Managerial Strategies Used to Overcome Technological Hurdles: A Review of E-Commerce Efforts Used by Innovative Caribbean Managers

Managerial Strategies Used to Overcome Technological Hurdles: A Review of E-Commerce Efforts Used by Innovative Caribbean Managers

William Wresch (The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago) and Simon Fraser (The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2006070101
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Abstract

Studies summarized by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development continue to show that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries face particular problems with managerial skills, connectivity, branding, logistics, security, and foreign competition. Yet the same studies note that barriers and e-commerce efforts vary considerably from one region of the world to another. To determine if these barriers are significant in the Caribbean region during July and August 2004, the principle investigators visited business executives in five Caribbean nations. Thirty-six businesses and government agencies were interviewed. General results showed significant e-commerce efforts underway in these countries with most enabling technologies and business systems in place. However, several major barriers were repeatedly encountered. Logistics challenges, including shipping and customs barriers, as well as recent import controls in the U.S. were frequently mentioned. Many also described a banking sector unwilling or unable to facilitate convenient electronic payment systems. Nevertheless, executives described a number of e-commerce strategies, which could be adopted by other SMEs that wish to increase their e-commerce income. The investigators present four managerial characteristics that were seen in the leading businesses. The authors hope the results of this study will suggest improved strategies for SMEs in developing countries seeking to use e-commerce to expand their markets.

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