Understanding the impact of ICT adoption and use in South African manufacturing and logistics SMEs: A firm, market and regulatory (FMR) context perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of ICT adoption and use in the manufacturing and logistics Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa.
Prior Work
This paper extends the work presented at ISBE 2013 through the development of a new theoretical framework that brings together factors relating to the Firm, Market and the context
of Regulation (FMR) and novel data analysis from our empirical research.
The paper is based on in-depth quantitative and qualitative research techniques using the FMR framework as a theoretical lens. A total of 130 firms in Johannesburg were surveyed (66 in logistics and 64 manufacturing) and 52 interviews conducted (46 owner-managers and the rest representing institutional representatives, academia and consultancy).
The findings show that increasingly SMEs are dependent on their association with large organisations which had a major influence on their ICT adoption initiatives. Also, the role of government was found to be a defining factor in encouraging adoption of ICT through policy requiring firms to adopt specific technologies. The research study highlights the critical role of owner-managers and employees in South African SMEs especially in relation to their ICT
From a theoretical perspective, key findings in relation to the FMR framework enables us to have a holistic view when looking at SMEs to better understand the role played by ICT in these firms. The use of Firm, Market and Regulation perspective offers this. This model could be used by other researchers in other sectors in South Africa or in different geographical contexts to explore the impact of ICT adoption and use in SMEs.
This study contributes to the SMEs’ ICT adoption research in proposing and validating factors associated with ICT adoption within a developing country context using the FMR framework to highlight the criticality of the determinants of adopting ICT in South African SMEs. It also shows that in the case of developing country SMEs each individual aspect of the framework offers a necessary but not sufficient condition for the adoption and utilisation of ICT for
strategic impact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ISBE 2014 Conference
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2014

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