Internet diffusion in creative micro-businesses: Identifying change agent characteristics as critical success factors

  • P. De Berranger, D. Tucker and L. Jones (2001). Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 197-214
  • Abstract: Micro-businesses make a substantial contribution to the economic and social well being of Europe, the Asian Pacific region, and the United States. In Europe, for example, 30% of firms with less than 10 employees generate 70% of turnover. This remarkable statistic has prompted the European Union to fund novel research projects aimed at stimulating growth within the very small businesses sector. In particular, projects aimed at improving the adoption rate of information and communication technology (ICT) are seen as vital. The Internet is a unique and powerful form of ICT, which is making electronic commerce attractive to even the smallest of businesses. These micro-businesses stand to gain tremendous business advantages from implementing Internet technology. For this reason, in this article we focus specifically on Internet diffusion processes in micro-businesses.1 Through a field study within a geographic cluster of creative micro-businesses, we identify the vital role played by the change agents. Revealing that the unique way in which the change agents became infused into the local community had a significant impact on fostering mutual trust that led to successful Internet adoption. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the provision of customized training programs by the change agents was a critical success factor. Finally, we reflect on the successful diffusion projects and identify the characteristics of the change agents that were instrumental in ensuring Internet adoption.
  • Theme: Technology
  • Keywords: Change agents, Information technology, Internet adoption and diffusion, Micro-businesses
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: International
  • Quality:
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