Impact of ICTs on Innovation and Performance of Firms: Do Start-ups, Regional Proximity and Skills Matter?

Khorshed Alam, Mohammad Afshar Ali, Michael Erdiaw-Kwasie, Md Shahiduzzaman, Eswaran Velayutham, Peter A. Murray, Retha Wiesner

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Abstract

Managers need to better understand how information and communication technologies (ICTs) lead to informed decisions about the investment and advantages of such technologies. However, at best, the empirical evidence on the business value of technology is mixed in relation to small firms. A total of 43 firms satisfied the study’s definition of start-ups. The final survey included 54 questions on access to and use of ICTs, innovation, firm characteristics, as well as the participants’ demographics, of which 11 factors were analyzed as part of this study. We found compelling evidence to support the positive effects of ICTs on firm-level innovation and performance based on the primary survey data of 270 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in an Australian regional area. Moreover, we found that ICT strategies and skills are important factors that drive innovation and the overall performance of SMEs. In addition, various conditions, such as an agile workplace culture and international trade, can help firms improve their performance. Young businesses, particularly start-ups with ICT skills, show an improved innovation capability. However, remoteness appears to influence innovation negatively for nascent firms. Thus, managers should focus on improving ICT skills, strategies, and networking that help facilitate tangible ICT investments to foster innovation and growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5801
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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