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Interpretive structural modeling (ISM) of IT-enablers for Indian manufacturing SMEs

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to investigate the issue of information technology (IT) adoption and implementation in Indian manufacturing small- and medium-scale enterprise (SMEs) towards enhancing the capabilities of their supply chain. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Extracts of recently completed case-based research for ten SME units are utilized for the identification of IT-enablers. To support the logical deduction of the factors, diagnostic techniques like force-field analysis, situation-actor-process and learning-action-performance are used. Further, key managerial insights were obtained by developing an interpretive structural modeling (ISM) model for the set of factors, specific to Indian context. Findings ‐ ISM delivers interrelationships among the factors which were utilized for deriving managerial insights. Further, these factors are classified into four categories, namely, autonomous, driver, dependent, and linkage to understand their relative impact on the implementation of IT in Indian SMEs. Practical implications ‐ The advancement in IT presents opportunities for SMEs to harness the benefits of information and communication technologies in an affordable, simple way and to reach new customers and suppliers in global competition and at large to improve their supply chain competencies without a need for any major changes in business practices, manufacturing operations or production facilities. The findings of the present research will help Indian SME managers to enable IT implementation with a strategic orientation. Originality/value ‐ Key issues related to IT implementation in SMEs are discussed and interconnectedness of critical factors for the case of Indian SMEs is understood.
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Keywords: Communication technologies; India; Small to medium-sized enterprises; Supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 06 June 2008

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