Increasing use of information and communications technology (ICT) by busi nesses makes it imperative that we develop an enhanced understanding of the impact of ICT adoption by small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Despite a growing repertoire of SME studies, there is a need to create a more targeted body of research on ICT adoption by SMEs in the context of developing and emerging economies. This article extends the work presented at the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) conference by using the technology–organization–environment (TOE) framework to understand the adoption and impact of ICT by SMEs in post‐apartheid South Africa (Gono et al., 2013, 2014). Specifically, the article answers the following research question: What are the factors and processes that affect the adoption and impact of ICT by SMEs in the South African manufacturing and logistics sectors? To achieve this objective, the article examines the perceptions of owner‐managers in relation to technological, organizational, and environmental factors that affect the adoption and impact of ICT in their firms.

During the apartheid era, government policies caused South African industry to be dominated by large firms that relied on subsidies and suppressed SMEs and this, along with high import tariffs and economic sanctions, created a challenging environment for firms to improve productivity (Joffe et al., 1995). A key issue facing the South African government in the transition from a centrally planned
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)717 - 734
Number of pages18
JournalStrategic Change
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • SMEs
  • Technological Capabilities
  • ICT adoption

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