The impact of ICT adoption on business performance among SMEs in South Africa

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University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg
Despite the high rate of ICT adoption in South Africa, little is known about the impact of ICT adoption on business performance among SMEs; thus, a study such as this was necessary to reduce the failure rate of SMEs during their first five years. Design/methodology/approach – In South Africa, SME survey data were collected using purposive sampling, with a sample size of 385, and multiple regression was used for analysis. Findings - H1, H2 & H3 were accepted at p-value < 0.001 statistically significant level. Based on the multiple regression analysis results (R-value = .938; R-square = .966; p-value = 0.001). It is therefore evident that there is a statistically significant relationship between technology, organization and external environmental factors and business performance. Conclusions – The results indicate that technological, organisational, and environmental contexts have direct and statistically significant relationships with business performance. Research limitations/implications – Due to the study's limited scope and phases, additional data are required to apply the findings to other industries/sectors/countries. Implications/practical applications – The study's findings have significant implications for SME managers and owners who are promoting ICT adoption within their organisations. This study seeks to educate managers on the significance of external assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly those lacking the competencies, skills, or an ICT division. Adoption of ICT provides small and medium-sized enterprises with access to real-time data, advanced analytics, and reporting tools. This allows managers to make well-informed decisions based on current and accurate information. In order to capitalize on this advantage, managers should prioritize developing data-driven decision-making capabilities and ensuring that employees have the necessary skills to interpret and analyse data. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the expanding literature on innovation adoption by utilising T- O-E frameworks to explain the technology adoption by SME
Dissertation Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of master of management in digital business in the School of Economics and Business Sciences at the Wits Business School
TOE, SME, Adoption, Innovation, UCTD