The problem of technology acquisition in SMEs represents an under-investigated area in IS research. Most IS literature focuses on either the internal development of systems, which SMEs rarely do, or on issues of usage after the acquisition has taken place. This gap is problematic since acquisition and use are interdependent processes. This research investigates the drivers and reasoning behind technology acquisition in SMEs using the particular category of dairy farmers and relates them to the arguments used by technology vendors. Given the novelty of the research question and context, we used grounded theory method for this research. We carried out and analyzed 28 interviews with milk producers and 5 with technology vendors. Our results show that motivations for technology acquisition for milk producers include the economic situation of the farmer, the perceived value of the technology, the production setup, the approach to personal life, the trust in technology, and the personal interest in the profession. In contrast technology vendors had a more narrow focus on the predicted economic performances of the technology and the span of functionalities provided. Conclusions are drawn from comparing the two sets of arguments.
Acquisition of New Technology; Dairy Farmers; Grounded Theory; Portfolio Theory