Toward a conceptual model for cloud computing affordance

Pawat Kalpravidh*, Breno Nunes, Roya Gholami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


This study proposes a conceptual model for cloud computing affordance for SMEs. Since the mid-90s, technology management, information systems, and business management scholars have shown a growing interest in understanding how investments in cloud computing technology can lead to improved business performance in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Therefore, understanding what cloud computing can achieve for small businesses is extremely important as SMEs are the main source of employment worldwide. For instance, in developing countries such as Thailand, 95% of the businesses are SMEs. There, they contribute to the employment of 11 million people, accounting for 80% of total employment. Hence, it is important to understand what technology can do to the help these businesses. A central concept to help us in this task is the concept of 'technology affordance'. However, firstly, it is necessary to understand the definition of affordance itself. This concept describes how objects are perceived by their 'visual' use rather than as object themselves in an ecological sense. The concept of affordance is in fact suitable for application in technology management. Majchrzak and Markus (2012) provide a comprehensive definition to technology affordance: “The concept of technology affordance refers to an action potential, that is, to what an individual or organisation with a particular purpose can do with a technology or information system.” (Majchrzak and Markus, 2012) Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to offer a model that links technology affordance theory, cloud computing, and business performance. We believe the proposed conceptual model enriches the literature in Technology Affordance theory. Its contribution resides in describing the relationship amongst cloud affordance perception, cloud affordance actualisation, and cloud affordance effect. The conceptual model was developed from a robust and systematic literature review on the fields of: management of technology (MOT), information systems (IS), and business management. While, MOT provided a basis to investigate technology affordance models; IS literature was more instrumental in understanding the specifics of cloud computing systems. Finally, business management studies contributed to our model in assessing cloud computing adoption impacts on business performance. The approach of evaluating business performance through the lenses of balanced scorecard came from business management literature. This model supplements theoretically to Technology Affordance theory. It will also help SMEs understanding cloud computing better and what factors are associated with their adoption, especially for companies with low levels of in-house IT resources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th International Association for Management of Technology Conference, IAMOT 2017
PublisherIAMOT & University of Pretoria
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783200049864
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event26th International Association for Management of Technology Conference, IAMOT 2017 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 14 May 201718 May 2017

Publication series

Name26th International Association for Management of Technology Conference, IAMOT 2017


Conference26th International Association for Management of Technology Conference, IAMOT 2017


  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Business Performance
  • Cloud Computing
  • Technology Adoption
  • Technology Affordance Theory
  • Technology-Organisation-Environment Framework (TOE)


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