Top Management Support, External Expertise and Information Systems Implementation in Small Businesses

Information Systems Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 248-267, 1996

20 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2012

See all articles by James Y.L. Thong

James Y.L. Thong

HKUST Business School

Chee-Sing Yap

affiliation not provided to SSRN

K. S. Raman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

Top management support is a key recurrent factor critical for effective information systems (IS) implementation. However, the role of top management support may not be as critical as external IS expertise, in the form of consultants and vendors, in small business IS implementation due to the unique characteristics of small businesses. This paper describes an empirical study of the relative importance of top management support and external IS expertise on IS effectiveness in 114 small businesses. Partial least squares (PLS) was used for statistical testing. The results show that top management support is not as important as effective external IS expertise in small business IS implementation. While top management support is essential for IS effectiveness, high quality external IS expertise is even more critical for small businesses operating in an environment of resource poverty. These findings call for more research efforts to be directed at selecting and engaging high quality external IS expertise for IS implementation in small businesses.

Keywords: top management support, external expertise, consultant, vendor, small business, IS success, IS implementation, IS effectiveness

Suggested Citation

Thong, James Y.L. and Yap, Chee-Sing and Raman, K. S., Top Management Support, External Expertise and Information Systems Implementation in Small Businesses (1996). Information Systems Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 248-267, 1996, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1978066

James Y.L. Thong (Contact Author)

HKUST Business School ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://jthong.people.ust.hk/

Chee-Sing Yap

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

K. S. Raman

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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