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E-Commerce Adoption Factors for SMMEs: Supporting Cases from South Africa

E-Commerce Adoption Factors for SMMEs: Supporting Cases from South Africa
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Author(s): S. C. Warden (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa) and I. M. Motjolopane (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 8
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch161
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378

Abstract

E-commerce improves value chain integration, enables customisation and also provides smaller companies opportunity to reach customers worldwide. However the approach to e-commerce adoption poses small businesses management with many challenges, one of which is the choice of an approach to adopt e-commerce. One option is an “adoption ladder” approach proposed by a number of researchers depicting e-commerce adoption as a “step-by-step” process, from simple email to a virtual integrated business. The other option is a “managed strategic adoption” approach where proponents of this approach argue that reaching e-commerce is a result of a management decision to move directly to e-commerce, based on business goals and requirements. Although the literature reports on a number of aspects of e-commerce adoption, no clear guidelines are apparent to determine how Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) should progress, or move into e-commerce. This paper investigates the two adoption approaches, and concludes that SMMEs in the Western Cape generally follow an “adoption ladder” approach to e-commerce. However, some SMMEs Managers suggested that as e-commerce matures, a “managed strategic adoption” approach would be preferable. The authors propose a model to assist SMMEs to progress into e-commerce adoption, illustrating the two options of e-commerce adoption.

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