Title: An exploratory study of the relevance of trans-national global information systems to small and medium enterprises: evidence from Egypt

Authors: Khaled Samaha, Adam Baki

Addresses: Management Department, School of Business, Economics and Communication (BEC), The American University in Cairo (AUC), Room 2058 – Abdul Latif Jameel Hall, P.O. Box 74, New Cairo – 11825, Egypt. ' Delta Care Limited, 17 Charlotte Street, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 3RE, UK

Abstract: This paper provides an investigation into the information system (IS) strategy of SMEs in Egypt using questionnaires and case studies to explore if a trans-national global IS can be applied to SMEs in Egypt. Generally, most Egyptian SMEs lack the structure needed to successfully plan an ISS. However, it was evidenced that top management involvement is present at the decision-making stages and throughout implementation and IS planning is undertaken in some way by Egyptian SMEs. The case studies revealed that SMEs operating with a structured hierarchy proved to be far more advanced with regard to information system strategy planning (ISSP). The results of the OLS regression analysis indicated that the higher the involvement of top management in IS decision-making in Egyptian SMEs the more advanced the organisation regarding ISS; organisations that have an IS department and a specific IS budget are more successful in planning and implementing IS strategy; there is a lack of expertise to adequately implement ISS in new companies and in companies from the public sector and finally, the greater the IS budget the greater the outsourcing activities of a firm. A theory of trans-national global IS can therefore be applied to Egyptian SMEs with some modifications due to differing cultures.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; information technology; information systems; strategic planning; strategy; decision making; information system problems; outsourcing; insourcing; haphazard sampling; ordinary least square regression; emerging economies; Egypt; globalisation; cultural differences; culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2009.023912

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2009 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.4 - 32

Available online: 18 Mar 2009 *

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