E-Commerce in Developing Countries: Impediments and Opportunities

E-Commerce in Developing Countries: Impediments and Opportunities

Alev M. Efendioglu (University of San Francisco, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-100-1.ch006
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The number of Internet users around the world has been steadily growing and this growth has provided the impetus and the opportunities for global and regional e-commerce. However, as with Internet, different characteristics (infrastructure and socio-economic) of the local environment have created significant levels of variation in the acceptance and growth of e-commerce in different regions of the world. Our research on e-commerce development in China and the findings provide insights into some of the impediments for development and use of e-commerce. In this chapter, I present and discuss our findings, and propose some strategies for successful development of e-commerce in developing countries.
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As the number of Internet users around the world has steadily grown various studies have been conducted and models have been developed to identify diffusion of e-commerce in different environments. (Zwass, 1999; Wolcott, et. al. 2001; Travica, 2002; Hasan and Ditsa, 1999) These models have looked at “infrastructure” (e.g. connectivity hardware and software, telecommunications, product delivery and transportation systems) and “services” (e.g. e-payment systems, secure messaging, electronic markets, etc.) as the primary diffusion factors. Furthermore, Travica (2002) study has focused on Costa Rico and its culture, and Hasan and Ditsa (1999) have tried to identify and present possible cultural factors that may impact broad based adoption of Information Technology.

Industry based organizations have also been interested in diffusion of e-commerce in different countries and have also identified similar factors, and have rated these countries on their readiness for e-commerce. Most widely cited of these ratings are presented by IBM and the intelligence unit of The Economist (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2004), which define e-readiness by measurement in six distinct categories (1) Connectivity and technology infrastructure, (2) Business environment, (3) Consumer and business adoption, (4) Social and cultural environment, (5) Legal and policy environment, and (6) Supporting e-services.

In addition to infrastructural and business system issues, trust (I call this “transactional trust”) has been identified as one of the critical issues that confront businesses that are new businesses or utilize new business models like e-commerce. One of the most widely studied cultural classifications was originally proposed by Hofstede (1980). His cultural framework consists of four dimensions identified as: individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, and masculinity-femininity. Even though Hofstede’s framework was originally developed for national-level analyses, Oyserman et al. (2002) has shown that it can also be applied at individual levels. Further research by Doney et al. (1998) and Jarvenpaa et al. (1999) have suggested that individualism-collectivism effects the ways people form trust and may affect the users’ willingness to trust online vendors. Other studies have also tried to find correlations between trust and experience with a new system, concept, or relationships, including a correlation to frequency of e-commerce activity, and other researchers have noted that trust may be significantly influenced by culture of a given society. (McKnight et. al., 1998; McKnight and Chervany, 2001; Lee and Turban, 2001) Grabner-Kraeuter (2002) observes and states that trust is “the most significant long-term barrier for realizing the potential of e-commerce to consumers”, and others state that trust will be a “key differentiator that will determine the success of failure of many Web companies.” (Urban et. al., 2000) Studies by Park (1993) and Keil et al. (2000) have focused on the impact of uncertainty avoidance on people’s willingness to accept uncertainty, which is an unavoidable foundation of e-commerce.

To see the impact of these factors, especially the “influence of culture on acceptance and use of e-commerce in a developing country”, we conducted a study in China. (Efendioglu and Yip, 2004) We selected China because it has unique social and cultural characteristics (Bond, 1986; Chen, 1993; Moore, 1967) and is a country with accelerated changes and growth in its economic systems, fueled and supported by both governmental and business entities.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Omar A. El Sawy
Chapter 1
Richard Boateng, Alemayehu Molla, Richard Heeks
This chapter undertakes a meta-analysis of the published literature on e-commerce in developing economies (DEs). The aim is to take stock of the... Sample PDF
E-Commerce in Developing Economies: A Review of Theoretical Frameworks and Approaches
Chapter 2
Reinhold Decker
This chapter outlines and discusses current empirical findings and conceptual ideas concerning the status quo and future prospects of e-commerce in... Sample PDF
Significance and Success Factors of E-Commerce in China and Russia: An Empirical View
Chapter 3
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The past few years have seen a rise in the number of companies’ embracing e-commerce technologies in developing countries and the volume of... Sample PDF
Identifying Factors for Lack of E-Commerce in Developing Countries
Chapter 4
Antonis C. Stylianou, Stephanie S. Robbins, Pamela Jackson
It is widely recognized that e-commerce represents a critical resource for most business organizations. With over 1.3 billion people and... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Development in China: An Exploration of Perceptions and Attitudes
Chapter 5
Mahesha Kapurubandara
Acceptance of the Internet has paved the way towards the development of virtual communities that keep increasing in the current information society... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Adoption and Appropriation by SMEs in Sri Lanka
Chapter 6
Alev M. Efendioglu
The number of Internet users around the world has been steadily growing and this growth has provided the impetus and the opportunities for global... Sample PDF
E-Commerce in Developing Countries: Impediments and Opportunities
Chapter 7
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager
E-governance is a powerful tool for bringing about change to government processes in the developing world. It operates at the crossroads between... Sample PDF
E-Governance in Uganda: Experiences and Lessons Learned from the DistrictNet Programme
Chapter 8
Abdelbaset Rabaiah
This chapter illustrates the impact of electronic government (e-government) on electronic commerce (e-commerce) development and implementation in... Sample PDF
E-Government and Its Impact on E-Commerce in LDCs
Chapter 9
Zakariya Belkhamza
Global deployment in information and communication technology requires understandings of the cultural constraints in technology acceptance and usage... Sample PDF
Cultural Interpretation of E-Commerce Acceptance in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Malaysia and Algeria
Chapter 10
Ahu Genis-Gruber
E-commerce has been a widely used mean to purchase goods and services all over the world. This study investigates the role of cultural differences... Sample PDF
Cultural Differences, Information Technology Infrastructure, and E-Commerce Behavior: Implications for Developing Countries
Chapter 11
Kamel Rouibah
With the widespread use of mobile phones in the Arab world, companies, including banks, are offering different communication channels for their... Sample PDF
Mobile-Commerce Intention to Use via SMS: The Case of Kuwait
Chapter 12
Ayoub Yousefi
This study presents a theoretically-based model for economic analysis of electronic commerce in developing countries. The Porter diamond model is... Sample PDF
An Economic Framework for the Assessment of E-Commerce in Developing Countries
Chapter 13
Lena Aggestam
B2B development has been faster in the developed world comparing to developing countries. This chapter proposes a “tool” for managing CSF in B2B... Sample PDF
Guidelines for Preparing Organizations in Developing Countries for Standards-Based B2B
Chapter 14
Dimitrios Xanthidis, David Nicholas, Paris Argyrides
This chapter is the result of a two years effort to design a template aiming at standardizing, as much as such a task is feasible, the evaluation of... Sample PDF
A Proposed Template for the Evaluation of Web Design Strategies
Chapter 15
Jameleddine Ziadi, Abderrazzak Ben Salah
This chapter has as an aim the identification of the present reality of the e-commerce activity in Tunisia and the challenges its faces. After... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce Reality in Tunisia
Chapter 16
Hongxiu Li
This chapter introduces the four sets of prerequisites for successful electronic commerce (e-commerce) development, including national factors... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce in China: Can We Wake Up the Giant?
Chapter 17
Sherif Kamel
Emerging information and communication technology is driving transformation and change in the cyberspace. Speed, competition and globalization are... Sample PDF
Evolution of Electronic Procurement in Egypt: Case of Speedsend.com
Chapter 18
Borislav Jošanov, Marijana Vidas-Bubanja, Emilija Vuksanovic, Ejub Kajan, Bob Travica
The authors of this chapter constructed and published multidimensional model for the evaluation of e-commerce diffusion in any country. According to... Sample PDF
The State and Development of E-Commerce in Serbia
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