This is because this thesis has some limitations that should be observed when taking into consideration the importance of the thesis and its assistance. This thesis has concentrated on a subject that has been an extremely large and leading one, that is, the managerial impact on small businesses and the underlying reasons being reluctance shown by small business managers to make use of information technology and Internet. Undoubtedly, this characterizes an extremely difficult assignment for research in spite of the more precise interests that the thesis might have. This wide-ranging and difficult subject has been analyzed from a somewhat limited experimental perception. The choice of the single thesis design obviously draws out numerous limitations in so far as the simplification of the outcome of the thesis is involved. Consequently, the thesis setting can simply be termed as a sort of direct framework of the past and present trends in the small business sector.
One more limitation of this case study has been the viewpoint assumed. Rather than attempting to comprehend the entire situation in the small business industry, this thesis has been primarily limited to the managerial impact on small businesses and the underlying reasons being reluctance shown by small business managers to make use of information technology and Internet. Even though the thesis has also considered additional observations and brief analysis of present operations and functions of small businesses and the forces of change, the most important point-of-view from which results have been sketched is that of the managerial impact on small businesses and the underlying reasons being reluctance shown by small business managers to make use of information technology and Internet.
May be the most important limitation of this case study is its heavy reliance on sources of information that can be unfinished or badly subjective. When the information on which the conclusions have been-based is not comprehensive or is deceptive, the soundness of those conclusions is clearly uncertain. Consequently, this case study confronts the challenge of making sure that the explanation given is a precise portrayal of what happened, is happening and might happen in the small business sector. This challenge emanates from the fact that many preceding case studies have been limited to the accounts of the past they happen to observe. How genuinely such information corresponds to the events they portray might be open to important questions.
Lastly, we ourselves can be responsible, either by being unsuccessful in searching methodically and completely for records and accounts or by influencing the records.
Taking into consideration the risks to the genuineness and balance of obtainable knowledge concerning the present topic, this qualitative case study has adapted a number of safeguards to encourage the accurateness of the production. One method has been to acquire manifold accounts and records to determine how intimately dissimilar versions correspond. One more has been to find the account or record within the sociopolitical environment of the present day. A third method has been to approximate the dependability of a reference by its standing as an official text or by the standing of its writer.
Organization of the study
This thesis will examine the managerial impact on small businesses and the underlying reasons being reluctance shown by small business managers to make use of information technology and Internet:
In the first section, we will assess the foundations of small scale business by taking into account what it is that managers do. After, obtaining a comprehensive knowledge of the operations and functions of their line of thinking, we will be able to evaluate just how fundamental current challenges to the small scale business actually are and what are the dynamics that hinder the integration of Information technology in the firms.
In the second section, we will identify key forces, which has transformed and influenced the small scale business industry. These comprise:
Managing fears of consumers
Prevailing over concerns surrounding the intangibility of Internet-based purchasing
Playing to the demographics and characteristics of the Internet
Safe and secure transportation of goods from the company to the customer.
These forces have the altered the consumer preferences of shopping on the Internet and thus in light of the hypothesis, it is imperative that we discuss these forces of change.
In the third section, we will assess the present state of activities being pursued by small scale businesses in view of the forces for transformation. A number of similar and comprehensible trends have been recognized, which have their roots in the forces for transformation summarized above. Equally these trends describe the route of the successful small scale businesses as they drives in the direction of the future.
Lastly, in the fourth section, we will attempt to make out not only the mistakes made by numerous managers operating small businesses, but also reflect on a few highly significant tactics employed by managers who have made it big on the Internet. This will help us identify the reasons underlying the failure of numerous small scale businesses to capitalize on the Information revolution and Internet.
Section One: Foundations of Small Businesses
The study attempts to disprove the myths of technology being out of the reach of small businesses due to cost. Many small businesses have found there way onto the Internet but others have failed to make the move to use technology. It is important to note that, at the same time as, the numbers of small corporations using the Internet to grow and enhance their business activities have increased, there are several more small companies who have yet to adapt to the changing environment as they think only about activities related to physical business.
Axel (2000) while discussing strategies for the Digital Marketplace relates his experience on the policies adapted by small business managers and suggests that the setback is not so much that they do not understand what is taking place, despite the fact that there is nearly, at all times, a considerable minority who believe that their business will be excused from these transformations. The problem is more related to the fact that they simply do not know what the next step is. The opportunities (and threats) have been plentiful. How do they come to a decision? Things can go in the wrong way; how do they evaluate the threats? Many small businesses are not shaped to operate in this way; how can they transform it?
Axel (2000) thereafter cites several case studies in order to present the popular patterns, which have been understood and duplicated by many small business managers and have achieved success with it. For instance, FedEx Corporation allowed its clients to check parcel progresses through their website on the Internet, this had not simply been a development of creating a website, however, a transformation in the method in which the company positioned as well as marketed itself. Furthermore, when British Airways made a decision that it wanted to have more direct conversation with its clients, it had been a development of not simply of creating a customer relations section, but also of giving power to the people who operated in it to implement developments across the company all together, and of starting a company-wide instruction scheme for every staff personal (Axel 2000).
Axel (2000) writes that while most of the small business managers have successfully remodeled their business to the changing environment, many still do not adapt as making such a transformation is not helped by the fact that most of the conventional mechanisms of business management are not appropriate to a virtual environment and also do not support this new method of thinking (Axel 2000).
William (2000) studied the relationship between computer organization and their structure, both physical and virtual. He too believes that traditional methods have greatly hampered the growth and development of small businesses as the managers are unable to let go of the traditional line of thinking. After hundreds of years of experience in managing machinery, factories, buildings and so on, managers have become extremely doubtful of intangible sections of their business. The status and standing of various internal IT sections, for instance, is so humble that "management" and "information technology" give the impression to be mutually exclusive terminologies. In actual fact, numerous conventional business people have long pledged to the concept that IT is intrinsically uncontrollable; these same people now suspect that information will be equally so (William 2000).
In the same way, small businesses that have been relatively successful on the Internet have shown a tendency to not allow this state of affairs to continue. William (2000) writes that as small businesses have turned out to be increasingly virtual; they cannot merely tag them "uncontrollable," "no-go" sections, where strategies and tactics are little more than a question of blind faith. Programs such as designing a company website will be nothing more than mass-marketing in a novel media (and this is what majority of the websites are in actual fact); using the info-domain of a product will comprise…