Executive Decisions About Adoption of Information Technology in Small Business: Theory and Empirical Tests

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.8.2.171

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used to explain and predict small business executives’ decisions to adopt information technology (IT). These theories were tested in a multiphase field study involving 162 small businesses (25 ≤ n ≤ 200 employees) from a broad set of industries considering a variety of ITs. Results indicate strong support for a decision process based on attitude (perceived positive and negative consequences for the firm), subjective norm (social expectations), and perceived control (resources to overcome obstacles) regarding IT adoption. Additional variables such as firm and individual executive characteristics had no unique effect on adoption decisions. However, as business size increased, so did the importance of expectations from the (social) environment, while the importance of intra-firm consequences and control over potential adoption barriers declined.

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