Small businesses make up some 90-95 percent of all global firms. Many undervalue the importance of information and communication technology (ICT). Within the small business segment there can be significant differences amongst the avid early adopters of ICT and the laggards. Research on early adopters tends be more prevalent as they are perceived to have a more interesting and positive story. However, late adopters and Ã¢Â€Â˜laggardsÃ¢Â€Â™ also have their own interesting stories that are under-reported.
Small Business and Effective ICT draws on research undertaken over several years and documents the adoption/use of ICT across Ã¢Â€Â˜betterÃ¢Â€Â™ users of ICT (Leaders), typical ICT users (Operationals) and late adopters (Laggards). The findings are presented using a re-formulation of the LIASE framework which addresses a number of areas that include ICT literacy (L), information content/communication (I), Access (A), Infrastructure (I), Support (S) and Evaluation (E).
Some 60 businesses were investigated in Australia and the UK, with each business presented as a concise vignette. The vignettes serve to show that small businesses are not as conservative in their use of ICT as the literature suggests, with examples of innovative uses of ICT in small businesses provided. Lessons for the effective use of ICT by small businesses are presented.
The research design, methods adopted, presentation of findings through the vignettes, and Ã¢Â€Â˜take awayÃ¢Â€Â™ lessons have been written in manner to appeal to a broad range of readers including academics, researchers, students and policy makers in the discipline.