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Formative Infrastructure for IT-Adoption Understanding the Dynamics of IT-Use in SME's

Klas Gare
Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden
Ulf Melin
Linkoping University, Sweden

IT has considerable importance for productivity increase and growth. IT use requires a lot of resources to create value. Few, if any, studies, take the perspective of SMEs' needs for infrastructure concerning use of IT. As resources are more limited in smaller enterprises, and the contexts and conditions for IT use in SMEs are not well known. Formative infrastructure is a way of understanding cognitive and technical arrangements needed for IT adoption and use, depending on IT resources crossing organizational boundaries. The purpose is to study conditions for IT-use in SMEs for a better understanding of how a formative infrastructure contributes to enterprises. The methodological point of departure and approach in this study is qualitative and explorative. More than 60 interviews are performed within a geographical region. Questions concern needs for infrastructure among SMEs, actors roles, and concepts constituting a formative infrastructure for IT adoption and use. Data was analyzed for similarities and patterns into themes and topics. A theoretical framework for formative infrastructure is presented as a multi theory lens for developing the concept of formative infrastructure. A formative IT infrastructure is constituted by the identified needs among SMEs, and it contains three parts; (1) sensemaking, (2) senegiving, and (3) service infrastructures. Formative IT infrastructure in SMEs is not a well known concept, concerning IT use in SME's. The need of for formative infrastructure in sensemaking IT adoption and use in SME's rely on external partners and other actors for sensemaking and sensegiving processes. Further research is needed for better understanding of actors and roles as well as arenas for sensemaking IT in SMEs. The emphasis on infrastructure for IT adoption processes will help SME's to more relevant investments.

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Reference:Klas G., Ulf M. (2010). "Formative Infrastructure for IT-Adoption Understanding the Dynamics of IT-Use in SME's," . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 10(67). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/10-67
Keywords:Adoption, formative infrastructure, sensemaking sensegiving, IT-use, SME
Item Type:Article - Volume 10 Article 67 (2010)
Email: Klas Gare (klas.gare@jibs.hj.se)
Ulf Melin (ulf.melin@liu.se)

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