Disentangling the impact of ICT adoption on SMEs performance: the mediating roles of corpo-rate social responsibility and innovation





information and communication technologies, ICT, corporate social responsibility, CSR, innovation, firm performance, Partial Least Squares-Structural Equations Modeling-PLS-SEM


Research background: The literature on the effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on performance is extensive and shows a significant positive effect. Likewise, the use of ICT to facilitate and report on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices implemented by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contributes to improve business performance. Moreover, through innovative activities, firms also obtain competitive advantages that impact positively on their performance, even more so when they are impacted by CSR. For this reason, it is expected that the adoption of ICTs in companies through a CSR-oriented strategy will increase their impact on business performance.  

Purpose of the article: This article tries to examine how ICT affects SMEs? performance through CSR and innovation.

Methods: We tested our hypotheses using a sample of 2,825 Spanish SMEs and by applying a Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS-PM) with a double confirmatory and predictive purpose: to identify the causal relationships between latent variables, and to evaluate the ability of the model to make predictions for individual cases.

Findings & value added: The results show that CSR-oriented ICT impacts innovation by changing strategies and business model in companies. Moreover, the implementation of CSR practices gave them competitive advantages to increase their performance. We highlight how innovation gives companies greater capacity to respond to changes in their environment and how innovation positively impacts the link between CSR and performance. Finally, our research makes two significant contributions to the literature by incorporating two sequential mediating effects into the model. On the one hand, the indirect effect of ICT on innovation through CSR. On the other hand, the indirect effect of CSR on SME performance through innovation.


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How to Cite

León-Gómez, A. ., Santos-Jaén, J. M. ., Ruiz-Palomo, D., & Palacios-Manzano, M. (2022). Disentangling the impact of ICT adoption on SMEs performance: the mediating roles of corpo-rate social responsibility and innovation. Oeconomia Copernicana, 13(3), 831–866. https://doi.org/10.24136/oc.2022.024