Authors: Mehruz Kamal
Addresses: Department of Computer Science, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420, USA
Abstract: Information Technology (IT) opens new opportunities for microenterprises to improve their businesses. However, challenges to using IT impede these businesses from growing into drivers for socio-economic development. This paper investigates the adoption of IT in two microenterprises in an underserved community of Omaha, Nebraska. Following a case study approach using action research methodology, this research provides insight into the key challenges and opportunities facing micro-enterprises in their use of IT to create value for their businesses. This study outlines an innovative process with an emphasis on relationship-building, customised training, context sensitivity, and solutions that target strongly-perceived needs of the businesses studied to help facilitate technology adoption. The paper's contribution is in the methodology for facilitating the adoption of IT in micro-enterprises and also discusses effects on socio-economic development resulting from the adoption of technology. The paper concludes with guidelines for practitioners in assisting microenterprises with technology.
Keywords: micro-enterprises; micro-businesses; micro-firms; micro-companies; intervention; economic development; social development; labour productivity; action research; roadmaps; business growth; socio-economic development; underserved communities; Omaha; Nebraska; USA; United States; value creation; relationship-building; customised training; context sensitivity; targeted solutions; perceived needs; technology adoption; management practice; ICT adoption; information technology; communications technology; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.
International Journal of Management Practice, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.4 - 23
Published online: 26 Feb 2013 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article