Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 761–778

Small business in a small country: Attitudes to “Green” IT


DOI: 10.1007/s10796-013-9410-4

Cite this article as:
Coffey, P., Tate, M. & Toland, J. Inf Syst Front (2013) 15: 761. doi:10.1007/s10796-013-9410-4


New Zealand is a small country and most of its businesses are small with 96 % of all enterprises employing fewer than 20 people. New Zealand takes pride in its “clean green” image, however small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) have limited resources, low awareness of the environmental impacts of the technologies they use, and perceive relatively few imperatives for changing their practices. In this paper we use institutional theory to frame a study of the factors which influence SMEs to adopt Green IS/IT practices. We found a diversity of viewpoints that suggest that adopting a one size fits all approach around encouraging organizations to adopt Green IS/IT is unlikely to be successful. However, it is doubtful that leadership in this area will arise in the small business sector, and coercive pressure from Government or other regulatory bodies is likely to be required. Market-place imperatives from customers and large players in supply chains can also be significant. Institutional theory was further used to understand the relative importance of these different pressures. These findings have relevance in other contexts as SMEs are the dominant form of business in many countries around the world and SMEs are estimated to have a combined contribution of around 70 % in terms of global pollution.


SMEs New Zealand Green IS/IT Economies of scale Institutional theory 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Information ManagementVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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