تواناییهای سیستم های اطلاعات سازمانی در شرکت های کوچک و متوسط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18697||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information & Management, Volume 48, Issue 8, December 2011, Pages 353–363
We used resource-based theory and evidence from empirical studies to evolve a framework of IS competences in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The framework significantly improved our understanding of internal IS expertise in SMEs. We used relevant IS competence and SME literature, as well as empirical data from SME case studies. Our set of twenty two IS competences were organized around six macro competences. Each competence refers to a specific ability at the organizational rather than the individual level and they cover a broad range of activities, such as those associated with recognising business opportunities, IS planning, accessing IS knowledge, defining requirements, software and hardware sourcing, applications development, and managing relationships with IS suppliers. The framework was tested against prior literature, including studies of IS adoption, IS success, and entrepreneurial competence. Each competence was fully explained and discussed using evidence from the case studies. The framework creates a comprehensive set of IS competences that can be used in both SME practice and research.
SMEs play an important role in the economy of most countries and many IS studies have focused on them since the introduction of micro-computers in the early 1980s. When compared with large enterprises, SMEs usually have a simpler structure with less specialised tasks with poor human, financial, and material resources. Most SMEs have low levels of internal IS expertise, although this varies by industry sector. While there are many high-tech SMEs, many have no IS department, no staff with formal IS training, and no IS manager . In part, to make up for the lack of internal expertise, many SMEs have turned to external experts (consultants). The lack of IS knowledge and expertise has had consequences for SMEs. For example, many have not engaged in or been slow to adopt e-commerce . A low level of organizational readiness has been offered as one of the reasons for this. Organizational readiness includes the level of knowledge about the Internet by managers, as well as having the technology required in developing an e-commerce website, etc. . However, there is evidence that some SMEs have been able to develop an internal level of IS expertise, particularly by gaining IS project experience over the years and by employing internal IS experts. Thus it is no longer appropriate to assume that all SMEs have low levels of internal IS expertise. Furthermore, internal IS expertise is important for IS success in SMEs  and . We wished to improve our understanding of internal IS expertise in SMEs. Recent resource-based literature was used to provide insights into the contribution of organizational skills, knowledge, and other resources. A review identified five typologies of IS resources and competences. A major limitation of the typologies was that all had been developed from experiences gained in large organizations, while there is considerable empirical evidence of differences between SMEs and large firms. For example, the motivation of owner managers has often been to seek autonomy and independence, and that strategy and planning were typically short term in an SME . Also, owner managers often dominate the firm and it typically has an informal structure. As a result of the many differences between SMEs and large firms, many authors have argued that techniques and models from large firms do not apply to SMEs. Also, few models of strategy making for large firms were applicable to small firms. Furthermore, small businesses need a different type of organizational theory. SMEs are often resource poor, and resource based theory indicates that they will need different competences to cope with scarce resources. They may also have to rely more on external resources and thus a different set of competences are required, particularly externally focused ones. Furthermore, organization theory indicates that SMEs have a flatter/simpler structure and thus, internal co-ordination is less of an issue as there is close proximity between all staff, including owners and employees. Hence SMEs have less need for an internal competence that links IS staff with others, as in some frameworks . This also touches on the concept of internal power, where politics within the firm can be a common source of concern within large organizations. Such issues are typically less important in SMEs, because the owner-manager(s) wield great power. However, SMEs can be in a relatively weak position compared with large firms when dealing with external providers, e.g., software vendors. Thus SMEs may need different competences to manage this effectively. Thus, although our literature review identified five typologies of IS resources and competences, it seemed likely that some aspects would be different for SMEs. Furthermore, no studies had examined the applicability of the existing typologies in the SME environment. However, some research of SMEs has used resource-based theory and demonstrated its value in studying SMEs, including IS management involvement and IS technical knowledge and skills. Our study therefore attempted to create a resource-based typology for SMEs. For our study, SMEs were defined as independent firms with up to 500 employees. The European Community defines micro companies (from 1 to 10 employees), small firms (from 11 to 50 employees), and medium-size companies (from 51 to 250 employees, but it used to be 500 employees). In 2008, the American Small Business Administration defined a small business as a firm that was independently owned and operated, and had 500 or fewer employees for most manufacturing and mining industries. However, in a few industries it permitted up to 750, 1000 or 1500 employees, while wholesale trade industries must have less than 100 employees.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our major contribution was in providing a framework that included a comprehensive set of organizational IS competences specifically relevant to SMEs. Our framework united earlier work using a resource-based perspective to describe required IS competences for SMEs. We argue that IS competences cover a broad range of topics that have already received considerable attention. For example, they include competences that reflect all stages of the systems development life cycle: recognising opportunities, IS planning, defining requirements, software sourcing, applications development, change management, implementation, and use. The framework also integrates some competences related to IS topics that have received less attention, including accessing IS knowledge, benefits management, inter-organizational collaboration, and staff development. Our framework built on earlier work and proved robust when tested against practice. As a result, the framework is more comprehensive than its predecessors: it made full use of prior work and overcame the weaknesses of earlier frameworks. Our new framework provides more detail about each competence and this should make it easier for practitioners and researchers to use and apply it consistently. Finally, while many of the competences have been shown to apply to large firms, our framework was created for the SME context. While the framework was aimed at providing help to all SMEs, it is probable that some SMEs will possess more IS competences than others. Furthermore, it is expected that some will require a greater range of IS competences in order to achieve their business goals. 7.1. Implications for research The major implication of the IS competences framework for research is that it provides a comprehensive and coherent framework for all to use when examining and comparing IS adoption and use in SMEs. The framework could be used to identify which IS competences had the most influence on firm performance and indicate areas that SMEs need to address to increase their performance. Thus SMEs could develop IS resources that support and enhance core competences at the firm level. The competences framework identifies many new ways that managers can provide support for IS, e.g., by recognising business opportunities, defining a business case, accessing appropriate people, managing change, project management, and managing supplier relationships. Thus the breadth of coverage of the competences framework could make it a valuable tool and help researchers become more precise and consistent in their descriptions and use of terms. 7.2. Implications for practice Our research suggests there is a relationship between IS competences and IS success, thus an SME would benefit from using the framework to undertake an IS competence assessment before investing in new systems or starting a major IS project. Such a review could identify areas that the firm needs to address and avoid it making unwise or unsuccessful investments. The firm could actively seek to address any particular weakness, e.g., increasing its IS knowledge by training, engaging a consultant, etc. Thus our framework could assist in organizational development in SMEs. Because many SMEs have very limited IS competence, Governments or business organizations could increase the economic contribution of SMEs if they establish ways of identifying significant gaps that limit the deployment of modern IS in SMEs. This framework could help understand which approaches are likely to be most effective in developing the essential competences across the spectrum of SMEs and reduce barriers to IS adoption. 7.3. Limitations A limitation of the study is that we selected a set of five existing frameworks rather than start from scratch. Although we tried to examine all existing frameworks, others may exist that could have influenced the final framework. Also, other researchers could have interpreted the earlier studies in a different way or a different starting framework could have resulted in a different final position. Another limitation is that it is impossible to test and validate such a framework. Thus, others may identify gaps in our framework: it may not be complete, despite our attempt to incorporate important content and then test it against evidence from a broad range of SMEs and other literature that had not been used in creating the framework. The IS competences framework has its own limitations; it will not be suitable for use in all situations. In particular, it focused on SMEs and makes no claim of being applicable to larger organizations. The framework is also focused on the area of IS rather than other organizational competences and is aimed at identifying and describing competences as abilities at the organizational level rather than for individuals or an IS department.