Share This Article:

Information Technology Adoption and Assimilation : Towards a Research Framework for Service Sector SMEs

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:279KB) PP. 141-157
DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2011.42018    7,097 Downloads   13,388 Views   Citations


Information technologies (IT) have become one of the most important infrastructural elements for SMEs in service in-dustries. Now, these firms show specific characteristics and behaviours with regard to adopting and assimilating IT. These specificities have not been taken into account however in formulating a research framework or programme on the adoption and assimilation of IT in service SMEs. The present study thus seeks to fill this void. After reviewing the literature on IT in the services sector, the antecedents of IT adoption and assimilation in the context of service SMEs are identified and integrated within a research framework. This framework is then applied to generate a set of twenty-two salient propositions for future research on IT adoption and assimilation in service sector SMEs.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. Uwizeyemungu and L. Raymond, "Information Technology Adoption and Assimilation : Towards a Research Framework for Service Sector SMEs," Journal of Service Science and Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2011, pp. 141-157. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2011.42018.


[1] P. -Y. Léo and J. Philippe, “TIC, nouvelle donne pour le développement international des PME de services,” Actes du 8ème Congrès International Francophone en Entrepreneuriat et PME, Fribourg, 2006.
[2] H. Chesbrough and J. Spohrer, “A Research Manifesto for Services Science,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 49, No. 7, 2006, pp. 35-40. doi:10.1145/1139922.1139945
[3] H. Merchant and A. Gaur, “Opening the ‘Non-Manufacturing’ Envelope: The Next Big Enterprise for International Business Research,” Management International Review, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2008, pp. 379-396. doi:10.1007/s11575-008-0022-z
[4] B. Oliveira and A. Fortunato, “The Dynamics of the Growth of Firms: Evidence from the Services Sector,” Empirica, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2008, pp. 293-312. doi:10.1007/s10663-008-9065-4
[5] A. Rai and V. Sambamurthy, “The Growth of Interest in Services Management: Opportunities for Information Systems Scholars,” Information Systems Research, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2006, pp. 327-331. doi:10.1287/isre.1060.0108
[6] E. Baark, “Engineering Consultancy: An Assessment of IT-enabled International Delivery of Services,” Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1999, pp. 55-74. doi:10.1080/095373299107582
[7] K. Napoleon and C. Gaimon, “The Creation of Output and Quality in Services: A Framework to Analyze Information Technology-Worker Systems,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2004, pp. 245-259. doi:10.1111/j.1937-5956.2004.tb00509.x
[8] A. Ozyilmaz and D. Berg, “The Role of Information Technology in Service Innovation in the Two Different Quadrants of the Service-Process Matrix,” International Journal of Services Technology and Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2009, pp. 247-271. doi:10.1504/IJSTM.2009.024092
[9] N. Tsikriktsis, G. Lanzolla and M. Frohlich, “Adoption of E-Processes by Service Firms: An empirical study of antecedents,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2004, pp. 216-229. doi:10.1111/j.1937-5956.2004.tb00507.x
[10] V. Botta-Genoulaz and P. -A. Millet, “An Investigation into the Use of ERP Systems in the Service Sector,” International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 99, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 202-221. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2004.12.015
[11] E. Ramsey, P. Ibbotson and P. McCole, “Factors that Impact Technology Innovation Adoption among Irish Professional Service Sector SMEs,” International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 12, No. 14, 2008, pp. 1-26.
[12] A. Scupola, “Conceptualizing Competences in E-services Adoption and Assimilation in SMEs,” Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 78-91. doi:10.4018/jeco.2008040105
[13] D. Pilat and A. Devlin, “The Diffusion of ICT in OECD Economies,” In: OECD, Ed., The economic impact of ICT: Measurement, evidence and implications, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2004, pp. 19-34.
[14] J. T. Scott, “The Service Sector’s Acquisition and Development of Information Technology: Infrastructure and Productivity,” Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 24, No. 1, 1999, pp. 37-54. doi:10.1023/A:1007764518400
[15] M. Stare, A. Jakli? and P. Kotnik, “Exploiting ICT Potential in Services Firms in Transition Economies,” The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2006, pp. 287-302. doi:10.1080/02642060600570935
[16] N. Kock and J. Verville, “Enterprise Systems Contracting: Developing and Testing a Model of Divergent Appro- aches in the Service and Manufacturing Sectors,” International Journal of Management Practice, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2006, pp. 127-143.
[17] P. Mulligan, “Specification of a Capability-Based IT Classification Framework,” Information & Management, Vol. 39, No. 8, 2002, pp. 647-658. doi:10.1016/S0378-7206(01)00117-3
[18] S. De Búrca, B. Fynes and T. Brannick, “The Moderating Effects of Information Technology Sophistication on Services Practice and Performance,” International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 26, No. 11, 2006, pp. 1240-1254. doi:10.1108/01443570610705845
[19] IDC (2009), “La Dépense Informatique Dans Le Secteur Des Services Aux Entreprises,2009. france/ downloads/cdp_services_aux_entreprises.pdf
[20] Y. van Everdingen, J. van Hillegersberg and E. Waarts, “ERP adoption by European midsize companies,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2000, pp. 27-31. doi:10.1145/332051.332064
[21] F. Scott and J. Shepherd, “The steady stream of ERP investments,” AMR Research, 2002. 14775&docid=9379
[22] I. Shin, “Adoption of Enterprise Application Software and Firm Performance,” Small Business Economics, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2006, pp. 241-256. doi:10.1007/s11187-005-0215-9
[23] R.C. MacGregor, “Factors associated with formal networking in regional small business: Some findings from a study of Swedish SMEs,” Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2004, pp. 60-74. doi:10.1108/14626000410519100
[24] P. Papastathopoulou and G. J. Avlonitis, “Classifying Enterprises on the Basis of WWW Use: A Behavioral Approach,” Internet Research, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2009, pp. 332-347. doi:10.1108/10662240910965388
[25] G. Vickery and S. Wunsch-Vincent, “ICT use in services and the growth of digital content services,” In: OECD Ed., Enhancing the performance of the services sector, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2005, pp. 205-238.
[26] L. Raymond and F. Bergeron, “Enabling the Business Strategy of SMEs through E-Business Capabilities: A Strategic Alignment Perspective,” Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 108, No. 5, 2008, pp. 577-595. doi:10.1108/02635570810876723
[27] OECD, “Enhancing the Performance of the Services Sector,” OECD Publishing, Paris, 2005.
[28] N. O. Ndubisi, “E-Commerce Adoption by Non-Profit Organisations: Key Dimensions of Facilitators,” International Journal of Services Technology and Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2007, pp. 2-20. doi:10.1504/IJSTM.2007.012215
[29] M. P. Caldas and J. T. Wood, “How Consultants can Help Organizations Survive the ERP Frenzy,” Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting, 1999.
[30] C. H. Cheng, W. Cheung and M. K. Chang, “The Use of the INTERNET in Hong Kong: Manufacturing vs. Service,” International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 75, No. 1-2, 2002, pp. 33-45. doi:10.1016/S0925-5273(01)00179-7
[31] S. Abdinnour-Helm, M. L. Lengnick-Hall and C. A. Lengnick-Hall, “Pre-Implementation Attitudes and Organizational Readiness for Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning System,” European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 146, No. 2, 2003, pp.258-273 doi:10.1016/S0377-2217(02)00548-9
[32] G. Stewart, T. Milford, T. Jewels, T. Hunter and B. Hunter, “Organisational Readiness for ERP Implementation. Proceedings of the 6th Americas Conference on Information Systems, Long Beach, August 10-13, 2000, pp. 966-971.
[33] L. G. Tornatzky and M. Fleischer, “The Processes of Technological Innovation,” Lexington Books, Lexington, 1990.
[34] A. de Jong, K. de Ruyter, and J. Lemmink, “The Adoption of Information Technology by Self-Managing Service Teams,” Journal of Service Research, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2003, pp. 162-179. doi:10.1177/1094670503257046
[35] R. Lucchetti and A. Sterlacchini, “The Adoption of ICT among SMEs: Evidence from an Italian Survey,” Small Business Economics, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2004, pp. 151-168. doi:10.1023/B:SBEJ.0000027667.55821.53
[36] M. Tarafdar and S.D. Vaidya, “Information Technology Adoption and the Role of Organizational Readiness: The Case of an Indian Bank,” Journal of Cases on Information Technology, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2007, pp. 27-49. doi:10.4018/jcit.2007070103
[37] V. Barbara-Sánchez, M. P. Martínez-Ruiz and A. I. Jiménez-Zarco, “Drivers, Benefits and Challenges of ICT Adoption by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs): A Literature Review,” Problems and Perspectives in Management, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2007, pp. 103-114.
[38] A. Escribá-Esteve, L. Sánchez-Peinado and E. Sánchez-Peinado, “The Influence of Top Management Teams in the Strategic Orientation and Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises,” British Journal of Management, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2009, pp. 581-597. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00606.x
[39] R. E. Miles and C. C. Snow, “Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process,” McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978.
[40] V. L. Mitchell and R. W. Zmud, “Endogenous Adaptation: The Effects of Technology Position and Planning Mode on IT-Enabled Change,” Decision Sciences, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2006, pp. 325-355. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5414.2006.00130.x
[41] S. M. Shortell and E. J. Zajac, “Perceptual and Archival Measures of Miles and Snow’s Strategic Types: A Comprehensive Assessment of Reliability and Validity,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4, 1990, pp. 817-832. doi:10.2307/256292
[42] M. M. Caldeira and J. M. Ward, “Using Resource-Based Theory to Interpret the Successful Adoption and Use of Information Systems and Technology in Manufacturing Small and Medium Sized Enterprises,” European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2003, pp. 127-141. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000454
[43] D. Wainwright, G. Green, E. Mitchell and D. Yarrow, “Towards a Framework for Benchmarking ICT Practice, Competence and Performance in Small Firms,” Performance Measurement and Metrics: The International Journal for Library and Information Services, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2005, pp. 39-52.
[44] G. Bassellier and I. Benbasat, “Business Competence of Information Technology Professionals: Conceptual Development and Influence on IT-Business Partnerships,” MIS Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2004, pp. 673-694.
[45] G. Bassellier, B. H. Reich and I. Benbasat, “Information Technology Competence of Business Managers: A Definition and Research Model,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2001, pp. 159-182.
[46] G. Ray, W. A. Muhanna and J. B. Barney, “Information Technology and the Performance of the Customer Service Process: A Resource-Based Analysis,” MIS Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2005, pp. 625-652.
[47] U. S. Karmakar and R. Pitbladdo, “Services Markets and Competition,” Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 12, No. 3-4, 1995, pp. 397-411. doi:10.1016/0272-6963(94)00014-6
[48] R. Brown, “Managing the ‘S’ curves of innovation,” The Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1992, pp. 41-52. doi:10.1108/08858629210035418
[49] H. Mendelson and R. R. Pillai, “Industry Clockspeed: Measurement and Operational Implications,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1999, pp. 1-20. doi:10.1287/msom.1.1.1
[50] J. Bowen, “Development of a Taxonomy of Services to Gain Strategic Marketing Insights,” Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1990, pp. 43-49. doi:10.1007/BF02729761
[51] R. Silvestro, L. Fitzgerald and R. Johnston, “Towards a Classification of Service Processes,” International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1992, pp. 62-75. doi:10.1108/09564239210015175
[52] D. P. Cook, C. -H. Goh, and C. H. Chung, “Service Typologies: A State of the Art Survey,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1999, pp. 318-338. doi:10.1111/j.1937-5956.1999.tb00311.x
[53] S. Ng, R. Russell-Bennett and T. Dagger, “A Typology of Mass Services: The Role of Service Delivery and Consumption Purpose in Classifying Service Experiences,” Journal of Service Marketing, Vol. 21, No. 7, 2007, pp. 471-480. doi:10.1108/08876040710824834
[54] R. Dolmetsch, T. Huber, E. Fleisch and H. ?sterle, “R/3 Implementation in Small And Midsize Companies,” In R. Dolmetsch, T. Huber, E. Fleisch and H. ?sterle, (Eds), Accelerated SAP: 4 Case Studies, IWI-HSG, Institute for Information Management, Universit?t St Gallen, St Gallen, 1998, p. 51.
[55] K. Mohnnak, “Innovation Networks and Capability Building in the Australian High-Technology SMEs,” European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2007, pp. 236-251. doi:10.1108/14601060710745279
[56] M. Mazzanti and R. Zoboli, “Embedding Environmental Innovation in Local Production Systems: SME Strategies, Networking and Industrial Relations: Evidence on Innovation Drivers in Industrial Districts,” International Review of Applied Economics, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2009, pp. 169-195. doi:10.1080/02692170802700500
[57] M. Gebauer, “Information Systems on Human Capital in Service Sector Organizations,” New Library World, Vol. 104, No. 1184/1185, 2003, pp. 33-41. doi:10.1108/03074800310458278
[58] M. S. Freel, “Strategy and Structure in Innovative Manufacturing SMEs: The Case of an English Region,” Small Business Economics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2000, pp. 27-45. doi:10.1023/A:1012087912632
[59] L. Raymond and F. Bergeron, “EDI Success in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Field Study,” Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1996, pp. 161-172. doi:10.1080/10919399609540274
[60] C. M. Christensen and J. L. Bower, “Customer Power, Strategic Investment, and the Failure of Leading Firms,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17, No. 3, 1996, pp. 197-218. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199603)17:3<197::AID-SMJ804>3.0.CO;2-U
[61] D. C. Hambrick and P. A. Mason, “Upper Echelons: The Organization as a Reflection of Its Top Managers,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1984, pp. 193-206.
[62] T. T. Chuang, K. Nakatani and D. Zhou, “An exploratory Study of the Extent of Information Technology Adoption in SMEs: An Application of Upper Echelon Theory,” Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 22, No. 1-2, 2009, pp. 183-196. doi:10.1108/17410390910932821
[63] M. Song, C. A. Di Benedetto and R. W. Nason, “Capabilities and Financial Performance: The Moderating Effect of Strategic Type,” Journal of The Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2007, pp. 18-34. doi:10.1007/s11747-006-0005-1
[64] C. A. Di Benedetto and M. Song, “The Relationship between Strategic Type and Firm Capabilities in Chinese Firms,” International Marketing Review, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2003, pp. 514-533. doi:10.1108/02651330310498762
[65] R. H. Walker, M. Craig-Lees , R. Hecker and H. Francis, “Technology-Enabled Service Delivery: An Investigation of Reasons Affecting Customer Adoption and Rejection,” International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2002, pp. 91-106. doi:10.1108/09564230210421173
[66] J. M. Curran and M. L. Meuter, “Encouraging Existing Customers to Switch to Self-Service Technologies: Put a Little Fun in Their Lives,” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2007, pp. 283-298. doi:10.2753/MTP1069-6679150401
[67] T. J. Erickson, J. F. Magee, P. A. Roussel and K. N. Saad, “Managing Technology as a Business Strategy,” Sloan Management Review, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1990, pp. 73-83.
[68] D. G. Jarratt, “A strategic Classification of Business Alliances: A Qualitative Perspective Built from a Study of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises,” Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2998, pp. 39-49.
[69] W. G. Astley and C. J. Fombrun, “Collective Strategy: Social Ecology of organizational Environments,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, 1983, pp. 576-587.
[70] P. A. Golden and M. Dollinger, “Cooperative Alliances and Competitive Strategies in Small Manufacturing Firms,” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 17, No. 4, 1993, pp. 43-56.
[71] E. St-Jean, L. LeBel and J. Audet, “Entrepreneurial Orientation in the Forestry Industry: A Population Ecology Perspective,” Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2010, pp. 204-217. doi:10.1108/14626001011041210
[72] D. W. Wainwright and T. S. Waring, “The Application And Adaptation of a Diffusion of Innovation Framework for Information Systems Research in Nhs General Medical Practice,” Journal of Information Technology, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2007, pp. 44-58. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jit.2000093
[73] P. McGowan, M. G. Durkin, L. Allen, C. Dougan and S. Nixon, “Developing Competencies in the Entrepreneurial Small Firm for Use of the Internet in the Management of Customer Relationships,” Journal of Industrial Training, Vol. 25, No. 2-3-4, 2001, pp. 126-136.
[74] P. P. Tallon, K. L. Kraemer and V. Gurbaxani, “Executives’ Perceptions of the Business Value of Information Technology: A Process-Oriented Approach,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2000, pp. 145-173.
[75] M. J. Gallivan, V. K. Spitler and M. Koufaris, “Does Information Technology Training Really Matter? A Social Information Processing Analysis of Coworkers’ Influence on IT Usage in the Workplace,” Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 22, No. 1, 20005, pp. 153-192.
[76] D. J. Neufeld, L. Dong and C. Higgins, “Charismatic Leadership and User Acceptance of Information Technology,” European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2007, pp. 494-510. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000682
[77] C. P. Armstrong and V. Sambamurthy, “Information Technology Assimilation in Firms: The Influence of Senior Leadership and IT Infrastructures,” Information Systems Research, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1999, pp. 304-327. doi:10.1287/isre.10.4.304
[78] F. J. Mata, W. L. Fuerst and M. Barney, “Information Technology and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Resource-Based Analysis,” MIS Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1995, pp. 487-505.doi:10.2307/249630

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.