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managing directors and administrative managers. a) Research Approach My proposed study is inductive in nature which focuses on observing ICT use in Zimbabwean SMEs in a particular context and aims at formulating a new theoretical position and desist from generalising the research findings. 150 self-administered questionnaires will be distributed to conveniently sampled Zimbabwean SMEs. The study will not involve the testing on any theory but rather its intended purpose is to understand and ascertain the key issues facing Zimbabwean SMEs in ICT adoption and utilisation. The inductive approach is suitable for studying human behaviour in organisations and will ensure flexibility in formulating a research design. owner-managers. I am adopting the interpretivist approach since my research topic requires an exploratory approach in order to highlight the critical factors affecting effective use and adoption of ICT in Zimbabwean SMEs. A cover letter will be used to . 2.T managers. The epistemological view that will be adopted for my study will be that of interpretivist. A survey and Case studies will be employed during this study. This study aims to bring a deep understanding of the phenomena in question and hence it suits an inductive approach more than a deductive one (Miles and Huberman. and to provide recommendations and an implementable framework for the successful adoption and utilisation of ICT based on the available empirical data. The target respondents will be I. My study will take on a triangulated approach that will employ both a survey strategy and case studies.1. what and how” which can only be effectively addressed using a qualitative research mode. 1994). a) Data Collection Strategy Triangulated data collection method will be used to assist in increasing the validity of the research findings. Below is a summary of the justification of each aspect of the Research Approach to be adopted for my study. Both approaches will use a qualitative research mode because the inductive nature of the study will lead to questions that involve “why.

Transcription will be done soon after the interviews and I will use Transcribe which is an efficient online transcription tool that will ensure efficiency and speed. After collecting and assessing the questionnaires and after getting informed consent 30 will then be selected for semi-structured interviews and an interview protocol will be used as a guide. Content analysis will be used mainly to identify the number of SMEs that use ICT and the occurrences of the types of ICTs used. if they currently use any ICT.explain the purpose of the research.To ensure a richer theory building the study will employ a cross-case analysis. b) Data analysis approach For the survey phase descriptive statistics and content analysis will be employed to analyse the quantitative data collected using the self-administered questionnaires. Transcripts will also be send back to respondents to ensure accuracy and proper interpretation. 15 SMEs will then be selected from the 30 using purposeful sampling and will be used as cases . The interviews will seek to answer questions relating to what benefits have they extracted from ICT and what are the factors that affect ICT use and adoption. . Small (6 – 20employees) and Medium (21+ employees). what type of ICT they use and the level of ICT knowledge amongst employees. An audio recording device and video camera will be used to capture the interviews. The 30 will be selected based on purposive probability sampling and how they would have completed the questionnaire including which industry and region they belong to. industry. A case study protocol will then be used to thoroughly investigate further these SMEs and will include company document analysis. Interview questions will be open ended allowing respondents to give their own views as well. A single coding method will be used where SMEs will be categorised into Micro (1 – 5 employees). The questionnaire will seek to reveal general information about the SME which include nature of business. observations and further interviews with other employees.

The aim of this theme is to establish weather ICT adoption has positively or negatively impacted their businesses. This tool will guarantee flexibility and will facilitate an in depth understanding of the issues on the ground and getting quick clarifications on any vague questions. d) Observations will also be used as a data collection tool i. Examples will include memos. newspaper articles and progress reports. iii. For this study a repeated pattern of responses will be used to identify the themes.The objective of this theme is to reveal the current application and utilisation of ICT and level of adoption with Zimbabwean SMEs. Analysis tools will include Excel charts created using key headings extracted from the thematic framework.The themes will be based mainly on the literature review and from my observations during the study. Impact of ICT on SME business operations . administrative documents. ii. ICT current state and adoption level within SMEs . . An interview guide will be employed and a digital recorder to capture the interview and produce a transcript for each interview. meeting minutes. 3. These will facilitate the survey content analysis. The main themes will include: i. ii.The objective of this theme is to reveal the factors that inhibit the use and adoption of ICT within the SMEs. Data Collection and Analysis Tools a) The first survey stage will utilise self-administered questionnaires mainly because of the poor postal system in Zimbabwe. b) The second phase of the study will employ semi-structured interviews. Although time consuming and expensive this tool will ensure a high response rate and will also enable me to clarify any vague questions and to clearly articulate the objectives of the study.The interviews and case studies will be analysed using thematic analysis where the collected data will be grouped into different themes to ensure effective analysis . I will also use Atlas ti software because it is a too that facilitates the establishment of relationships between identified themes. ICT adoption and usage hindrances . c) For case studies I will also use documents as a tool that will assist in understanding the company’s background.

I will also employ SPSS software content analysis in order to reveal a meaningful statistical view of the data collected during the survey. .iii.