Implementation of E-Commerce at the Grass Roots: Issues of Challenges in Terms of Human-Computer Interactions

Implementation of E-Commerce at the Grass Roots: Issues of Challenges in Terms of Human-Computer Interactions

Hakikur Rahman (Department of Information Systems, Centro Algoritmi, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal) and Isabel Ramos (Department of Information Systems, Centro Algoritmi, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2013040101


This paper looks into the concepts of electronic commerce (e-commerce) through the utilization of the Internet technologies. The study introduces the concept in finding a contextual diagram and talks further about the evolution of e-commerce. Thereafter, it develops a framework after deducting through various business models using an exploratory review. However, the main thrust of the paper is to illustrate factors of challenges in introducing and enhancing e-commerce activities, especially in the context of developing countries relating to human-computer interactions. The study emphasizes on issues like, acceptability, credibility, feasibility, ethics, privacy and trust as major challenges in expanding e-commerce in developing countries. Before concluding, the study proposes a few hints of e-commerce advancement in developing nations as future research.
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With the steady growth of the Internet users around the world, many facets of human interaction with computers have emerged and among them this growth has provided the impetus and opportunities for doing business across the net thus creating platforms for local, national, global and regional e-commerce. In terms of the Internet, one can think of four layers of transactions, such as the infrastructure layer (addresses the issue of backbone infrastructure required for conducting business via the net), applications layer (provides support systems for the Internet economy through a variety of software applications that enable organizations to commercially exploit the backbone infrastructure), intermediary layer (includes a host of companies that participate in the market making process in several ways), and commerce layer (covers companies that conduct business in an overall ambience provided by the other three layers) (Mahadevan, 2000).

However, with the maturity and complexity of the Internet, different characteristics of the local environment, such as infrastructural, socio-economic and cultural, have created a significant level of variation in the acceptance and growth of e-commerce in different regions of the world (Efendioglu, Yip, & Murray, 2005). Over time, 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; Bai, Cai, & Qian, 2006; Xiao, Guo, & Gu, 2010). These models have looked at infrastructure (connectivity, hardware and software, telecommunications, product delivery and transportations systems) and services (e-payment systems, secure messaging, electronic markets, and competitiveness) as the primary diffusion factors (Efendioglu et al., 2005).

The adoption of e-commerce technologies is primarily influenced by a number of factors. In terms of business enterprise the most significant of these factors is the profit. Other factors, according to Kurnia (2006), include government initiatives, technology infrastructure, geographical conditions, socio-economic conditions, socio-cultural conditions, public awareness and external influences (Olatokun & Kebonye, 2010). However, there is a general scarcity of models and frameworks for evaluating e-commerce success (Molla & Licker, 2001). Furthermore, challenges are complex, critical and diversified in terms of implementing e-commerce at the grass roots, especially in developing and transitional economies.

This study has tried to generalize the e-commerce concept focusing human interactions at the evolving scenario of the Internet based on various models of e-commerce and discusses about related issues of challenges that are prevailing for the successful e-commerce implementation at the grass roots. As methodology, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) has been adopted to study these social phenomena as it provides a vehicle for thought, communication and action within its sphere of influence (Pozzebon, 2004). It is linked with Haberma’s theoretical framework of theory of communicative action (TCA) which provides a theoretical framework for the critical analysis of both the structures and reproduction of discourses for the public sphere (Cukier et al., 2009; Kabanda, 2009). Thereafter, the paper focuses on specific aspects of e-commerce challenges like, privacy, trust and ethical issues that are prevailing in the arena in the context of human-machine interactions.

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