Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Information Systems and Technology
Irene A. Williams
Small business owners in a range of industries continually adapt to take advantage of technological developments in accounting, marketing, and communication. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that small business owners operating in the central region of North Carolina used to implement information and communication technology (ICT). Roger's diffusion of innovation theory grounded the study. Data collection included face-to-face semistructured interviews with 6 owners of small businesses who successfully implemented ICT, field notes from site observations, and reviews of participant websites. Interviews were transcribed and participants were engaged in member checking. Data were analyzed using Yin's 5-step process, methodological triangulation, and manual coding methods. Three themes emerged: applications, security awareness, and overcoming barriers. The study findings might be of use to owners of small businesses for improving business processes, customer satisfaction, and cost savings. This study might contribute to social change by increasing the sustainability of small businesses in the community, which could drive economic development and improve community relations. Potential implications for effecting positive social change include increasing the rate of small business owners' success in e-commerce and Internet technologies, and increasing the financial security for owners, employees, their families, and communities.