An information and communication technology adoption framework for small, medium and micro-enterprises operating in townships South Africa

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) have been regarded as one of the critical driving forces for economic growth and development in South Africa (SA). In South Africa, SMMEs operate in townships and cities. However, there have been concerns about their failure rate and their inability to gain competitive advantage especially in the current era of rapid information and communication technologies (ICT) adoption. Aim: This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting ICT adoption by township SMMEs. To further develop an ICT adoption framework for township SMMEs and provide guidelines to policy developers with the aim to increase growth and development. Setting: The study examined the context of SMMEs in townships and explored ICT adoption theories or models so as to understand what factors are relevant in influencing ICT adoption by township SMMEs. A conceptual ICT adoption framework for township SMMEs was developed using Actor network theory (ANT) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Method: A qualitative exploratory research method is adopted as it provides insight into the SMME characteristics and their level of ICT adoption and perceptions. The study used a sample of 21 SMME owners or managers operating in Soweto. Data was collected using indepth interviews and observations. Results: This study revealed that ICT adoption for township SMMEs is a complex and dynamic process which involves various factors. Township SMMEs are not adopting ICTs and the current ICTs adopted are not fully deployed. The perception of ICT adoption is equally influenced by external factors such as ICT support and ICT training amongst others. These actors drive the perceived benefits such as growth and sustainability which then influence the ICT adoption. Conclusion: Township SMMEs requires unique interventions when encouraging them to fully adopt ICTs. They may adopt if correct guidelines are addressed such as ICT awarenessand ICT training. The ICT adoption framework included factors that can be used by SMME owners or managers and policy makers when formulating guidelines towards ICT adoption for township SMMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSouthern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ICT adoption
  • SMME
  • actor network theory (ANT)
  • framework
  • sustainability
  • technology acceptance model (TAM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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