The Role of Microcomputers in Small and Medium Enterprises: Are They Used in Strategic Decisions and Planning?
PublisherScience Publications; ANSI Publications http://ansijournals.com/3/c4p.php?id=1&theme=3&jid=jas
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Although strategic planning and information technology are key concepts in management research, they have been widely used in relation to only large firms. Only few studies attempted to examine the perceptions of small and medium enterprises (hereafter, SMEs) about the role of IT in strategy making. Moreover, these studies are of less significance for developing countries as the definition and environment of SMEs vary from developed to developing country. This article analyses the strategic use of microcomputers and software packages in corporate planning and decision-making in small and medium enterprises (hereafter, SMEs). Data were collected from 44 SMEs from 3 cities in the Republic of Botswana to study their perceptions about the use of computer-based technology to solve managerial problems, and analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. The findings indicate that SMEs in Botswana engaged in both strategic and operational planning activities. However, microcomputers and software packages were used primarily for operational and administrative tasks rather than for strategic planning. They perceive that strategic planning is costly, timeconsuming, and hence appropriate for only large firms. The study also showed that firm size and strategic orientation have direct and positive relation to the use of computer technology for strategic decision making. The major implication of the findings for future research has been identified and presented.