INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE GROWTH OF SMALL SCALE BUSINESS

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Abstract

This research is entitled, Information Communication Technology and the Growth of Small Scale Business. The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of information Communication Technology and Growth of small scale businesses. This study is delimited to comprise one hundred and twenty (120) staff of the selected firms which include Jegin Consult Woji Port Harcourt, and Region Agency Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt. Using the Taro Yemen’s formula, the researcher arrived at a sample size of 92. The data for this study were collected from both primary and secondary source. Copies of questionnaire are the main sources of primary source for this study. These data were analyzed in table and percentage. From the analysis, the study find out that the dimension of ICT such as a internet, extranet and intranet influences the measures of growth of small scale business. Based on the above, the study recommends the following among others, that companies should adopt ICT devices to enhance their productivity, that  expertise should be mandated to train the existing worker (especially those at the lower level) on the nitty-gritty of the job for maximum productivity, that companies should make available fund to accommodate latest technology and finally that government should ensure prompt and adequate electricity supply, thereby reducing cost of production and thereby increasing productivity.

Table of Contents

Title Page    i

CERTIFICATION         ii

DEDICATION     iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT       iv

Abstract      v

Table of Contents vi

CHAPTER 1        1

INTRODUCTION         1

1.1 Background of the Study  1

1.2 Statement of Problem        3

1.3 Objectives of Study 3

1.4 Research Questions 3

1.5 Significance of the study   4

1.6 Scope of the study   4

1.7 Limitation of the Study     5

1.8 Definition of Terms 5

CHAPTER 2        7

LITERATURE REVIEW        7

2.1 Conceptual Framework     7

2.1.1Information Communication Technology and its Dimension    8

2.1.2 Dimensions of Information Communication Technology        11

2.1.3 Concept of Growth of Small Scale Business        13

2.1.4 Measures of SMES Growth     15

2.2 Theoretical Framework     17

2.2.1 The Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour  18

2.2.2 Innovation Diffusion Theory   18

2.3 Empirical Review    18

CHAPTER 3        20

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY      20

3.1 Research Design      21

3.2 Population of the Study    21

3.3 Sample Size Determination         22

3.4 Sampling Techniques        23

3.5 Method of Data Collection          24

3.6 Method of Data Analysis  24

3.7 Questionnaire Design        25

CHAPTER 4        26

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS       26

4.1     Data Collection and Presentation     26

4.2 Data Analysis 27

4.3 Discussion of Findings      31

CHAPTER 5        33

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS       33

5.1 Summary       33

5.2 Conclusions   33

5.3 Recommendations   33

References  35

Appendices II       38

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Today we live in an information society in which more people must manage more information, which in turn requires more technological support, which demands and creates more information.   Electronic technology and information are mutually reinforcing phenomena, and one of the key aspects of living in the information society is the growing level of interactions we have with this complex and increasingly electronic environment.   The general consequence is that we deal with large volumes of information, new forms and aggregations of information, and new tools for working with information (Marchionini, 1997).  These new tools we use to manage information at corporate, governmental and societal level are tools we must learn to use, pay for, and maintain.  The primary tool of the information society is the computer.  Microprocessors are used to improve the performance of other technologies, and computers are increasingly used to control and integrate other kinds of information technology (e.g. TV, radio, telephones).

Current literatures have it that ongoing advances in information systems and communication technologies allow organizations to achieve greater levels of productivity, efficiency and service delivery (Brown, 2000; Dawes et al, 1997; Drucker, 1995; Tapscott and Caston, 1993).   For example, one electronic mail message replaces the dictation of a memo which is then typed, copied and distributed.  Electronic workflow processing allows operational reports to be stored and forwarded to appropriate units for follow-up without a host of manual intervening steps.

One other thing that is crucial as far as ICTs are concerned is that, because of technological and communication innovations, geographic boundaries that once citizens, client and customer service jurisdiction no longer apply.  The move toward e-commerce, e-banking and e-governance provides an excellent example of how organizations are no longer restricted to, a contained geographic boundary.  In this 21st century, organizations all over the world have come to realize that only those that overhaul the whole of their administrative systems and operations are likely to survive and prosper.

Due to the pressures of competition and the need to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity organizations have been forced to catch on to the technological craze. Thus in order to place themselves in a favorable position to meet the growing expectations of their customers, and become organizations or co-operations to be reckoned with, more organizations are making use of it to smoothen and speed up the process of administration. They have not only started ensuring that their PC per capita use is one for every staff, but have also started brining PC’s together to form local and wide area networks (Rogers,  2002).

Many organizations use computer systems to run their inventory, control accounting, manage human resources, etc. Businesses are no longer relying on trails of paper work to conduct every day transactions. With an installed modern computer interconnectivity backbone, establishments can keep in touch, synchronize and co-ordinate activities with the utmost ease (Curry, 1999).

Managers now realize that information technology can be used as an engine to speed up processes, eliminate or reduce paperwork, increase the quality of output and service delivery, decrease storage costs, and enhance information sharing and communication (Aluko, 2003). They also realize that they have to achieve not only management / staff wide computer literacy, i.e. knowing how to locate, analyze, store and use information. All staff in modern organizations needs to be able to search and gather data from different sources, analyze them, select the relevant ones and organize them in such a manner as to allow them make decisions based on the information.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Small and medium entrepreneurs in Nigeria engage in business practices for survival as they are local in their nature of operation but they need to forge ahead only through global integration even though the local institutional frame work are not stead fast encouraging the development of small and medium enterprise towards the world economy as those of other countries. Thus, the problem that is identified for this study is how can small and medium scale businesses   be developed  to  meet  the  challenges  presented  by  globalization  in  the  face  of  available infrastructure and utility in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of information Communication Technology and Growth of small scale businesses.

The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To examine the internet and its impact on the Growth of small businesses.
  2. To examine the relationship between intranet and the Growth of small businesses.
  3. To examine the relationship between extranet and the Growth of small businesses.

1.4 Research Questions

From the above research purpose, this study seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the impact internet on the Growth of small businesses?
  2. To what extent does intranet associate the Growth of small businesses?
  3. To what extent does extranet associate with the Growth of small businesses?

1.5 Significance of the study

The significance of this study can be highlighted as follows;

To  provide  for  small  scale  business  stakeholders  the  need  to  propagate  their resourceful processes and practices towards global needs. To incline individuals, agencies and government to create an enabling environment within which small scale businesses can grow. To emphasize on the value of the business processes and practices that are globally oriented.  The study will help students and others alike see that the neglect of non-oil sector in Nigeria has been the major factory impending small and medium enterprise for better global status.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study is delimited under the following heading: content scope, geographical scope and unit of analysis.

Content Scope: The content scope of this study is to examine the impact of information Communication Technology and Growth of small scale businesses. The dependent variable is Growth, measured by innovativeness, increased market share and increased sales volume. While independent variable is impact of information communication technology measure by internet, intranet, and extranet.

Geographical Scope: This study is delimited in Port Harcourt with special references to some selected small businesses which include Jegin Consult Woji Port Harcourt, and Region Agency Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rivers.

Unit of Analysis: The unit of analysis in this research involves both senior and junior staffs of Jegin Consult Woji Port Harcourt, and Region Agency Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rivers at the time of carrying out the study.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study was limited by the following:

The level of frankness in response to questions by the respondents is quite doubtful.

Finance: Accessing fund for the research work as difficult and this limited the quality of research activity.

Time: The time allocated to the research work was not sufficient to give room for further intensive work on the field of study.

Organization Policy: Policies of the organization limited the level of information received. The personnel of the firms were not willing to give information, stating that it was against the organization’s policy.

1.8 Definition of Terms

MODERN: This has to do with latest instrument, design or material used in an organization or company.

TECHNOLOGY:  It is an organized totality of knowledge, skill, attitude, tools etc to solve a problem      in the most effective and efficient manner.

COMMUNICATION:  This is the act of sending and receiving information for proper understanding and assignation.

INFORMATION: What is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.

INTRANET: An intranet is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff,  Often, a wide range of information and services are available on an organization’s internal intranet that are unavailable to the public, unlike the Internet.

INTERNET:A global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

EXTRANET: An extranet is a controlled private network that allows access to partners, vendors and suppliers or an authorized set of customers normally to a subset of the information accessible from an organization’s intranet.

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