Social Drivers for ICT Diffusion among Agrarian Business Enterprises in Nigeria

Social Drivers for ICT Diffusion among Agrarian Business Enterprises in Nigeria

Bartholomew Aleke (University of Northumbria, UK), Udechukwu Ojiako (University of Southampton, UK) and David Wainwright (University of Northumbria, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2791-8.ch007


In this paper, the authors examine the process of diffusion of innovation ICT within agrarian business enterprises operating in developing countries. There is substantial research in the area of Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DoI) and its application to Information Systems (IS) research within organisations. However, in recognition of the conceptual limitations of DoI, researchers have called for the incorporation of aspects of Social Network Theory (SNT) into DoI frameworks. The findings of this research suggest that an understanding of the conceptual basis of innovation is a major driver of successful innovation adoption.
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The Research Problem

There is a divergent range of scholarly views in the area of agribusinesses diffusion of innovation. For example, questions are being asked about whether agribusinesses can appropriately exploit ICT for operational and productivity gains (Adrian et al., 2005; Cox, 2002; Rao, 2007; Weick, 2001), and what the nature of these gains is (Kirsten & Sartorius, 2002). The situation with agribusinesses is particularly complicated for a number of reasons. For example these categories of agribusinesses entrepreneurs are regarded as highly resistant to change (Adrian et al., 2005). Other scholars (Romani, 2003) have also found that agrarian business enterprises in Africa were prepared to allow ethnic and tribal loyalties to overshadow sound entrepreneurial astuteness. Certainly in the case of Nigeria, matters had not been helped with the passing into law in 1977 of the indigenization decree which represented an apparent attempt by government to ‘protect’ SMEs from foreign competition. Mishra and Park (2005) observed that SMAEs had little interest in electronic business and online sales technology. In the opinion of Molla et al. (2006), interest and expertise in the use of ICT by SMAEs was sporadic and only tenable in SMAEs operating in developed countries.

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