IT and Fast Growth Small-to-Medium Enterprise Performance: An Empirical Study in Australia
AbstractInformation technology (IT) is regarded as a facilitator for both small and large firms to speed up transactions between firms and their suppliers and customers, achieve real-time communication, lower transaction costs, and enhance speed and flexibility. However, understanding whether and how IT helps small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to create business value still remains unclear. Drawing upon resource-based view theory, source-positional advantage-performance framework, we develop and test a theoretical model to explore the interrelationships between IT resources (IT expertise, IT infrastructure), IT capability (IT integration), IT-enabled inter-firm partnership processes (activity integration, coordination, partnership enhancement), and organizational performance in the fast growth SME context. We propose that IT business value depends on how firms employ IT resources to develop IT capability which facilitates inter-firm partnership processes along value chains. Structural equation modeling is employed to test our theoretical conceptualization of 310 Australian fast-growth SMEs across different industrial sectors. Results show that IT contributes to fast growth SME performance through the development of IT capability and enhancement of inter-firm partnership activities. This research highlights the role of IT in business value creation and the ways in which IT is used by fast growth SMEs to foster core business competencies.
Copyright (c) 2015 Rui Bi, Robert M Davison, Kosmas X Smyrnios
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