Impact of communication technologies on the performance of SMEs in developing economy: a modified social shaping perspective

Rufai, Ibrahim Adeniyi (2013). Impact of communication technologies on the performance of SMEs in developing economy: a modified social shaping perspective. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the impact of Information Communication Technologies (mobile telephony, computer and internet facilities) on the performance of small and medium businesses in developing economy. It is a mixed-method research involving a firm survey and also a number of semi-structured interviews with firms operating in both the affluent and disadvantaged districts of Lagos State, Nigeria. Much of the earlier empirical research and theoretical debate have taken a rather simplistic approach to examining the impact of ICT on socio-economic change by according privilege to either technological or social imperatives in their investigations. This study, guided and largely informed by Donald Mackenzie’s Social Shaping Theory (modified) introduces a new concept of ‘Symbiotic Interactionism’ – which suggests that the relationship between technology and social context/relations is mutually influencing.

The findings lend credence to the idea of a more symbiotic relationship between technology and society as highlighted by the modified social shaping theoretical framework employed in this research. It is argued that as communication technologies positively impact the performance of small and medium firms, existing socio-economic contexts/factors within the communities where the firms operate also influence the choice of communications technology and significantly shape its impact on business performance.

The research findings also suggest that class differences with respect to income and education disparity, as well as communication habits and the state of infrastructural support in the affluent and disadvantaged communities account for different outcomes in the business performance of firms.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > T Technology (General)


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