Title: At the heart or on the periphery: the role of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in small firms

Authors: Briga Hynes

Addresses: Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Abstract: The primary aim of the research is to investigate how Irish small firms use Information Communications Technology (ICT), specifically examining if it is an integrated aspect of the business or remains at the periphery. The results of a survey of 48 owner-managers showed that an issue arose in relation to the language used to describe ICT where respondents felt it was difficult to keep current with the ever evolving technologies and the number of interchangeable expressions used to describe it. The findings show that the low level of integrated usage of ICT by owner-managers was in the main related to insufficient knowledge and skills as to what ICT entails and a lack of appreciation of the contribution that it can make to their business in the short term. Challenges were encountered in updating and maintaining websites and difficulty arose in accessing suitable external assistance with ICT development.

Keywords: e-business; decision making; electronic business; internet; world wide web; Ireland; business periphery; integration; owner-managers; interchangeable expressions; technological change; low level usage; integrated usage; insufficient knowledge; insufficient skills; website updating; maintaining websites; website maintenance; external assistance; ICT development; management practice; ICT adoption; information technology; information and communications technology; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2013.052320

International Journal of Management Practice, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.24 - 39

Published online: 26 Feb 2013 *

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