We propose an approach to better scope an IS research project for the context of small and medium organisations (SMOs), depending on the project’s topic and goals. SMOs are of a fundamentally different nature compared to large organisations, yet IS research often implicitly assumes the context of large organisations. This may lead to IS research outcomes not being applicable to the SMO context due to incompatible boundary conditions. Simultaneously, common criteria to distinguish SMOs (employee count, turnover) are often not particularly useful to include or exclude distinct classes of SMOs from the scope of a specific research project. Our proposed scoping approach thus considers research topic-dependent criteria to classify SMOs to be included. We illustrate our approach with examples from our own research. Other researchers can draw on our approach to include/exclude suitable SMOs of interest more clearly and thus produce research that is applicable to clearly delineated SMO classes.
Drechsler, Andreas; Hönigsberg, Sarah; and Watkowski, Laura, "What's in an SME? Considerations for Scoping Research on Small and Medium Enterprises and Other Organisations in the IS Discipline" (2022). ECIS 2022 Research Papers. 50.
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