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Strategiska förhållningssätt till informationsteknik i små företag
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Business Administration.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Strategic dispositions to information technology in small business (English)
Abstract [en]

Both information technology and small business are considered to be of great importance for economy today. Several empirical studies have however showed that the diffusion of information technology among small business have been limited. Since information technology is considered to be of strategic importance for organisations, the aim of this study is to identify and analyse strategic dispositions to information technology. This study has shown that information technology can be of different strategic importance for different managers. Strategic dispositions is a concept based on the managers perceptions of the strategic context, perceptions of information technology and the individual characteristics of the manager. The perspective used is based on a view upon strategies formed in an entrepreneurial mode or an adaptive mode.A survey is conducted with a sample of 600 managers in small business in Sweden. Analyses are conducted with a multivariate approach, using factor analysis to reduce complexity in data, cluster analysis to group objects and finally discriminant analysis to categorise groups and analyse different strategic dispositions to information technology.The classification of managers resulted in six groups, separated by their inclination to use technology, their dynamics and their uncertainty avoidance. Further analysis however showed that there are mainly four strategic dispositions within the population, where the two groups with a lower inclination to use technology showed similar patterns to two of the other groups. The four strategic dispositions are therefore divided by means of dynamics and uncertainty avoidance. Dynamics is a concept mainly based on contextual characteristics and uncertainty avoidance is a concept mainly based on how the firms handles the context. The overall context and handling of this context constitute an application context.The first application context in a situation of high dynamics and low uncertainty avoidance is labelled stratège development, where information technology has a strong linkage to core competencies in the business. In this application context, the strategic disposition is proactive. The second, based on high dynamics and high uncertainty avoidance, labelled adaptive change, includes patterns where information technology are used to adapt to uncertain environments. The strategic disposition is reactive. The third application context, in low dynamics and high uncertainty avoidance, is labelled fixed relations, where information technology is used to maintain a fixed relation with an other actor in the environment. This strategic disposition is interactive. Finally, in low dynamics and low uncertainty avoidance, the application context is labelled fixed structures. Information technology is in this case used not to achieve dynamics or growth, nor to reduce uncertainty, but merely because of a fixed structural complexity best handled with information technology. The disposition is inactive in its mode.The different strategic dispositions show that introduction of information technology is influenced by both context as well as individual intentions. The strategic importance of information technology is therefore a complex conception, to be used with discretion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1998. , 216 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 39
Keyword [en]
Small Business, Information technology, Diffusion, Strategic dispositions, Strategic contexts, Application contexts, Dynamics, Uncertainty avoidance
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-70316ISBN: 91-7191-408-0OAI: diva2:621128
Public defence
1998-02-25, Humanisthuset hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 14:15
Available from: 2013-05-13 Created: 2013-05-13 Last updated: 2013-05-13Bibliographically approved

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