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questions that were asked to the owner/managers of the SMEs. The questions are open ended with the objective that they will be answered with as much detail as needed. Five of the interviews were conducted face to face with the different participants. The other five chose to answer the questions by themselves, due to time constraints, but a follow-up telephonic interview was done to clarify where needed. Before the interview and questionnaire each participant was given a list of the meanings of the acronyms.

4.4 Data analysis

Since this research primarily uses a qualitative approach, the open-ended questions will be analysed interpretively. As the research is not large, having only ten respondents in the sample, the use of the quantitative method does not suit this type of research. After the interviews and questionnaires the researcher’s notes were examined for clarity. For analysis purposes, questions in the questionnaire can be grouped into the following logical groupings:

Workforce knowledge. Questions 1, 2 and 15 aim to understand the workforce employed by the SME and at the same time confirm that the business is an SME. Current state of ICT within the SMEs. Questions 3 to 5, 13 and 14 aim to establish the current status of ICT usage within the SMEs, and to establish if basic technologies, such as a telephone, are available. Awareness of ICT. Questions 6 and 7 aim to establish the levels of awareness of ICT and the knowledge economy by the SME owner (as an important part of the SME). Decision-making process with regards to ICT. Questions 8 to 12 aim to gain an understanding of the ICT decision-making process within the SMEs. Who makes decisions? What are the ICT decisions based on? Who maintains the ICT infrastructure? How do SMEs deal with growth, scalability issues and staying current and up to date? ICT barriers. Question 16 aims to establish the barriers that prevent SMEs from adopting or implementing ICT in their organisations.

MIT 840

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