Digital Source Adoption and Information-Seeking Behaviours of Entrepreneurs: A Systematic Literature Review

Thao Orrensalo, Shahrokh Nikou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


Digitalisation and its impact on businesses - including access to information through digital sources - have been rapidly recognised from different research disciplines. Digitalisation helps entrepreneurs to gather and manage information, to create intensive resources, to reduce transaction costs, and to gain rapid access to the flow of information. A growing demand and use of digital information sources, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. indicate a need for further investigation of the effect of digitalisation on changing and transforming entrepreneurs' information-seeking behaviours (ISBs), opportunities, and challenges. Furthermore, the concept of critical -21st-century skills has been found to be crucial to the effectiveness of digital transformation in the entrepreneurship field. From this perspective, this paper carries out a systematic literature review on the research conducted on digitalisation and entrepreneurs' information-seeking behaviours. Through this systematic literature review, this paper seeks answers to two objectives: (i) to review previous studies on digitalisation and ISBs within the entrepreneurship literature and on understanding the relation between these two concepts, and (ii) to assess the role of critical -21st-century skills on entrepreneurs' decision regarding information source selection. The review was conducted in three main phases: planning the review, conducting the review, and reporting the review. In the first step, we defined the inclusion and exclusion criteria. With the specific search terms, the selection included academic English publications for the period 1990-2020. Based on the criteria, three main databases - Web of Science, Scopus, and Ebsco - were searched, and in total 745 publications were retrieved. After removing duplicate and irrelevant articles, the final dataset included 39 articles. We then reviewed the articles and classified them into five main themes for further analysis. The themes were (i) entrepreneurs' information sources/services, (ii) entrepreneurs' -21st-century skills, (iii) entrepreneurs' access to information, (iv) entrepreneurs' environmental scanning, and (v) the ICT adoption behaviours of entrepreneurs. A future research agenda is also provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23rd ITS Biennial Conference, Online Conference / Gothenburg 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
Event23rd Biennial Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS): "Digital societies and industrial transformations: Policies, markets, and technologies in a post-Covid world" - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 21 Jun 202123 Jun 2021


Conference23rd Biennial Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS)


  • 21st-century skilss
  • Digitalization
  • Entrepreneurship
  • information source selection
  • Information seeking behaviors
  • systematic literature review


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