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Determining the information needs of small and medium-sized enterprises: a critical success factor analysis

Sen, B.A. and Taylor, R. (2007) Determining the information needs of small and medium-sized enterprises: a critical success factor analysis. Information Research, 12 (4). paper 329. ISSN 1368-1613

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Abstract

Introduction. This paper reports the results of a critical success factor analysis of two small businesses that share staff and premises, operating within the same industry (educational resources), but within different market sectors (early years literacy and religious education).

Method. Data were collected by interviews with managers and from analysis of documents. The approach is defined and explored as being useful for small to medium sized enterprises in determining their information needs, which are critical to strategy, business development and growth.

Findings. Nine critical success factors emerged, one of which was corporate information competence. Information was also a sub-factor underlying all other critical success factors.

Conclusion. It is essential for small businesses in today's competitive environment to take a strategic approach to their information needs if they wish to develop and remain competitive. If information expertise is not present within the company it is advisable to invest in that expertise through recruitment, training, partnership, or outsourcing. This study confirms previous research findings relating to the 'critical' role of information in organizations and specifically small companies.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Information Studies
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2009 15:18
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2014 11:06
Published Version: http://informationr.net/ir/12-4/paper329.html
Status: Published
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9302

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