A framework on information behaviour of SME managers for decision-making on emerging ICTs


The aim of this study is to explore the perceived information needs and information behaviours of manager of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As technology advancement and innovation are changing rapidly affecting organisations in different ways, organization executives are introducing new technologies for their operations and business environment becomes more complex and dynamic, government introducing different policies to guide the use of these emerging ICTs. As a result, information becomes significant during adoption decision-making process for SME managers to make an inform decision. To achieve this aim, a framework is developed based on existing literature, using the technology organization environmental (TOE) model as the theoretical underpinning for empirical investigation on information behaviour of SME managers in this study. This study is qualitative in nature, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with twenty SME managers in the UK service sector. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Following Myers and Newman’s (2007) guidelines for qualitative interview and triangulation method were used to validate the conceptual framework and established the research rigour and quality. The research findings explained information behaviours of SME managers in the contexts of technology organisation environment as information behaviour triggered and perceived information needs during the adoption decision in SMEs. These findings provide further insight into ICT adoption in SMEs through information behaviours and highlighted the significant of sources of information and pre-information needed during the decision-making process. The research also contributes to theory in the information systems field by using relevant literature from information science field to explore information behaviours of SME managers. Future research can be done in other sectors of the economy to show more holistic behaviours of SME managers

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