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Abstract

While many large businesses start out as a small enterprise, remarkably little is known about how an organization actually changes internally during the periods of growth. Small business growth is known to strain internal communication processes, for example, which likely limits growth opportunities. Information systems are often called upon to remedy such deficiencies. Through a participatory action research project, we investigated the ways in which a small business management team developed an IS-enabled solution to address their growth needs. During the progression of the project, a new outcome of organizational effectiveness, internal transparency, was identified and developed. Adopting a punctuated equilibrium perspective, a theoretical process model is proposed that sheds light on a relationship between internal transparency, small business growth and IS. The paper concludes with observations that internal transparency may well be a concept that offers significant potential for MIS research as well as a discussion about the applicability and credibility of participatory action research for this project.

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