Does Entrepreneurial Experience and Strategy Really Matter for ICT Performance? A Greek Cross-Border Empirical Study
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on a global scale in order to derive the undeniable benefits accruing from their use. The critical question arising here is which SMEs benefit from the adoption of ICTs. Thus, the purpose of this study is to find out why some SMEs reap more benefits than others from the adoption of ICTs, and which factors determine the successful use of ICTs. This paper analyses the influence data from the adoption of ICT in the Greek SME sector. In particular, SMEs were asked to rate the influence on the „improvements of existing production procedures‟, „enhancement of productivity‟ and „reduction of labor costs‟ from the adoption of ICT. The ordinal regression method was used to model the relationships between the ordinal outcome variables and the predictor variables concerning ICT-Strategy (implementation of a specific strategy for the adoption and use of ICTs) and entrepreneurial knowledge-experience on ICT. A joint methodology using a fully-structured questionnaire and in- depth interviews was selected as the primary research instrument in order to paint as broad a picture as possible of the issues surrounding the application of ICT. The three ordinal regression models indicate that predictor variables such as the presence of specific strategy and entrepreneurial knowledge on ICT are associated with the influence of the ICT-usage. Furthermore, the results of the study reveal that strategy plays a major role in the adoption and the appropriate use of ICT by SMEs. In addition, the prior entrepreneurial experience-knowledge of ICT was significantly associated with the ICT performance. Both variables provide strong evidence that the technology performance must be a result of rational planning and knowledge. This study makes a major contribution in two ways. Firstly, it has demonstrated how the strategy and entrepreneurship are inter-related parts of the ICT adoption process. Secondly, the information and communication technologies make the difference and offer tangible and intangible benefits only if properly applied.