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An exploration of the role of information systems in developing strategic growth in small and medium-sized enterprises

By Margi Levy


This submission demonstrates that the attached papers and book represent a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of information systems (IS) with a particular focus on small and medium sized enterprises. The theme throughout the publications is consistent: identifying strategic opportunities from information systems for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This document presents the papers and evaluates their contribution. The papers and a copy of the book are included with this document.\ud The papers and book demonstrate the research contribution in four ways. The first contribution is to IS strategy knowledge, where the research has identified that IS analytical models that depend on IS department-business relationships are not useful in the SME context. Additionally, the research identifies those IS models that can be used in all organisational contexts to analyse strategic management information systems requirements.\ud Second, the research demonstrates IS concepts developed in the large firm context such as evaluation, flexibility and knowledge sharing may only have limited applicability in SMEs.\ud Third, the research contributes by developing a new model, the Focus-Dominance model that provides insights into analysing opportunities for strategic IS investment in SMEs. The final research contribution identifies issues that influence SME growth from internet adoption and e-business opportunities.\ud The papers represent development of the research theme over the last 13 years. The main themes of the papers are information systems strategy; exploring IS issues in the\ud 2\ud SME context; strategic context of IS investment in SMEs and internet adoption and strategy in SMEs. The twelve papers and book represent a subset of the author‟s publications. These have been selected as they show the main contribution to knowledge. The book demonstrates a research led approach to understanding the information systems issues that can influence SME growth. It is the first book that has been written on this topic and provides a useful source for the growing number of researchers in the field.\ud The submission is organised as follows. A brief discussion is included on the reasons why SMEs behave differently from large firms and what this means for information systems. The next section presents the papers. These explore the validity of IS concepts in the SME context. Following on from this the submission considers the drivers and enablers of IS investment in SMEs. Finally the development of new theories in analysing strategic IS investment is discussed. Within the discussion the significance of the contribution, and the role played by co-authors is highlighted. The final section reflects upon the research contribution, methodology, research impact and current and future research.\ud Table 1 presents the list of papers for submission with a brief summary of their contribution. Appendix 1 includes the written statements by collaborators of joint papers. Appendix 2 presents the author‟s contribution to the submitted papers. Appendix 3 presents the known citations for papers included in the submission. Appendix 4 presents the author‟s full publication list

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