A Study of Cloud Computing Adoption and Non-Adoption within UK Small and Medium Sized Tourism Firms: A Multi-Theory Perspective

  • Samuel Imhanwa

Student thesis: Phd


Cloud computing is an ICT innovation that is changing the way enterprise information systems are developed, accessed, maintained and paid for. This does not only apply to multi-national firms but also to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). As information is the lifeblood of the tourism industry, and due to the seasonal nature of the tourism trade, cloud computing can be crucial in providing such timely information while allowing small medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) to scale up and down ICT resources in line with peak and off peak seasons. Additionally, cloud computing promises to provide SMTEs with on demand IT resources, thus, offering SMTEs good return on their investment at the same time allowing them to focus on what delivers value to customers which in turn creates the competitive edge for SMTEs. Despite the many benefits of cloud computing, adoption and diffusion in SMEs has been slow (Willcocks et al., 2013; Gupta et al., 2013; OECD, 2015) and research on the adoption of cloud computing from an SME perspective is very limited.This research investigates the adoption and non-adoption of cloud computing from an SME perspective. The study employs a multi-theory perspective by incorporating several theories namely the resource based theory, diffusion of innovations theory, institutional theory and Hofstede cultural dimension theory under the broader umbrella of the Technological, Organisational and Environmental (TOE) framework to gain an in-depth broader understanding of the various technological, internal and external influences on cloud computing adoption and non-adoption. The research adopts a qualitative approach by conducting multiple case studies in 14 small medium tourism/travel organisations (adopters and non-adopters of cloud computing) in the UK. Data was gathered using a triangulation approach via semi-structured interviews, observations and document analysis.The study finds that culture, IT champions, size, absorptive capacity/organisation learning, suppliers influence, consumer behaviour, security, relative benefits/agility were perceived by SMTE's to be influencing the adoption and non-adoption of cloud computing within their respective firms. However, it was culture that played the most significant role in the adoption and non-adoption of cloud computing. The research study contributes knowledge to the limited literature about cloud computing adoption and non-adoption by SME's. In other words, it provides an original contribution theoretically, methodologically and practically which adds to the cloud computing body of knowledge and to the tourism sector.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorOwrak (Supervisor) & Anita Greenhill (Supervisor)


  • Small Meduim Tourism Enterprise (SMTE's), UK Tourism
  • Cloud computing, ICT Innovation, Internet, Adoption, Non-adoption

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