I get to chair again — yahoo! — but I’m also presenting in this session. That means I’ll be a bit distracted for good note-taking.

Mehruz Kamal (presenting) and Sajda Qureshi,”An Approach to IT Adoption in Micro-Enterprises: Insights into Development”

  • Hey! LAIC! Read this!
  • IT adoption can help businesses grow faster, but micro-enterprises have a hard time adopting: that’s the motivation behidn the study.
  • Large and small businesses use different technology, operate by different principles; smaller firms face greater obstacles (financial, legal, corruption)
  • Firms adopting technology grow 3.4% faster when they adopt IT, get 4% increase in sales, 5% increase in export performance
  • small firms trying to grow often have trouble with maintaining communications channels — there’s a big area for IT to help
  • Kamal finds most studies deal with firms with 10 employees or more; not much on micro-enterprise!
  • Lots of data on development come from studies of national policy efforts
  • case study looks at Web-based biz making ethnic cake-toppers
  • Phase 0 baseline assessment: found owner has positive attitude about tech, as shown by her opening of biz online from start. Some fear comes from lack of IT skills (what if I click on that and it disappears?)
  • Phase 1 assessment: website made by local university student, owner upset that website hadn’t generated much revenue; site was amateurish.
  • Phase 2 IT intervention: redesign website, train owner to maintain and update site herself, built Word manual with screenshots to show owner how to do it
  • Phase 3 observation: owner gained skill, eventually stopped calling because she could handle everything
  • Phase 4 (June 2007) impact assessment: owner was excited! Said she had four sales through website; owner created product catalog with Word; talked about adopting new widgets; less fearful of experimenting
  • Constructs from existing IT adoption theory (likeperceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) don’t cut the mustard in micro-enterprises! Kamal is looking further at self-efficacy, sense of control, other constructs to expand.
  • Economic development = income generation (owner made more sales), labor productivity (owner gets more done), and improved competitiveness (owner can update site to keep up with other online vendors); owner got all three!
  • Social development: more communication
  • Phase 0 is about building trust, setting stage for later phases. Build trust first, then identify good tech, then give good training.
  • Kamal asks us IS researchers to devote more attention to micro-enterprises!

Aaron Read, Erin Gallagher, Cuong Nguyen, and Gert-Jan de Vreede, “Generating User Stories in Groups”