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Adoption and Programme Contexts in the Support to the Informatisation of SMEs

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Published
Publication date9/11/2011
Original languageEnglish
EventISBE 34th Annual Conference Sheffield 2011 - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 3/09/2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceISBE 34th Annual Conference Sheffield 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySheffield
Period3/09/12 → …

Abstract

Objectives
To understand and predict the behaviour of the programme workers that support information systems adoption in SMEs.
Prior Work
This study is part of a research programme on information systems adoption in SMEs under a realist perspective. We initially identified a series of barriers affecting the SMEs’ adoptions. After that, we detected excessive discretion in the implementation of the programmes that were aimed at addressing these barriers. Given this freedom of action, this part of the research focuses on the contexts that drive the behaviour of programme workers in each intervention.
Approach
First, we defined the ‘assistance process’ (selection, design, delivery, connection and follow-up) in order to have a structured base to analyse the behaviour of programme workers. We used six case studies of programme interventions in information systems adoptions in SMEs in order to ground our theoretical constructs from the data. To do so, we analysed the adoption and programme contexts to identify any pattern of influence on the programme workers.
Results
First of all, we defined a classification of five types of ‘adoption contexts’ (simple, low-complexity, medium-complexity, complex and high-complexity), which explains the extent that adoption processes are under the control of SMEs as well as the external support that could be required. In addition, we designed a classification of four types of ‘programme contexts’ (chaotic, misleading, optimum and unsustainable), which explains the choice of goals of programme workers (programme, social or SME goals) as well as the potential performance of programmes in terms of the quality of the services and outputs. After this, we used both, the adoption context and programme context classifications to illustrate in detail the potential behaviour of programme workers at each stage of the assistance processes
Implications
•It seems that the type Chaotic is the most common programme context.
•It is relevant to research how to improve programme contexts with policy and private interventions.
•This future research will demand a systems perspective and critical approaches.
Value
The research raises a novel and relevant concern about public policies for information systems in SMEs, and denotes a multidisciplinary research agenda in order to improve the situation of programmes and consequently the diffusion of information systems in SMEs.

Bibliographic note

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