Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

E-Business Enablers and Barriers: Empirical Study of Smes in Jordanian Communication Sector

Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

E-Business Enablers and Barriers: Empirical Study of Smes in Jordanian Communication Sector

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The current study aims at investigating the relationship between e-business growth and e-business enablers and barriers by SMEs in Jordanian communication sector. More specifically, the study attempts to identify factors associated with SMEs' adoption of e-business, including barriers and enablers impacting on this adoption. The quantitative approach is employed since it describes and measures the studied phenomenon. Questionnaire is sent to all companies in the sample that was obtained from Jordanian Ministry of Communication. 306 questionnaires were returned with response rate is 86 percent. Correlation analysis is used to identify the strength and direction of relationship between the stages of e-business growth and e-business enablers and barriers. The result reveals that there is a highly significant positive relationship between stages of e-business growth (email exchange, information exchange, and Web presence) and certain enablers and barriers; however our strength of association was highly to moderate.

JEL: L86, M15, M31.

KEYWORDS: SMEs, Electronic business, Growth stages, Communication sector, Jordan.

INTRODUCTION

A growing body of research seeks to examine the impact of e-business on organizations, especially SMEs. Dynamic and vibrant SMEs play a key role in successful national economic growth, irrespective of whether the country concerned is a developed or a developing one (Trumbach et al, 2006; Ramdani et al, 2009; Obafemi, 2009). Given their importance in any economy, it is no surprise that almost every country places special emphasize on supporting and strengthening its SMEs through a variety of institutions and programmes. The Internet and e-business are seen by governments around the world as a technology critical to supporting the development of this sector (Levy et al, 2005; Hourali et al, 2008).

Governments have instigated intervention projects and offered financial incentives to encourage SMEs to adopt the Internet and subsequently to develop e-business systems that will enable them to trade more effectively with business partners. Despite the attempts of government and various support programs, very few SMEs have reached the advantaged stages of e-commerce (Al-Qirim, 2007b; Scupola, 2009; Kapurubandara and Lawson, 2009; Mendo and Fitzgerald, 2009; MacGregar and Kartiwi, 2010). SMEs need this support to overcome the economic and competitive disadvantages that they face, especially when they adopt e-business. In the present study, SMEs are targeted for several reasons. Firstly, as has already been mentioned, they play a major role in the development of any economy, no more so than in Jordan. SMEs are viewed in Jordan as sources of flexibility and innovation and make a significant contribution to economic, both in terms of the number of SMEs and the proportion of the labour force employed by these organizations. For example, Nasco et al. (2008) and Obafemi et al, (2009) pointed out that SMEs make an extremely important contribution to an economy, especially to the rapid growth of developing countries. Secondly, previous studies on e-business have focused on large businesses. SMEs are ignored because, in many cases, it seems that they are perceived to be unsophisticated and therefore of no interest to researchers investigating IT adoption and implementation (Poon and Swatman, 1998; Nasco, 2008). Thirdly, although studies have looked at e-business adoption by SMEs from various angles, the stages of growth of e-business and the factors involved as two of the main issues involved have remained curiously under researched. Finally, SMEs also have unique characteristics in such respects as size, age, turnover and top management structure (Rao et al., 2003; Bose and Sugumaran, 2009; MacGregor and Vrazalic, 2008; Obafemi et al, 2009; MacGregor and Kartiwi, 2010).

From the comprehensive review of the literature it is evident that there is a scarcity of empirical work attempting to determine those key enablers and barriers in the context of the Middle East. …

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