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Information Systems and Small Business. M. Gordon Hunter The University of Lethbridge Visiting Professor – London South Bank University School of Management Royal Holloway University of London March 18, 2008. Agenda. Introduction Qualitative Perspective PCT and RepGrids

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Information systems and small business l.jpg

Information SystemsandSmall Business

M. Gordon Hunter

The University of Lethbridge

Visiting Professor – London South Bank University

School of Management

Royal Holloway

University of London

March 18, 2008


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Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Qualitative Perspective

  • PCT and RepGrids

  • Narrative Inquiry

  • Small Business

  • Research Projects

  • Conclusions


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Introduction

  • Canada, eh?

  • Education

  • Work Experience

  • Research Approach

    • People Emphasis

  • IS/IT


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Qualitative Research Perspective

  • Interpretive approach to research participants in their natural surroundings

  • Attempt to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings attributed by individuals


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Grounded Theory Method

  • The discovery of theory from data

  • A general method of continual comparative analysis

  • Generates conceptual categories from the data

    • Themes


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Personal Construct Theory(Kelly)

  • Individuals are scientists

  • System devised by individuals in their attempt to interpret and predict interpersonal situations


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Repertory Grids(Kelly)

  • Technique to elicit and document personal construct systems

  • Elements – subjects within the domain of discourse

  • Constructs – the ways research participants differentiate elements

  • Elicitation – method of generating constructs

  • Laddering – method of exploring interpretations


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“Excellent” Systems Analysts

  • Research Objectives

    • Skills and personal characteristics

      • Better understanding

      • Possible to differentiate

    • Application of results


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Recruitment and Retention of Medical Doctors

  • Research Objectives

    • What motivates medical doctors?

      • Motivation: the extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal

    • Provide input to recruitment and retention policies


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Research Themes

  • Lend structure to the interview

  • Allow flexibility in discussion

  • Support grounding the interview data within the domain of the research participant

  • Reduce researcher bias


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Narrative Inquiry

  • Documentation and analysis of personal accounts from a specific domain of discourse

  • Allows research participants to tell their own story

  • Contextually rich

    • Personal accounts of experiences are vividly remembered

  • Temporally bounded

    • Structured in a sequence with a beginning and an end


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Long Interview(McCracken)

  • Review the literature

  • Review self in relation to research context

  • Conduct interview

    • Grand-tour

    • Planned prompts

    • Floating prompts

  • Identify emerging themes


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Projects EmployingNarrative Inquiry

  • Information Systems and Small Business

  • Multi-Generation Small Business

  • Information Systems Professionals: Voluntary Turnover Decisions

  • ERP Implementation Issues

  • The Contemporary CIO: Management Experiences


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Small Business

  • Definition

  • Unique Aspects

    • Strategic orientation

    • Decision making

    • Resource poverty



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The Outcome of Information Systems Development:A Case Study of Stakeholder Interpretation

  • This project documented the development and installation of an integrated accounting system for a small business


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The Use of Information Technology by Independent Business

  • This project documented the approaches taken by small business in an eastern region of Canada regarding the implementation and use of information technology

  • Results

    • Dependency

    • Efficiency


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Research Results

  • Theme 1: Dependency

    • Internal Champion

    • External Influence

      • Competitors

      • Customers

      • Suppliers

      • Consultants

    • Little evidence of systematic assessment


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Research Results

  • Theme 2: Efficiency

    • Information systems are primarily used at the transactional/operational level

    • Very little strategic use or adoption of information systems for competitive advantage


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Information Systems in Small Business:What’s in the Wind in L, A?

  • This project investigated how information systems are employed by small businesses located in Lethbridge, Alberta


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Recommendations

  • Small business managers

    • Establish long-term relationship with an independent advisor

  • Consultants

    • Understand the nature, timing, and acquisition process of resources

  • Vendors

    • Make a visible commitment

    • Address functionality

  • Government

    • Pro-active facilitation


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Small Business and Information Technology

  • A virtual research group conducted a “worldwide” research project studying the use of information technology by small business

  • Countries

    • Australia (Victoria and Tasmania)

    • Canada (Alberta)

    • Portugal

    • South Africa

    • USA (Colorado and Rhode Island)


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Information Systems Effectiveness

  • Examined the applicability of a model of information systems effectiveness

    • Developed in Singapore

    • Replicated in Alberta

  • Results

    • Managerial and vendor support promote effective IS use

    • Singapore: same consultant – Canada: many


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The Extended Website Stages Model

  • Examined an existing stages model (Rao, Metts, and Mors Monge, 2003)

    • Presence; Portals; Transactions Integration;

    • Enterprise Integration

  • 206 winery web sites in Canada

  • Introduces the concepts of Market Integration

    • Internal

    • External


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Conclusions:Research Themes

  • Lend structure to the interview

  • Allow flexibility in discussion

  • Support grounding the interview data within the domain of the research participant

  • Reduce researcher bias

  • Facilitate cross-cultural qualitative research



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