Systèmes d'Information et Management


This article presents the results of an empirical study aiming to identify the nature of technological scanning practices in SMEs, as well as the determinants of these organizations' scanning behavior. A survey of 324 SMEs in Quebec allowed us to identify four configurations or types of technological scanning, namely ad hoc or minimal scanning, two intermediate configurations, and complex, well-organized scanning. The determinants are the firm's strategy, its environmental uncertainty, its information networks, its R&D activities and the education level of its owner-manager. These results are analyzed and their implications for research and practice are discussed. * A first version of this article has been presented during the 13th yearly seminar of Canadian Council of the small entreprise and of entrepreneuriat, Montreal, october 31 - november 2, 1996. This research has been requested by the French-language Centre of Research in Computerization of Organisations (CEFRIO), Quebec.