Tracing The Emergence And Development Process Of Small Dot.Com Innovation

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to trace the emergence and innovation development process of innovation in order to understand the attempts small firms make to get the innovation to work or not. Prior studies on SME e-business are largely premised on an a priori existence of both the organization and the technology and move to investigate adoption, diffusion and use. Those in the E-Entrepreneurship focus on the social dimension of e-business innovation—personal qualities of the entrepreneur and the business process, paying less attention to the technology. This far, issues on how the technology and the firm co-emerge and co-develop have received less research attention. To extend the current body of knowledge in the SME e-business and E-Entrepreneurship research streams, the study draws on the interpretive case study tradition and the actor-network theory from science and technology studies perspective to trace the emergence and development processes of innovation involving four small firms in Ghana. Interim findings appear to challenge the traditional and widely shared believe that entrepreneurs are the source and movers of innovations. The experiences of the four organizations suggest that the control on the emergence and development process of innovation is a shared responsibility among heterogeneous entities including human and non-humans.

Keywords: SMEs, Actor-network theory, e-business, science and technology studies

Effah, J. and Light, B. (2010) Tracing The Emergence And Development Process Of Small Dot.Com Innovation: An Actor-Network Theory Approach,  Doctoral Consortium of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.


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