Assessment of Adoption of Information and Communication Technology Among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya

Paul Muriku Kanyaru, Rosemary James


The advent of 20th century has seen many organisations embrace the use of technology to enhance performance. Research has indicated that ICT is a driver for any firm to achieve its goals. ICT has been on the forefront in enhancing globalisation of services and organisation’s functions. Various inventions have been made in the ICT field and this has helped organisations to fasten their service delivery. Although the uptake of ICT among SMES in developed countries has been cited to be around forty eight percent, the ICT adoption rate among SMES in developing country is still low averaging at around fifteen percent. The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that affect ICT adoption among SMEs in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to investigate the impact of ICT information security, ICT infrastructure, management support and employee ICT skills on the adoption of ICT among SMEs. The research utilised descriptive design and was limited to a population of 1700 SMEs in Tharaka Nithi County. The study adopted a stratified random sampling where the population was grouped into stratus according to sectors that SMEs belong to. The study utilised a formula that was proposed by Mugenda and Mugenda where ten percent of SMEs was taken from each stratum and their manager used as a respondent to constitute a study sample size of 170 respondents. In this regard, the respondents were the managers of these SMEs. The study utilised primary data that was gathered using semi-structured questionnaire that contained open as well as closed-ended questions. Content validity of the data collection instrument was assessed by the researcher and the supervisor reviewing the items and adopting it from a similar study. On the other hand, the reliability was assessed by use of Chronbach’s alpha coefficient test. The investigator administered questionnaires to the respondents and in cases where the respondent was not available, drop and pick later method was adopted. The study used inferential and descriptive statistics in the analysis of the data, which included mean, standard deviation and distribution tables. The presentation of the results was done in various forms, including charts, graphs, and tables. The findings of the study indicated that the independent variables (ICT information security, ICT infrastructure, and management support and employee ICT skills) were significant and that there was an association between them and ICT adoption (the dependent variable). The value of adjusted R squared in the final model (0.801) shows that the 80.1 percent of variation of the adoption of ICT can be explained by the combination of the four variables. The research established that there was a significant effect of ICT security, ICT infrastructure, management support and employee ICT skills on ICT adoption by SMEs. Both empirical and statistical evidence proved that a relationship existed between these variables and ICT adoption by SMEs. The study recommends that county governments and management should support ICT adoption by SMEs, as well as the central government implement policies and laws that enhance ICT security.

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