Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 13 Number 4 1997 pp. 61-89

Information Technology in Three Small Developed Countries

Ein-Dor, Phillip, Myers, Michael D, and Raman, K S

ABSTRACT: The perception that small size may no longer be an economic disadvantage to either organizations or countries has become fairly widespread. We share the perception that not only are small countries not at a disadvantage, but they may actually have an advantage over larger competitors with regard to information technology industries. Indeed, small developed countries are achieving considerable success in the development of their information technology industries. The three countries studied here--Israel, New Zealand, and Singapore--are among those that have seen the rapid development of their IT industries in recent years, despite the fact that they are among the world's smaller countries, are considerably different in many geographic, cultural, and political respects, and are geographically dispersed around the globe. The objective of this study is to describe and compare the information technology industries of these three small developed countries. All three countries, with no inherent advantages in raw materials and only small domestic markets, have the IT infrastructure and the human skills needed. They are nimble and flexible and can find niche markets in which to specialize. Not all three, however, have developed IT industries to the same degree. There could be factors specific to small developed countries that facilitate the development of indigenous IT production. The dominant factor that seems to provide some explanation for different levels and directions of development of IT production is government policy in promoting IT production directly, in supporting IT industry R&D, and in education policies designed to provide appropriately trained labor pools.

Key words and phrases: factors of national computing, information systems in developed countries, international computing, national computing policies