Theoretical Foundations for IS Success in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) in order to achieve business goals and obtain net benefits. However, adopting IT/IS into an existing organizational structure is a complex and risky task. Many investments in IT/IS, outsourced as well as in sourced, never fully reach the intended objectives and are therefore considered as not being successful.

In this work, we have focused on IS success in SMEs in order to find theoretical foundations. We have explained four well-known theories, often used in IS research, which constitute the basics of our thinking. These theories are the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the DeLone & McLean IS Success Model (D&M) and the Transaction Cost Economy (TCE) model. We have woven the constructs of these theories into a compound framework that delivers explanatory and predicting power for the successful adoption of IT/IS in SMEs. Our framework is also consistent with the nomological IS network established by Benbasat and Zmud (Benbasat & Zmud, 2003).

In order to validate our framework, we examined the extent to which our theoretical model could provide support for the Cobit framework, often used by practitioners as an IT governance framework, and also suitable for SMEs. Our findings show that our framework offers surprising coherence and proposes a strong theoretical foundation for the normative directions of the methods used in Cobit by IT practitioners.

Read more chapter five of the book: Measuring Organizational Information Systems Success: New Technologies and Practices.

jan devos




About jangdevos
I'm an IT/IS professor, a late Baby Boomer, married with Ann and father of Hélène and Willem, a Stones fan and interested in almost everything. I work at the UGent (campus Kortrijk), Belgium. My research domain are: IT Governance in SMEs, IT/IS Security, IT Management, IT Project Management, IT Trends and IT/IS failures.

One Response to Theoretical Foundations for IS Success in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

  1. I don’t normally comment but I gotta say appreciate it for the post on this one : D.

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