. Well‐constructed questionnaires can ensure the consistent meaning of the questions across respondents and can contribute to data quality by decreasing both item and unit nonresponse.
This chapter covers the attributes of a well-designed questionnaire and on how to adopt a framework for developing questionnaires. Different types of questionnaires are discussed exhaustively, with tips on structure, procedures, and standard format examples. The author gives an elaborate example of a survey questionnaire, closely related to one of his major research project.
This paper addresses the use of the electronic survey method with particular reference to management accounting research.
This paper addresses the use of the electronic survey method with particular reference to management accounting research.
A total of 222 questionnaires were used, where 182 questionnaires were sent with an accompanying invitation letter to participate in a pre‐paid envelope. There were posted directly to the respondents. The remainder were administered as an email survey.
The results of the email survey have been compared with that of the traditional postal survey and the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two methods are discussed and explored. The findings show that email and Internet facilitated surveys can yield higher returns at a lower cost per returned questionnaire. Moreover, such surveys are also a relatively inexpensive and expedient means of communicating with respondents, while facilitating a convenient way of correcting misunderstandings and following up on missing data.
Drawing on the literature, strategies such as email surveys and other Web‐based activities will enrich the data and increase response rates. The value of the paper is to draw attention to such methods, which will help overcome problem of low response rates associated with traditional postal surveys.
Although pretesting is an essential part of the questionnaire design process, the range of methodological work on pretesting issues is limited. The present paper…
Although pretesting is an essential part of the questionnaire design process, the range of methodological work on pretesting issues is limited. The present paper concentrates on the effect of the pretest survey method on error detection by contrasting respondents who are interviewed personally with those who receive an impersonal survey method. The interaction between survey method and respondent knowledge of the questionnaire topic is also considered. The findings show that the pretest method does have an effect on the error detection rate of respondents; however, the hypothesised interaction between method and knowledge was not unequivocally supported. The detailed results illustrate which error types are affected by the method used during pretesting. Implications for future research are considered.
The objective of this study is to investigate how country risk, different political actions from the government and bureaucratic behavior influence the activities in…
The objective of this study is to investigate how country risk, different political actions from the government and bureaucratic behavior influence the activities in industry supply chains (SCs) in emerging markets. The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of these external stakeholders’ elements to the demand-side and supply-side drivers and barriers for improving competitiveness of Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in the way of analyzing supply chain. Considering the phenomenon of recent change in the RMG business environment and the competitiveness issues this study uses the principles of stakeholder and resource dependence theory and aims to find out some factors which influence to make an efficient supply chain for improving competitiveness. The RMG industry of Bangladesh is the case application of this study. Following a positivist paradigm, this study adopts a two phase sequential mixed-method research design consisting of qualitative and quantitative approaches. A tentative research model is developed first based on extensive literature review. Qualitative field study is then carried out to fine tune the initial research model. Findings from the qualitative method are also used to develop measures and instruments for the next phase of quantitative method. A survey is carried out with sample of top and middle level executives of different garment companies of Dhaka city in Bangladesh and the collected quantitative data are analyzed by partial least square-based structural equation modeling. The findings support eight hypotheses. From the analysis the external stakeholders’ elements like bureaucratic behavior and country risk have significant influence to the barriers. From the internal stakeholders’ point of view the manufacturers’ and buyers’ drivers have significant influence on the competitiveness. Therefore, stakeholders need to take proper action to reduce the barriers and increase the drivers, as the drivers have positive influence to improve competitiveness.
This study has both theoretical and practical contributions. This study represents an important contribution to the theory by integrating two theoretical perceptions to identify factors of the RMG industry’s SC that affect the competitiveness of the RMG industry. This research study contributes to the understanding of both external and internal stakeholders of national and international perspectives in the RMG (textile and clothing) business. It combines the insights of stakeholder and resource dependence theories along with the concept of the SC in improving effectiveness. In a practical sense, this study certainly contributes to the Bangladeshi RMG industry. In accordance with the desire of the RMG manufacturers, the research has shown that some influential constructs of the RMG industry’s SC affect the competitiveness of the RMG industry. The outcome of the study is useful for various stakeholders of the Bangladeshi RMG industry sector ranging from the government to various private organizations. The applications of this study are extendable through further adaptation in other industries and various geographic contexts.
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption…
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption behavior of E-payment systems that employ smart card technology becomes a research area that is of particular value and interest to both IS researchers and professionals. However, research interest focuses mostly on why a smart card-based E-payment system results in a failure or how the system could have grown into a success. This signals the fact that researchers have not had much opportunity to critically review a smart card-based E-payment system that has gained wide support and overcome the hurdle of critical mass adoption. The Octopus in Hong Kong has provided a rare opportunity for investigating smart card-based E-payment system because of its unprecedented success. This research seeks to thoroughly analyze the Octopus from technology adoption behavior perspectives.
Cultural impacts on adoption behavior are one of the key areas that this research posits to investigate. Since the present research is conducted in Hong Kong where a majority of population is Chinese ethnicity and yet is westernized in a number of aspects, assuming that users in Hong Kong are characterized by eastern or western culture is less useful. Explicit cultural characteristics at individual level are tapped into here instead of applying generalization of cultural beliefs to users to more accurately reflect cultural bias. In this vein, the technology acceptance model (TAM) is adapted, extended, and tested for its applicability cross-culturally in Hong Kong on the Octopus. Four cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede are included in this study, namely uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism, and Confucian Dynamism (long-term orientation), to explore their influence on usage behavior through the mediation of perceived usefulness.
TAM is also integrated with the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) to borrow two constructs in relation to innovative characteristics, namely relative advantage and compatibility, in order to enhance the explanatory power of the proposed research model. Besides, the normative accountability of the research model is strengthened by embracing two social influences, namely subjective norm and image. As the last antecedent to perceived usefulness, prior experience serves to bring in the time variation factor to allow level of prior experience to exert both direct and moderating effects on perceived usefulness.
The resulting research model is analyzed by partial least squares (PLS)-based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. The research findings reveal that all cultural dimensions demonstrate direct effect on perceived usefulness though the influence of uncertainty avoidance is found marginally significant. Other constructs on innovative characteristics and social influences are validated to be significant as hypothesized. Prior experience does indeed significantly moderate the two influences that perceived usefulness receives from relative advantage and compatibility, respectively. The research model has demonstrated convincing explanatory power and so may be employed for further studies in other contexts. In particular, cultural effects play a key role in contributing to the uniqueness of the model, enabling it to be an effective tool to help critically understand increasingly internationalized IS system development and implementation efforts. This research also suggests several practical implications in view of the findings that could better inform managerial decisions for designing, implementing, or promoting smart card-based E-payment system.
This article presents focus groups as a method to enhance questionnaire design to frame and test items for a mass survey on corruption and austerity in democracy. Such…
This article presents focus groups as a method to enhance questionnaire design to frame and test items for a mass survey on corruption and austerity in democracy. Such methodology lacks systematization when it comes to the description of implementation procedures and the discussion of effective contribution to the development of survey questions on sensitive topics. The objective of this article is to contribute to the specialized literature on corruption by offering a novel focus group approach and a roadmap to guide researchers in the field when using this methodology to develop questionnaire items. This hands-on guide can be adaptable to other (survey) studies on issues prone to social desirability bias.
This article proposes an innovative multi-technique (short questionnaire, visual stimuli and exploratory discussion with expert moderation) focus group approach to collect informal impressions about corruption and austerity. By developing a focus group design through the combination of different research techniques, the authors were able to triangulate reflexive, spontaneous and interactive qualitative bottom-up information about individual perceptions and reactions to sensitive topics. By describing how to implement these groups, other than discussing what type of qualitative information can be extracted from these discussions and to what effect, the authors seek to present a hands-on guide that can be replicated and adapted to similar studies. This roadmap will help researchers to test individual perceptions and reactions to sensitive topics through the use of tailored focus groups in order to enhance the quality of survey questionnaires prior to engaging in a high-cost fieldwork.
The article concludes that the adoption of the multi-technique focus group approach to requalify and test questions for a nationwide survey gives us a better understanding of the many ethical dilemmas individuals confront when thinking about and expressing their views on sensitive topics prone to social desirability bias. The proposed multi-technique focus group approach proved to be effective to engage participants during sessions and to obtain relevant and unanticipated information for the development of new questionnaire items and the reviewing of old ones.
Implementing Focus Group (FG) in regions with different cultural traditions and levels of development and contrasting the perceptions, values and attitudes of two generations, with different formative backgrounds is not an easy task. In order to secure the adequate number and type of participants, the Focus Group were organized in close collaboration with four higher education institutions and two lifelong learning programs where the sessions took place. Participation was voluntary and consented, in accordance with the applicable legislation and standards for social research.
The article presents an accessible and adaptable roadmap to researchers working in the field of corruption studies as well as anticorruption government agencies and CSOs interested in enhancing the quality of survey questionnaires on sensitive topics target of social desirability before engaging in a high-cost fieldwork and to describe relevant information that can be extracted from the discussions held.
Most cross-country surveys on corruption tend to use basic/traditional measures to assess the phenomenon, such as questions on extension, acceptability and/or experience. They take almost for granted that people have the same understanding of this complex construct, which may not hold true, as the focus group discussions illustrate. The three-stage focus group design aims to improve the quality of a survey design regarding people's attitudes, perceptions and experiences of corruption in democracy, by contributing to the development of new questions that tap into the relationship between social condemnation and the individual's socio-economic conditions.
The article provides a low-cost combination of qualitative-oriented (questionnaire development through focus groups) with a quantitative-oriented research tool (mass survey implementation) to meet mixed-method research objectives and enhance the ability to capture several “non-statistical” dimensions of complex social phenomena that are often neglected when a single-methodology approach is used.
The aim of this paper is to compare the use of critical incident technique (CIT) for gathering student feedback in higher education (HE) with the more traditional and…
The aim of this paper is to compare the use of critical incident technique (CIT) for gathering student feedback in higher education (HE) with the more traditional and commonly used questionnaire survey method.
The investigation involved a critical evaluation of the standard self‐completion, multi‐question “tick‐box” quantitative survey questionnaire traditionally employed to collect student feedback in HE, against the more qualitative critical incident technique that was tested within the HE context. This evaluation was supported by a review of the extant literature to determine the advantages and disadvantages of both feedback methods and a comparison of the data gathered from university students using both survey instruments. Conclusions were then drawn regarding the value of both methods. The criteria used for the comparison were the design and administration of the survey instruments, analysis and quality of the data collected, and finally, the potential usefulness of the data to HE managers.
The main issue regarding suitability of approach is resource utilisation. The CIT questionnaire is much quicker and easier to design than the traditional questionnaire, asking only a small number of questions. However, completion, input and analysis of the CIT questionnaire take longer than the standard tick‐box questionnaire. The richness of the data more than compensates for these drawbacks. In principle, the qualitative critical incident technique should be used to complement the existing methods of gathering student feedback in order to find out what is significant to students. However, in practice, it is more likely that managers within HE will continue to use the more traditional survey questionnaire, because of the limited resources available to them.
Not only is CIT a method that can be used by researchers in the education sector nationally and internationally, to gather rich and useful data about the student experience but it may also be useful for gathering information from other stakeholders.
The paper is the first to use CIT to gather feedback from students on their university experience. It proposes that, in order to obtain valid and reliable data on which to base service provision decisions, university management should consider using this qualitative technique in combination with more traditional quantitative methods of gathering student feedback.