E-Commerce Adoption in Nigerian Businesses: An Analysis Using the Technology-Organization-Environmental Framework

E-Commerce Adoption in Nigerian Businesses: An Analysis Using the Technology-Organization-Environmental Framework

Uyinomen O. Ekong (University of Uyo, Nigeria), Princely Ifinedo (Cape Breton University, Canada), Charles K. Ayo (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Airi Ifinedo (NAV Solutions, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3886-0.ch041
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Business organizations around the world engage in e-commerce (EC) and e-business to support business operations and enhance revenue generation from non-traditional sources. Studies focusing on EC adoption in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) are just beginning to emerge in the extant information systems (IS) literature. The objective of this current study is to investigate factors impacting the acceptance of EC in small businesses in SSA with Nigeria as an example. A research model based on the Diffusion of Innovation (DIT) and the Technology–Organization–Environment (TOE) frameworks were used to guide this discourse. Such factors as relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, management support, organizational readiness, external pressure, and IS vendor support were used to develop relevant hypotheses. Questionnaires were administered to respondents in Nigeria and data analysis was performed using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) technique. Predictions related to relative advantage, management support, and IS vendor support were confirmed; the other hypotheses were unsupported by the data. The study’s implications for research and practice are discussed in the chapter.
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The emergence of Electronic Commerce (EC) has significantly changed the business environment for both individuals and businesses around the world (Turban et. al., 2010). EC arrangements allow sellers to access global markets and buyers have a greater choice to procure goods and services from a variety of sellers around the world at reduced costs (Turban et. al., 2010; Ifinedo, 2011). In fact, Turban et. al., (2010) and Grandon & Pearson, (2004) note that EC enhances productivity for the adopting organization in the following ways:

  • It improves efficiencies through automation of transactions,

  • It reduces intermediaries in the value chain to foster greater economic advantages,

  • It consolidates demand and supply through organized exchanges,

  • It facilitates product improvement as well as engenders innovative ways of selling existing products and services.

It is safe to suggest that the benefits accruing from EC continue to fuel its acceptance around the globe (Turban et. al., 2010; Ifinedo, 2011; Grandon & Pearson, 2004; Leadpile, 2010). A recent report by Leadpile (2010) predicted that e-commerce sales around the world will likely surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2012.

It is implied that the level of commercial activities and transactions generated through EC and other online initiatives in a country has a positive correlation with the nation’s overall economic growth and well-being (EIU, 2011; WEF, 2011). As such, parts of the world especially the developing countries where the expansion of EC and related activities have been slow to develop, run the risk of being marginalized in the emerging digital or network economy (EIU, 2011; WEF, 2011; Ifinedo, 2005). Widely reported reasons as to why countries in the developing world have failed to use information communication and technologies (ICT) products to integrate into the digital economy include factors such as poor infrastructure, legal, institutional, cultural, and socio-economical constraints (Hadidi, 2003; ECA, 2000; UNCTAD, 2008; Ho et. al., 2007; Ifinedo, 2008). It is easy to notice that all the aforementioned constraints are at the macro level. While emphasis on such factors may be relevant in comparative analyses that seek to highlight key facilitating and inhibiting factors across countries/regions of the world, (Kaufmann & Liang, 2007; Farhoomand, et. al., 2000; Tan et. al., 2007) the impacts arising from micro level issues tend to be downplayed and underemphasized in such approaches.

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