While many cities are beginning to experience mass discontent from tough and declining economies, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos continue to survive despite existing mass discontent brought about by corruption, economic recessions, poor infrastructure, unemployment, poverty, and insurgency in Nigeria. This paper develops a conceptual model to make sense of how SMEs in Lagos use mobile apps as a means of survival in conditions of uncertainty. Underpinned by pragmatic philosophy, the paper draws on the theory of dynamic capabilities (DC) to develop the conceptual model. Whereas the theory of DC asserts that business could compete favourably despite unpredictable business environments through continuous sensing and seizing of opportunities, it also suggests that constructs for measuring DCs vary across contexts. The study adopted a qualitative approach to identify the absorptive, adaptive, and innovative capabilities used by SMEs in Lagos with a view to identifying the role of mobile apps. The key findings suggest that SMEs in Lagos manifest a higher degree of adaptive capabilities compared with their absorptive and innovative capabilities. Specifically, the SMEs are primarily information seekers with a flexible approach to opportunity seeking. The SMEs leverage on adaptive capabilities mainly through customer feedback and referrals, and manifest absorptive capabilities through repackaging and repricing of their offerings. The findings further reveal how SMEs primarily satisfice, and that there is a gap for better contextually appropriate apps that meet the needs of these SMEs. The paper makes a contribution to DC theory in identifying capabilities in conditions of uncertainty in an African and developing context.
Owoseni, Adebowale and Twinomurinzi, Hossana, "The use of mobile apps to enhance SMEs in conditions of uncertainty: A case study from Lagos, Nigeria" (2017). GlobDev 2017. 10.