Socialising the Digital Divide: Implications for ICTs and E-Business Development

Socialising the Digital Divide: Implications for ICTs and E-Business Development

Audley Genus (University of Newcastle upon Tyne Buisness School, UK) and Mohd Ali Mohamad Nor (University of Newcastle upon Tyne Buisness School, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch182
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Abstract

The digital divide is a phenomenon associated with disparities between groups and societies in the adoption and diffusion of electronic information and communications technologies (ICTs) and e-business practice. The article argues that, in rhetoric at least, the innovation, adoption, and diffusion of ICTs bear the hallmark of technological determinism (i.e., that of a technical imperative) in which social, economic, and political factors are underplayed. By way of contrast, the article considers the merit of a social shaping approach to analysing innovation in ICTs, to assess the prospects for ameliorating the digital divide between developed and developing countries and for stimulating economic development in the latter through the promotion of e-business. The article suggests how future research on the social shaping of ICTs, e-business, and the digital divide between developed and developing nations can meet the challenges discussed herein.

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