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Ns FACULTY OF ENGINEERING, BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

FAKULTEIT INGENIEURSWESE, BOU-OMGEWING EN INLIGTINGTEGNOLOGIE

INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT / INDIVIDUELE WERKSOPDRAG


Surname / Van

MAKIWA

Initials / Voorletters

P. J

Student Number /
Studentenommer

Module Code /
Modulekode
Assignment number /
Opdrag nommer

Name of Lecturer /
Naam van Dosent

DR MARITA TURPIN

Date of Submission /
Datum ingehandig

28 APRIL

INF :

Declaration / Verklaring: I declare that this assignment, submitted by me, is my own work and that I have
referenced all the sources that I have used. / Ek verklaar dat hierdie opdrag wat deur my ingehandig word,
my eie werk is en dat ek na al die bronne wat ek gebruik het, verwys het.

Signature of Student /
Handtekening van
student

MARK / PUNT

Table of Contents
1.

MAIN TOPIC................................................................................................................... 3

2.

PROBLEM STATEMENT.................................................................................................3

3.

2.1

Research Paradigm.................................................................................................4

2.2

Research Question..................................................................................................4

2.3

Research Strategy...................................................................................................4

2.4

Data collection and analysis strategy.......................................................................4

2.5

How TAM will be utilised...........................................................................................5

RESEARCH PLAN 2: GIDDENS STRUCTURATION THEORY.....................................6


3.1

Research Paradigm.................................................................................................6

3.2

Research Question..................................................................................................6

3.3

Research Strategy...................................................................................................6

3.4

Data collection and analysis strategy.......................................................................6

3.5

How GIDDENS STRUCTURATION THEORY will be utilised..................................7

References............................................................................................................................. 8

1. MAIN TOPIC

Developing an Implementable Framework for Effective ICT


Adoption and Utilisation in Zimbabwean SMEs

2. PROBLEM STATEMENT
Since independence most developing countries in Africa have not realised the full
value and potential of

SMEs in fostering economic growth and poverty eradication

poverty (Helmsing & Kolstee, 1993). African economies which include Zimbabwe
have failed to ensure efficient SME integration with modern industrial development
due to a lack of adequate infrastructure, economic instability, chronic poverty, and
alarming levels of corruption and hence they are currently faced with high levels of
unemployment and poverty (Ruvinga & Zhou 2014).
Over the years Zimbabwean SMEs have failed to keep abreast with technological
advancements and to effectively utilise ICT to achieve their goals and to provide
quality products and services and hence they have become irrelevant agents of
economic development (Tsarwe, 2014). Despite the ICT strategic plans put into
place by the Zimbabwean Government most SMEs are still lagging behind their
counterparts in developed countries in terms of ICT adoption and utilisation. The idea
of ICT being a critical element and ingredient for quality service and products has not
been grasped by most Zimbabwean SMEs and hence most have failed to excel
competitively (Sanderson, 2014).
Technology is currently the biggest driver of contemporary business practises and
innovation most successful SMEs (Chacko & Harris, 2011). Despite the upsurge of
research on SME ICT adoption and use, research on the impact of ICT use and
adoption in Zimbabwean SMEs is still under-researched and unexplored. This study
therefore aims at analysing the key reasons behind the inadequate utilisation of ICT
in Zimbabwean SMEs and to give relevant recommendations and an implementation
framework that will facilitate the effective utilisation and adoption of ICT.

2.1

Research Paradigm

The epistemological view that will be adopted for this study will be that of
interpretivist. According to Bryman (2007), the interpretivists view seeks to reveal

and investigate the social context and human behaviour world whereas a positivist
approach would only focus on explaining the situation. The interpretivist approach
will be adopted since the research topic requires an exploratory stance in order to
verify weather perceived ease of use or perceived usefulness are the major
predictors affecting effective use and adoption of ICT in Zimbabwean SMEs (Davis,
1989). This study will also be inductive in nature which focuses on observing ICT use
in Zimbabwean SMEs in a particular context and aims at verifying the TAM theory.

2.2

Research Question

What are the key predictors that inhibiting the effective utilisation and adoption of ICT
in Zimbabwean SMEs?

2.3

Research Strategy

This study will take on a triangulated approach that will employ both a survey
strategy and case studies. Both approaches will use a qualitative research mode
because the inductive nature of the study will lead to questions that involve why,
what and how which according Bryman (2007) can only be effectively addressed
using a qualitative research mode.

2.4

Data collection and analysis strategy

A triangulated data collection method will be used to assist in increasing the validity
of the research findings. A survey and Case studies will be employed during this
study. Self-administered questionnaires will be distributed to conveniently sampled
Zimbabwean SMEs. The target respondents will be I.T managers, owner-managers,
managing directors and administrative managers. After collecting and assessing the
questionnaires cases will then be selected using purposive probability sampling for
semi-structured interviews and an interview protocol will be used as a guide.
An audio recording device will be used to capture the interviews. Transcription will be
done soon after the interviews and I will use Transcribe which is an efficient online
transcription tool that will ensure efficiency and speed. A case study protocol will then

be used to thoroughly investigate further these SMEs and will include company
document analysis, observations and further interviews with other employees.
For the survey phase descriptive statistics and content analysis will be employed to
analyse the quantitative data collected using the self-administered questionnaires.
Content analysis will be used mainly to identify the number of SMEs that use ICT.
The interviews and case studies will be analysed using thematic analysis where the
collected data will be grouped into different themes to ensure effective analysis the
perceived ease of use and usefulness in ICT. The themes will be based mainly on
the literature review and from observations during the study. For this study a
repeated pattern of responses will be used to identify the themes. The main themes
will include:
i.

Level of ICT use within SMEs

ii.

Impact of ICT on SME business operations

iii.

ICT adoption and usage hindrances.

2.5

How TAM will be utilised

TAM highlights that the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of ICT can
be used as attitude predictors of users towards the use of ICT including subsequent
actual use and behavioural intentions (Davis, 1989). Therefore for this study TAM will
be used to analyse ICT user acceptance and to verify the factors affecting ICT
adoption and use amongst Zimbabwean SMEs. TAM will be used to establish which
one of its two main constructs namely perceived usefulness and perceived ease of
use plays a key role in ICT acceptance and use behaviour in Zimbabwean SMEs.

3. RESEARCH PLAN 2: GIDDENS STRUCTURATION


THEORY

3.1

Research Paradigm

The analytic view that will be adopted for this study is the structuration theory and
hence the study will take on an interpretative paradigm. The ethnographic nature of
the research favours an interpretative view over positivist one. Giddens (1984) is
also on record in stating that he does not approve of social inquiries that take on a
positivist-empiricist view.

3.2

Research Question

What are interpretive structures, norm behaviours and facilities that affect ICT
adoption and utilisation amongst organizational members in Zimbabwean SMEs?

3.3

Research Strategy

This study will take on a normative case study methodology as the research strategy.
A case study strategy is relevant for this research because the study is mainly
concerned with the investigation of social agent behaviour towards ICT adoption and
use and also because the boundaries between phenomenon and perspective are not
clear (Keeves, 1988). A case study approach will facilitate the identification of routine
social practices that SME organizational members engage in when applying and
adopting ICT. This ethnographic study seeks to explore an in-depth description of
everyday cultures and practices in relation to ICT use and hence it will take on a
qualitative-exploratory research approach (Surry & Farquhar, 1997). The qualitative
research strategy seeks to reveal an all-inclusive view of the practises of social
actors with Zimbabwean SMEs.

3.4

Data collection and analysis strategy

Since the nature of this study is ethnographic the main method of data collection will
have to be participant observation where it will be critical for the researcher to have
more intimate interactions with the social actors under consideration (Bryman, 2007).
In order to effectively collect data the researcher will have to immerse into the SME
environment as a participant and observer and take field notes. Records of verbal
and non-verbal communication of SME organisational members as they interact with
ICT will be taken. In addition to participant observation document analysis and semi

structured interviews will be conducted with employees and management in selected


case SMEs. Transcribed records and real-time notes will serve as a basis of analysis
of how ICT use and adoption affects social norms that result in identity construction
of SME organisational members. Digital recording devices will be utilised to capture
interviews
The study will utilise meta and thematic analysis of data. Meta-analysis will be used
to analyse and validate the pooled data from observations, interviews and
documents. This will involve the filtering of coded transcripts, field notes and
documents in order to categorise social practises and behavioural norms associated
with ICT use. Thematic analysis will also be employed to identify patterns and
themes from the various sources of data. Coding will mainly be based on some of
the routine practises and verbal communication that occur as a result of ICT use
amongst organisational members. This analyses will also facilitate to superimpose
these practices onto a structuration view point and reveal whether the practises
verify the proposed structuration processes.

3.5

How GIDDENS STRUCTURATION THEORY will be utilised

Giddenss structuration theory will be utilised in this study as a means of facilitating


our understanding of ICT adoption and use in Zimbabwean SMEs .This is because
the structuration theory provides a way of comprehending the complexity of the
interactions between SME organisational members, structures and technology
(Giddens, 1984). It also allows the bidirectional analysis of these interactions.
Furthermore Giddens structuration theory will assist in identifying how the three main
structural aspects of normative, ideational and material are represented within
Zimbabwean SMEs (Giddens, 1984). This view will help give in-depth interpretations
and reveal ICT use and adoption factors that relate to processes, organisational
norms and the attitudes of organisational member. For this study Giddens structural
theory will also provide a framework for the analysis of weather ICT adoption and
use in Zimbabwean SMEs is influenced by the employees own attitudes, choices
and ability to make decisions or by the organisational structure and institutional
norms.

References
1. Bryman, A. and Bell, E. 2007. Business Research Methods. Revised edition, Oxford
University Press: London,UK.
2. Chacko. J. G. and Harris. G. 2011. ICT and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises in Asia
Pacific Size Does Matter. [Online] .Available: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/wsis/Article2.html,
[Accessed on 25 April, 2016].
3. Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of
information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319339.
4. Giddens, A. 1984. The Constitution of Society, Polity Press: Cambridge, UK.
5. Helmsing, A.H.J and Kolstee, T. 1993. Small Enterprise Promotion in a Changing Policy
Environment in Africa: Raising Issues and Attempting Answers in Helmsing, A.H.J and
Kolstee, T. eds, Small Enterprises and Changing Policies: Structural Adjustment, Financial
Policy and assistance Programs in Africa. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.
6. Keeves, J.P. (Ed.) (1988). Educational Research, Methodology and Measurement: An
International Handbook. Oxford: Pergamon.
7. Ruvinga, C. & Zhou, M. 2014. Effective utilisation of ICT is the key to Business success :
Case Study of SMEs in Zimbabwe. Journal of Computer Engineering, 16(1):4550
8. Sanderson A.2014. Challenges of financing Small to Medium Enterprises. The Herald, 6
January 2014. [Online].Available: http://theherald.co.zw[Accessed 7 July 2014].
9. Surry, D., and Farquhar, J. 1997. Diffusion Theory and Instruction Technology. Journal of
Instructional Science and Technology, 2(1):269-278.
10. Tsarwe, L. 2014.Is there value out of the informal sector? The Herald Business, B3.
[Online].Available :< http://www.herald.co.zw/is-there-value-out-of-the-informalsector>
[Accessed 25 April 2016].