Title: Explaining contextual factors affecting e-commerce adoption progression in selected SMEs: evidence from Botswana

Authors: Alice P. Shemi; Chris Procter

Addresses: Business Information Systems, University of Botswana, P.O. 00701, Gaborone, Botswana ' Salford Business School, University of Salford, Maxwell Building, Salford, Manchester, M5 4WT, UK

Abstract: This paper provides an interpretive account of contextual factors that affect the progression of e-commerce in six Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in a developing country context of Botswana. The methodology followed multiple in-depth case studies, using semi-structured face-to-face interviews, website analysis, observation and document analysis. Results show that contextual factors peculiar to each SME provide better explanations on how SMEs progress in e-commerce adoption. At the high level of adoption, managerial innovativeness and the nature of the external e-commerce market has contributed to success in two SMEs, whereas the local business environment in combination with some organisational factors can explain the low-level and non-adoption in the other four SMEs. Future implications indicate that managers need to pay particular detail to the unique and idiosyncratic nature of SMEs in guiding decisions for e-commerce adoption in their firms.

Keywords: e-commerce adoption; adoption progression; contextual factors; electronic commerce; internet; world wide web; Botswana; developing countries; semi-structured interviews; face-to-face interviews; website analysis; observation; document analysis; managerial innovativeness; external markets; business environments; organisational factors; low-level adoption; non-adoption; managers; decision making; uniqueness; idiosyncrasy; interpretive paradigms; tourism industry; hospitality industry; management practice; ICT adoption; information technology; information and communications technology; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2013.052319

International Journal of Management Practice, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.94 - 109

Published online: 26 Feb 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article