Title page for ETD etd-02102012-152957


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Ponelis, Shana Rachel
URN etd-02102012-152957
Document Title An exploratory study of business intelligence in knowledge-based growth small, medium and micro-enterprises in South Africa
Degree PhD
Department Information Science
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof J J Britz
Keywords
  • competitive intelligence
  • decision-making
  • entrepreneurship
  • business intelligence
  • South Africa
  • source data
  • small
  • decision support
  • medium and micro-enterprises
  • small business enterprises
  • qualitative case studies
  • knowledge economy
  • owner-manager
  • knowledge-based SMMEs
  • interpretive
  • paradigm/approach
  • information and communication technology
Date 2012-04-19
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) play an important part in all economies but particularly in developing economies. Growth 'SMMEs seek to grow either in size, revenue and/or asset value by reinvesting available resources; these enterprises tend to spend their available resources on operational when it comes to information and communication technology (ICT). But these systems, whilst necessary are not sufficient. They are geared toward capturing data but not producing information. Business intelligence (BI) can provide decision-makers, who in SMMEs are predominantly owner-managers, with access to information that enables them to make informed decisions on where to apply limited resources. Because BI requires operational systems to be in place to gather the data it is the logical next step. Despite increasing discussion in the press and amongst BI practitioners, academic research with regard to BI in SMMEs remains sparse. Since the potential contribution of BI to SMMEs can only be assessed by first understanding current information practices and needs in such enterprises, the purpose of this study is to explore the use of use of BI to support strategic, tactical and operational decision-making. This research uses an interpretive approach to collect data using semi-structured interviews from the owner-managers of six knowledge-based growth SMMEs in South Africa selected through purposive sampling. The research results suggest that BI can play an important role in knowledge-based growth SMMEs but that support and guidance is needed to ensure that BI is used appropriately to fully exploit available data for decision-making in addition to expanding available data sources. Future research can adopt a more rigorous positivist approach to confirm the findings of this study, expand the population to other sectors in South Africa and/or SMMEs in other countries. An action research methodology can also be used to apply BI interventions in SMMEs to investigate specific BI solutions in-depth. The research may be of value to participating and other SMME owner-managers, policy makers, government agencies, business advisers, and academic researchers.

2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Ponelis, RS 2011, An exploratory study of business intelligence in knowledge-based growth small, medium and micro-enterprises in South Africa, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02102012-152957/ >

B12/4/112/ag

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