Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Understanding the adoption and use of information systems/information technology in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises : a study in Portuguese industry
Author: Caldeira, Mario
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 1998
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This research analysed factors and sets of factors that affect and explain the varying levels of success in the adoption and use of IS/IT (Information Systems/Information Technology) in Portuguese manufacturing SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises). The study set out to fill a gap in knowledge not covered by previous research into the area of IS/IT in SMEs. Existing work was found to be of limited relevance or was out-of-date, due to the rapid evolution of IS/IT, and did not address the Portuguese context. The study followed a realist approach to social enquiry. Seeking to explain IS/IT success, it is necessary to understand the perspectives and social relationships amongst the key actors involved in the process of IS/IT adoption and use. Case study research was undertaken in twelve SMEs operating in the Portuguese manufacturing industry. A total of 56 interviews were conducted with top managers, IS/IT managers, IS/IT staff, and IS/IT suppliers. The factors identified as associated with IS/IT success were clustered into four categories according to their perceived relevance. Interrelationships amongst factors were established and the common patterns across firms with similar levels of IS/IT adoption and success were analysed. This research demonstrates that a combination of factors were determinant to explain IS/IT adoption and success. These are related to the involvement of the top managers in the process of IS/IT adoption and use, and to the development of IS/IT competencies, in-house or in associated IS/IT suppliers. Of particular importance is the presence of an individual in the firm with IS/IT knowledge, CEO trust, and a view on how to incorporate IS/IT in the strategic development of the firm. In the SMEs that were more successful in adopting and using IS/IT, the establishment of co-operative links with IS/IT suppliers was essentially based on personal relationships or ownership of the IS/IT enterprise, rather than on contractual relationships. The findings were validated by comparison with existing theory, and resource-based theory was found to provide a coherent explanation of the results of the empirical work.
Supervisor: Ward, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available