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(2005:191) agrees that the owner-manager has business. Martin limitations, such as: “Owner-manager capability gaps or knowledge gaps prevent effective new technology use and selection. Intuitive and organic styles of management and operation impact significantly on technology evaluation and implementation because they make it difficult for the owner-manager to make confident decisions. Owner-manager motivations, value, attitudes and abilities dominate organisation knowledge. This means that if the owner-manager does not build a technology acceptance culture in the small business it will be difficult for the staff to adapt.” (Martin 2005:191)

But this does not make all SMEs the same; there are a number of factors that make them different and unique. This means that the adoption process of ICT should be treated differently for each SME. Factors such as:

  • The e-commerce or e-business model used by the SME

  • The location of the SME

  • The take-up model adopted by the SME

  • Whether it is a service or a product development business

  • The unique characteristics of the SME

will all affect the business and how it adopts ICT. Differentiating factors need to be explored more deeply to uncover the exact factors that make them different. In an attempt to better understand SMEs, this paper looks at the user groups and their characteristics (soft and hard).

3.3.2 ICT-user types of SME

In an attempt to understand SMEs, it is vital to take a close look at the relationship between SMEs and the usage of ICT and how this impacts on

MIT 840

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