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A synthesis of boundary conditions with adopting digital platforms in SMEs: an intuitionistic multi-layer decision-making framework

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Abstract

Transformational entrepreneurship (TE) has become a prevalent mind-set to survive societal, ecological and economic sustainability factors, particularly in emerging economies. Interestingly, different types of digital platforms (DPs) (i.e., transaction, innovation and integration) have assisted in this transformation. Although the implementation of DPs by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been easing this transition process, several boundary conditions persist, and solutions are in demand. This research aims to investigate the main boundary conditions to DP execution by SMEs towards TE in emerging countries similar to Iran. Indisputably, this study contributes to providing in-depth qualitative and quantitative insights into level-based interactions between such barriers to TE diffusion among Iranian SMEs. In this regard, a mixed-method approach has been employed while extracting the list of DP boundary conditions via a systematic literature review. Then, in the quantitative section, a multi-layer decision-making approach consisting of Delphi, interpretive structural modelling (ISM), and matrix-based multiplication applied to a classification (MICMAC) has been applied to screen for the most important boundary conditions to TE, analyse the level-based interactions between the finalised boundary conditions and determine the importance and role of DP boundary conditions. To consider the uncertainty of the socioeconomic environment in emerging countries and to include the intuition and hesitation of the entrepreneurs in the analytical section, intuitionistic fuzzy sets were considered, and a novel IF-Delphi-ISM-MICMAC approach embedded with the multi-scenario analysis was performed. In either scenario, obstacles associated with extant laws and low governmental supportive policies, inconsistency between the technical requirements of the business network and DPs’ features, and low accessibility of digital technologies were the first-level boundary conditions.

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Mahdiraji, H.A., Yaftiyan, F., Abbasi-Kamardi, A. et al. A synthesis of boundary conditions with adopting digital platforms in SMEs: an intuitionistic multi-layer decision-making framework. J Technol Transf 48, 1723–1751 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-023-10028-8

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