Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

School of Library and information Science

First Advisor

Kendra Albright

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the nature of the relationship between the access to and use of information resources of entrepreneurs and their business performance. The survival and competence of organizations relies heavily on their recognition of information as important strategic resource. Entrepreneurs, specifically, face a constantly changing environment and are in a disadvantaged competitive position in finance and experience compared with large companies. Access to, and use of information resources, will help them improve their business performance.

This study collects both qualitative and quantitative data, investigating the entrepreneurs’ business performance and their behaviour in accessing and using information resources. The qualitative data is applied to explore the technology incubator consultants’ understanding of business performance indicators for entrepreneurial businesses. For the quantitative data collection, entrepreneurs are selected from technology incubators in the U. S to participate in a questionnaire survey. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to process and analyze the data reflecting the business performance, access to information resources, and use of information resources.

A preliminary Access-Performance model and a Use-Performance model are presented. The results indicate that the use of information resources has a positive influence on the performance of entrepreneurial businesses. No strong relationship is revealed between the access to information resources and business performance.

However, there is a high probability that the entrepreneurs have other information resource accesses options than those covered in the original model.

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