Determinants of Success for Computer Usage in Small Business

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

Date Written: 1988


Investigates the factors associated with successful computer use in small manufacturing firms. The proposed factors to influence computer-based information system (CBIS) success are drawn from prior studies of larger firms, based on their perceived importance in the small business setting. The nine success factors are formulated into corresponding hypotheses which test whether small manufacturing firms realize a higher level of CBIS success when they have: (1) greater use of external programming support, (2) higher levels of CBIS planning, (3) a chief executive with greater computer knowledge, (4) a chief executive who is more deeply involved in the computerization of applications, (5) higher levels of computer acceptance by employees, (6) more sophisticated computer controls, (7) used their computers for a longer period of time, (8) higher levels of computer training and (9) on-site computers (versus use of computer services). Success is defined as use of computer-generated reports by top executives, and the impact that the computer applications have on the business. Data were randomly selected from the population of all firms listed in the California Manufacturers Register for 1981. The sample included 93 manufacturing firms located in Los Angeles, employing fewer than 300 persons, and earning less than $30 million in sales revenues. One questionnaire was answered by the CEOs of the firms involved, and a second was completed by information systems administrators. Results indicate that chief executive knowledge of computers and involvement in computer operations are vital to CBIS success. In addition, onsite computer use is associated with CBIS success. The association between computer planning and computer success is weak. Results also show that external programming, employee acceptance of computers, the use of computer controls, length of computer use, and the level of computer training for employees are not associated with CBIS success. (SFL)

Keywords: Champions, Attitudes, Management planning, Chief executive officers (CEOs), Computers, Individual traits, Skills, Outsourcing, Technology acquisition, Firm characteristics, Manufacturing industries, Employee training, Information & communication technologies, Information systems

Suggested Citation

DeLone, William, Determinants of Success for Computer Usage in Small Business (1988). MIS Quarterly, Vol. 12, Issue 1, p. 51-61 1988. Available at SSRN:

William DeLone (Contact Author)

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics