Influencing Factors and the Acceptance of Internet and E-Business Technologies in Maritime Canada's SMEs: An Analysis

Influencing Factors and the Acceptance of Internet and E-Business Technologies in Maritime Canada's SMEs: An Analysis

Mahmud Akhter Shareef (Carleton University, Canada), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK) and Nitish Singh (Boeing Institute of International Business at St. Louis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-412-5.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter examines the influence of some relevant factors on the acceptance of internet and E-Business technologies in Maritime Canada’s SMEs (small- and medium- sized enterprises). To examine the influence of the factors, a research framework was developed and nine hypotheses formulated to test the various relationships. A survey was conducted and a total of 162 valid responses were obtained from mainly business owners and managers. The data supported five out of the nine hypotheses formulated. The key findings are as follows: The sampled SME’s organizational readiness is positively related to their intent to use Internet/business technologies (dependant variable); the two constructs of the technology acceptance model (TAM) were found to be important mediators in the relationship between the management support construct and the dependant variable. Further, no evidence was found to suggest that management support positively influences the intent to use Internet/ business technologies among Maritime Canada’s SMEs. The implications of the study’s findings for policy making and research were discussed.
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8.1. Introduction

More and more businesses around the world are realizing the critical importance of using information and communication technologies (ICT) in their operations (Net Impact Study Canada, 2002; 2004; Sadowski et al., 2002). Such technologies are being used to reduce operational costs, improve management capabilities, access the global market, among others (Sadowski et al., 2002; Mehrtens et al., 2001; Martin and Milway, 2007). Accordingly, management in both large and small enterprises have realized the beneficial impacts of adopting, accepting, and investing in ICT applications including internet and e-business technologies (Wade et al., 2004; Davis and Vladica, 2006; Martin and Milway, 2007). Further, data and reports continue to highlight the importance of such technologies in global e-commerce and e-business engagements, and for national economic developments (Net Impact Study Canada, 2002; 2004; Davis and Vladica, 2006; Martin and Milway, 2007). Specifically, business organizations in Canada (a developed country) are beginning to reap the benefits of employing such technologies in their commercial activities (Net Impact Study Canada 2004; Noce and Peters, 2006; The Daily, 2006). For example, Noce and Peters (2006) note that the value of e-commerce engagements alone in Canada for the year 2004 was $28 billion, an amount which Statistics Canada (2006) expects to grow in the next decade.

Despite the positive trend being reported for Canada, it has to be mentioned that it has not been clear sailing for the country’s businesses – large and small – to adopt and use ICT products, including internet and e-business technologies. In fact, the widely publicized Net Impact Study Canada (2002; 2004) reports showed that small and medium enterprises (SME) lag behind larger businesses on the adoption of internet business solutions (IBS), a term that we accept as being a connotation of internet and e-business technologies. The phrase “internet and e-business technologies” was borrowed from a study conducted by Davis and Vladica (2006) in the same region as this study’s, wherein such technologies as email, the Internet, and Website were given as examples. These are related, useful technologies for e-commerce and e-business engagements, and in fact Sadowski et al. (2002, p.76) note that “in establishing a new connection to the Internet [business environment], new users are required to adopt a series of related new technologies.”

The focus of this chapter will be on the acceptance of such technologies in Canadian SMEs. It is appropriate to pay attention to SMEs, given the universal knowledge of the relevance of such businesses. In a nutshell, SMEs serve as engines for employment generation and national economic growth. According to the Net Impact Study Canada (2002, p.2), “Canadian SMEs deliver 60% of Canada’s economic output, generate 80% of national employment and 85% of new jobs.” Suffice it to say that a broader understanding of the adoption of internet and e-business technologies in Canadian SMEs will benefit both policy makers and researchers. Importantly, the Net Impact Study reports sought to alert Canadian policy makers to two debilitating issues: a) the reluctance of some SMEs in the country to adopt IBS, b) SMEs lag behind larger businesses on the adoption of internet business solutions. It comes as no surprise, therefore, when the Net Impact Study Canada (2004, p.1.) sounded a note of caution to policy makers and industry leaders in the country by stating that:

“A lukewarm SME response to IBS adoption may weaken any national strategy to bolster Canada’s international competitiveness. The challenge for industry leaders and policy makers is to bring lagging SMEs online and deepen the capabilities of those already online. The cost of inaction is to have this vital sector of the economy stall at current levels of engagement while other nations catch up or increase their lead.”

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Dedication
Mahmud Akhter Shareef, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Michael D. Williams
Table of Contents
Foreword
Mohini Singh
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Mahmud Akhter Shareef, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Michael D. Williams, Nitish Singh
The growth, integration, and sophistication of ICT are changing our society and economy. The emergence of the Internet as a general communication... Sample PDF
Introduction to E-Commerce
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Chapter 2
Mahmud Akhter Shareef, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Michael D. Williams, Nitish Singh
Electricity, telecommunication, integrated circuits, networking, and the Internet fostered a revolution by delivering distinctive services. The... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Background
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Chapter 3
Mahmud Akhter Shareef, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Michael D. Williams, Nitish Singh
Customers’ perception and expectation of service quality dimensions for any field, whereas it is traditional commerce or EC, has a close relation... Sample PDF
Service Quality of E-Commerce for Global Consumers
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Chapter 4
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Since Internet is the primary driving force of E-Commerce (EC), it has global phenomena. Consequently, Internet market is diffusing from the west to... Sample PDF
Global Quality Management Practice for E-Commerce
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Chapter 5
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As we have already mentioned in the Preface of this book, mentioning EC in this chapter will signify and mean B2C EC unless it is mentioned... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Diffusion: Critical Factors Affecting Diffusion of E-Commerce
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Chapter 6
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Based on the theoretical framework revealed in Chapter V, this chapter is intended to investigate the country-specific roles of governments, private... Sample PDF
Diffusion of E-Commerce in Developed and Developing Countries: Comparative Studies
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Chapter 7
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This chapter is aimed to provide a fundamental conceptual framework for adoption of EC by the consumers of developing countries. Through extensive... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Adoption in Developing Countries
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Chapter 8
Mahmud Akhter Shareef, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Michael D. Williams, Nitish Singh
This chapter examines the influence of some relevant factors on the acceptance of internet and E-Business technologies in Maritime Canada’s SMEs... Sample PDF
Influencing Factors and the Acceptance of Internet and E-Business Technologies in Maritime Canada's SMEs: An Analysis
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Chapter 9
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Information and communication technology (ICT) is the prime driving force of Internet economy. Therefore, before implementing E-Commerce (EC) and... Sample PDF
Effect of Proliferation and Resistance of Internet Economy: Understanding Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Developing Countries
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Chapter 10
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This current conceptual study reviews the literature of globalization and EC, and reveals three independent variables that help to determine... Sample PDF
Globalization and Relevant Strategy for E-Commerce
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Chapter 11
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As global e-commerce is expanding and the global online marketplace is becoming more lucrative for marketers, there is a surge in proliferation of... Sample PDF
Culturally Customizing International Web Sites
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Chapter 12
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For the last two decades, companies have been increasingly operating in many foreign markets. Serving local consumers effectively and thus achieving... Sample PDF
A Cultural Perspective on Web Site Localization
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Chapter 13
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The explosive proliferation of Internet users has led to dramatic shifts in the methodology of conducting business and the business paradigms.... Sample PDF
Conclusion, Implications, and Future Trends
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About the Authors