"کسب و کار های مخاطره آمیز ': برداشتی از ریسک تجارت الکترونیکی توسط شرکت های کوچک و متوسط انگلستان (SME ها)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|21419||2014||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 34, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages 99–122
This paper explores the risk perceptions of key stakeholders in SMEs when making decisions on technology investments. Current literature focuses on the nature of the technology from a technical perspective and its associated benefits to the SME. We seek to make a contribution that builds on the small but growing work, which views investment technology decisions as the outcome of a process of both objective and subjective risk assessment. Evidence presented in this paper suggests that subjective elements play an important part in assessing technology risks. Our empirical findings are that both e-business experience and the role of the decision-maker within the firm influences risk perception, whereas, sector differences are more modest. One implication of our findings is that policy interventions should be more sensitive and targeted at different types of stakeholders – owners, IT professionals and other individuals rather than on the sector in which the SME operates.
What to invest in, and how much to invest, are critical decisions for any enterprise. However, the consequences of making incorrect decision for an owner of a small and medium sized enterprise (SME) during a recession, are potentially terminal.1 Investments in technology are particularly crucial for the SME owner, partly because of their scale and duration but also because of their potentially large impact on firm competitiveness. Johnston, Wade, and McClean (2007), when investigating SMEs adopting Internet Business Solutions across five OECD nations from Europe and North America, concluded that e-business adoption resulted in tangible financial benefits for SMEs in customer development and e-marketing. Continuing in this vein, Peña, Jamilena, and Molina (2011) found that technology had a positive impact on marketing orientation. It would therefore appear that such competiveness can help the SME to outperform larger firms (Chong & Pervan, 2007) and raises the promise and potential of e-business. Prior work on the application and value that technological investment and innovation can bring to SMEs has tended to focus on what the technology is, or what it can do for the firm (see Haddara and Zach, 2011, Levy and Powell, 2005, Levy and Powell, 2006 and Pob-Nzaou and Raymond, 2011). Allied to this, research has been undertaken on technology adoption (see Parker and Castleman, 2009 and Simmons et al., 2008). This paper follows the recommendation of Johnston et al. (2007), to adopt new theoretical direction to make sense of decision-making processes within SMEs. This was partially addressed by Pezderka and Sinkovics (2011) when investigating e-risk for small firms active in online internationalization, however, this work focused on the risk itself and neglected to consider perceptions surrounding the risk(s). Our approach to understand e-business investment decisions in SMEs emphasises that they are a blend of both objective and subjective assessments of risk. Our initial position is that factors influencing SME owners will differ from those influencing their larger counterparts, because SMEs generally cannot influence market prices (Storey and Sykes, 1986) and they also have less perfect information on which to make decisions. With this in mind, our paper examines whether the number of years of using e-business technologies; the IT experience and knowledge of the respondent (based on their role within the SME) and the industry type influence perceptions of risk when making e-business related decisions. Exploring the ‘softer’ side of technology investments challenges the over reliance on more quantifiable, mathematical and analytical approaches and helps balance the quintessential quantifiable ways of examining in a more systemic way. This does not claim that quantifiable techniques are unimportant but rather to highlight they are not the all-important element. The paper is structured as follows: the first section discusses SME investments in technology. This is followed by a discussion of the concept of psychometric risk, which introduces the subjective view of risk and its merits. This subjective approach is used to generate three hypotheses. Following an outline of the testing strategy and the characteristics of the sample firms, results are presented. Then the limitations of the research, suggested further research directions, and implications for both policy and practice are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper, while not conclusive, encourages a broader appreciation of the subtleties of risk decisions in dynamic, complex and often covertly inter-connected context of e-business. It does not close the debate rather it acts as a starting point for further debate. This study makes four contributions to improving our understanding of technology risk within SMEs, using a psychometric approach to examining owner/manager perceptions relating to e-business/on-line risk. Its first contribution is to extend the more technically-focussed studies of technology usage within SMEs, such as Levy et al. (2005) and Levy and Powell (2003). This paper emphases the importance of perception of risk in influencing technological investment decisions. It found that SMEs view security-related issues as their greatest threat, flowed by viruses and worms, and credit card fraud. Threats relating to employee, competitive and tax risks were placed in the lowest risk category. Our second contribution shows that reported risk perception is strongly influenced by the characteristics of the respondent. For example, owners/managers in SMEs with short duration of incorporation (and by implication-limited experience of using e-business) perceive e-business risk(s) to be lower, and the benefits higher, than those in enterprises with more e-business experience. The role of the respondent influences reported risk assessments. For example, IT professionals rate employee-related threats more highly, but place less emphasis on knowledge risks than other managers. Thirdly, this work enhances previous attempts to provide a comprehensive a posteriori e-business risk classification framework for SMEs. Its practical value is to provide a list of risk-issues to help inform SME owner/managers reflecting on whether or not to invest in technology. It also provides a benchmark for owners/managers to compare their perceptions of risk with others from a similar business setting, i.e., similar size and length of operating experience. Our fourth contribution relates to public policy. The central message is that e-business training and development programmes for SMEs should firstly focus on the risks associated with using or not using the technology. Second, training and development programmes for SMEs need to be better segmented since risk perceptions vary according to experience, growth paths and role in the enterprise. Where segmentation does take place currently, it tends to be sector specific – yet this is the one variable where we observe almost no diversity! Finally, we highlight three areas for further development. First, this study was undertaken during a period of exceptional austerity, which may have influenced the results. The seminal work by Covin and Slevin (1989) emphasised that the managerial qualities that lead to success in small firms varied sharply between what they called “hostile and benign environments”. There is therefore a need for a comparable study in more benign circumstances. Second, building on our research, we see merits in using the psychometric approach alongside more mathematical and technical approaches to assist SMEs to make better informed decisions. Our final suggestion acknowledges that e-business is a global technology that links different organisations and country populations together. The numerical dominance of SMEs in every economy in the world-each of which is likely to be struggling, albeit to different degrees – to assess the risks and benefits of e-business. How risk is perceived and how investment decisions are made is truly an international small business issue.