The Diffusion of E-commerce in Developing Economies

The Diffusion of E-commerce in Developing Economies

A Resource-based Approach

Zeinab Karake Shalhoub and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

The authors of this unique volume provide a timely and valuable perspective on how technology and the Internet revolution are changing business and spurring development across the world, especially in emerging countries. Utilizing a framework grounded in rigorous theory, they provide a fine-grained understanding of electronic commerce adoption processes by public and private sector entities in developing countries. In so doing, they consider how each exchange encounter is shaped by, and in turn shapes, relational characteristics that form the basis for growth and development.

Chapter 1: Establishing the Context

Zeinab Karake Shalhoub and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Subjects: business and management, international business, development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, international business, international economics

Extract

INTRODUCTION The end of World War II marked the launch of a post-industrial society most commonly designated as the Information Age. The main drivers of this period are two explicit forms of technology, namely Communication Technology (CT) and Information Technology (IT). More broadly, CT consists of the hardware equipment, organizational structures and social values by which individuals collect, process, and exchange information with other individuals. In contrast, IT largely denotes computer and electronicsbased technology, generally encompassing the development, installation, and implementation of computer systems and applications (Webster’s, 2003). These two forms of technology came together within the Information Age, creating a new type of technology known as Information Communication Technology (ICT), which facilitates the exchange of information on a many-to-many basis specifically through computer and electronics-based communication systems. Rapid cycles of technological innovation, particularly with the advent of electronic commerce (e-commerce), have seen ICT become recognized by business owner/managers as a vital element of business (Johnson et al, 1999). Perhaps most significantly, the Internet is praised as a unique and powerful form of ICT which, despite the collapse of the ‘dot-coms’, is continuing to advance at an ever-increasing pace and is making electronic commerce attractive to even the smallest of businesses, which stand to gain tremendous business advantages from implementing Internet technology. Similarly, despite the slow growth of mobile commerce, the importance of cellular phones as a form of business ICT is becoming more pronounced. While the emergence of the Internet, cellular phones and other forms of ICT...

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