Consultant engagement for computer system selection: a pro-active client role in small enterprises

Gable, Guy G. (1991) Consultant engagement for computer system selection: a pro-active client role in small enterprises. Information & Management, 20(2), pp. 83-93.

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Because of their limited number of senior positions and fewer alternative career paths, small businesses have a more difficult time attracting and retaining skilled information systems (IS) staff and are thus dependent upon external expertise. Small businesses are particularly dependent on outside expertise when first computerizing. Because small businesses suffer from severe financial constraints. it is often difficult to justify the cost of custom software. Hence. for many small businesses, engaging a consultant to help with identifying suitable packaged software and related hardware, is their first critical step toward computerization. This study explores the importance of proactive client involvement when engaging a consultant to assist with computer system selection in small businesses. Client involvement throughout consultant engagement is found to be integral to project success and frequently lacking due to misconceptions of small businesses regarding their role. Small businesses often overestimate the impact of consultant and vendor support in achieving successful computer system selection and implementation. For consultant engagement to be successful, the process must be viewed as being directed toward the achievement of specific organizational results where the client accepts responsibility for direction of the process.

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53 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 68960
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Consultant engagement, Small business, Management information systems, Consultants
DOI: 10.1016/0378-7206(91)90046-5
ISSN: 0378-7206
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1991 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Information & Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Information & Management, [VOL 20, ISSUE 2, (1991)] DOI: 10.1016/0378-7206(91)90046-5
Deposited On: 20 Mar 2014 23:20
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2014 23:20

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