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ICT-bestuur voor kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen

Jan Devos UGent (2011)
abstract
Small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role as engines of economic and social development all over the world. Many scholars argue that a small and medium-sized enterprise cannot be seen through the lens of a large firm. Therefore, the limited theories explaining IT (Information Technology) governance in large organizations cannot be linearly extrapolated to SMEs, since we are dealing with a completely different economic, cultural and managerial environment. IT governance is a term that has been evolving rapidly over the last few years, especially in practitioners’ communities. The IT Governance Institute is taking a leading role in the debate. Many aspects of IT governance have been described and detailed but little work has been done to pull it all together. From an academic perspective, research on IT governance is emerging as an important area of enquiry. Notwithstanding the efforts to develop guidelines for governing IT in SMEs, such as the Cobit QuickStart method, the results of applying these frameworks in SMEs are rather disappointing. Scholars and practitioners are too grounded in their way of thinking, and maintain a simple vision of a SME as a scale model of a large firm. SMEs seldom have a dedicated IT staff or a well-defined and formal IS (Information Systems) function. Due to their small scale, and hence a lack of in house IT skills, SMEs depend more on IT vendors than large companies. There is also a lack of genuine SME-centred theories that can lead to general inferences about how SMEs should govern their IT. The focus of our research is the relation of IT and SMEs in an outsourced environment. In order to achieve a better understanding of the phenomenon of IT governance in SMEs, a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach is assumed. The multidisciplinary stems from the variety of scientific disciplines like computer science, economics, sociology and psychology used as sources to deliver theories to our framework. The multifaceted approach embodies a behavioural perspective as well as a more situational perspective which is directly linked to the IT artefact (e.g. ERP and CRM) and the organizational context, here thus SMEs. Considering the current state of the research we have formulated two general research objectives: 1) to extend our knowledge of IS failures in an outsourced SME environment and 2) to clarify the link between the insights of failed IS projects and the principles of IT governance. We see an outsourced information system failure (OISF) as a failure of governing IT in a SME environment and we propose a new structure for IT governance in SMEs. The aforementioned general research objectives have been broken down into the following research questions: 1) why do IS projects fail in SMEs?, 2) how do IS projects fail in SMEs?, 3) how do SMEs manage their IS projects? and 4) why is there not enough IT governance in SMEs? We have chosen for case study research strategy based on multiple cases. The research was started with the development of the case study database and an extensive literature study. In chapter one we first provide overviews of the specific relationships between SMEs and IT, outsourced IS failures and IT governance. Chapter two details our research methodology and design. In appendix A we give a description of the case studies. In chapter three we present an overview of the extant literature on IT and SMEs, IT governance and IS failure. The full list of references to the relevant papers of the literature on IT and SMEs is presented in appendix B. We discuss the idiographic character of our unit of analysis and the relation with IT based on a survey conducted in Belgian organizations in chapter four. In chapter five we analyse the theories that can be used to explain an OISF in a SME environment. There we elaborate on the theoretical foundations of trust and control. Chapter 5 includes the results of the tests of the theoretical propositions by multiple case studies and a discussion of our empirical observations. This chapter will also be published in the A1 journal, ‘Industrial Management & Data System’. In chapter six a framework, based on multiple case studies, is presented to explain the failure of outsourced information systems (OISFs) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We developped eleven hypotheses in our framework and we present the results of an enquiry on one hypothesis of the ‘lemon’ problem within a group of 484 Belgium ISVs that target the SME market. Finally, our general conclusions are stated in chapter seven, including the implications of our findings for future research and practice. A full list of our academic publications concerning this doctoral research is presented in appendix C.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent and UGent
organization
alternative title
IT Governance for SMEs
year
type
dissertation (monograph)
subject
keyword
ICT, IT failures, IT/IS, KMO's, IT Governance, SMEs
pages
XVII, 254 pages
publisher
Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur
place of publication
Gent
defense location
Kortrijk : Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen, Campus GdG (Raadszaal)
defense date
2011-12-16 15:00
ISBN
9789085784715
language
Dutch
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
1970104
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1970104
date created
2011-12-19 15:22:51
date last changed
2012-01-02 11:24:45
@phdthesis{1970104,
  abstract     = {Small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role as engines of economic and social development all over the world. Many scholars argue that a small and medium-sized enterprise cannot be seen through the lens of a large firm. Therefore, the limited theories explaining IT (Information Technology) governance in large organizations cannot be linearly extrapolated to SMEs, since we are dealing with a completely different economic, cultural and managerial environment. IT governance is a term that has been evolving rapidly over the last few years, especially in practitioners{\textquoteright} communities. The IT Governance Institute is taking a leading role in the debate. Many aspects of IT governance have been described and detailed but little work has been done to pull it all together. From an academic perspective, research on IT governance is emerging as an important area of enquiry. Notwithstanding the efforts to develop guidelines for governing IT in SMEs, such as the Cobit QuickStart method, the results of applying these frameworks in SMEs are rather disappointing. Scholars and practitioners are too grounded in their way of thinking, and maintain a simple vision of a SME as a scale model of a large firm. SMEs seldom have a dedicated IT staff or a well-defined and formal IS (Information Systems) function. Due to their small scale, and hence a lack of in house IT skills, SMEs depend more on IT vendors than large companies. There is also a lack of genuine SME-centred theories that can lead to general inferences about how SMEs should govern their IT. 
The focus of our research is the relation of IT and SMEs in an outsourced environment. In order to achieve a better understanding of the phenomenon of IT governance in SMEs, a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach is assumed. The multidisciplinary stems from the variety of scientific disciplines like computer science, economics, sociology and psychology used as sources to deliver theories to our framework. The multifaceted approach embodies a behavioural perspective as well as a more situational perspective which is directly linked to the IT artefact (e.g. ERP and CRM) and the organizational context, here thus SMEs.  
Considering the current state of the research we have formulated two general research objectives: 1) to extend our knowledge of IS failures in an outsourced SME environment and 2) to clarify the link between the insights of failed IS projects and the principles of IT governance. We see an outsourced information system failure (OISF) as a failure of governing IT in a SME environment and we propose a new structure for IT governance in SMEs. The aforementioned general research objectives have been broken down into the following research questions: 1) why do IS projects fail in SMEs?, 2) how do IS projects fail in SMEs?, 3) how do SMEs manage their IS projects? and 4) why is there not enough IT governance in SMEs?
We have chosen for case study research strategy based on multiple cases. The research was started with the development of the case study database and an extensive literature study. 
In chapter one we first provide overviews of the specific relationships between SMEs and IT, outsourced IS failures and IT governance. Chapter two details our research methodology and design. In appendix A we give a description of the case studies. In chapter three we present an overview of the extant literature on IT and SMEs, IT governance and IS failure. The full list of references to the relevant papers of the literature on IT and SMEs is presented in appendix B. We discuss the idiographic character of our unit of analysis and the relation with IT based on a survey conducted in Belgian organizations in chapter four. In chapter five we analyse the theories that can be used to explain an OISF in a SME environment. There we elaborate on the theoretical foundations of trust and control. Chapter 5 includes the results of the tests of the theoretical propositions by multiple case studies and a discussion of our empirical observations. This chapter will also be published in the A1 journal, {\textquoteleft}Industrial Management \& Data System{\textquoteright}. In chapter six a framework, based on multiple case studies, is presented to explain the failure of outsourced information systems (OISFs) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We developped eleven hypotheses in our framework and we present the results of an enquiry on one hypothesis of the {\textquoteleft}lemon{\textquoteright} problem within a group of 484 Belgium ISVs that target the SME market. Finally, our general conclusions are stated in chapter seven, including the implications of our findings for future research and practice.
A full list of our academic publications concerning this doctoral research is presented in appendix C.},
  author       = {Devos, Jan},
  isbn         = {9789085784715},
  keyword      = {ICT,IT failures,IT/IS,KMO's,IT Governance,SMEs},
  language     = {dut},
  pages        = {XVII, 254},
  publisher    = {Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {ICT-bestuur voor kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Devos, Jan. 2011. “ICT-bestuur Voor Kleine En Middelgrote Ondernemingen”. Gent: Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur.
APA
Devos, Jan. (2011). ICT-bestuur voor kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen. Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur, Gent.
Vancouver
1.
Devos J. ICT-bestuur voor kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen. [Gent]: Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur; 2011.
MLA
Devos, Jan. “ICT-bestuur Voor Kleine En Middelgrote Ondernemingen.” 2011 : n. pag. Print.