ICT as a Strategy for Sustainable Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria

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Purpose. This phenomenological qualitative study investigated the information communication technology (ICT) strategies that were instrumental to the success and sustainability of leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Sustainability entails profitability, growth, innovations, and business evolutions that ultimately lead to the survival of SMEs. The potential implications of this study include effecting positive social change through increased utilization of ICT tools such as e-commerce and internet technologies by SMEs. This will subsequently increase their chances of survival and elevate their innovative capacities to improve business operations and profitability. In addition, the study may serve as a resource for policy makers in government to formulate policies that will promote the adoption of ICT by Nigerian SME owners. Theoretical Framework. The study was hinged on the resource-based view (RBV) theoretical framework. The RBV theory is a model that examines resources as key to superior firm performance and sustained growth. The framework also maintains that a firm’s resources must be valuable, rare, imitable, and heterogeneously distributed across the organization to achieve a competitive advantage. The study explored literature and arguments that posit that ICT can be transformed to possess those qualities despite its seeming commonness. Methodology. The participants for this study consisted of executive-level SME leaders who have the authority to approve ICT implementation within their respective organizations. Semistructured interviews were conducted with these participants using open-ended questions. The purpose of the questions was to elicit responses derived from the participants’ actual experiences with incorporating ICT as a foremost strategy for sustainability. This methodology was in line with the phenomenological research approach, which draws upon the subjective lived experiences of participants to provide a detailed account of specific variables.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public Administration, Business Administration, Information Technology