پذیرش SME ها در سنگاپور به منظور تصویب تجارت الکترونیک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3377||2001||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2001, Pages 223–242
This study surveys the receptivity of Singaporean small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the adoption of electronic commerce. Utilising a portion of Rogers' model of innovation diffusion as the framework, and treating electronic commerce (EC) as a form of new innovation, we analyse factors affecting EC diffusion. A multiple regression analysis is carried out, with the five attributes of innovation highlighted by Rogers, to determine the attributes that affect the willingness to adopt. Out of the five factors affecting the adoption of electronic commerce by SMEs, only relative advantage, compatibility and trialability appear significant, with the overall regression explaining around 36% of willingness to adopt.
Electronic commerce (EC) is the culmination in business of increasing computing power and declining telecommunication costs; it is revolutionising transactions as well as radically changing the supplier and customer relationships in business. The value of worldwide EC is expected to reach US$ 300 billion by the year 2000, according to Dryden (1998). Despite this high potential, Asian businesses are still reluctant to infuse EC into their business processes. Asia as a whole appears less engaged in EC compared to the United States and Europe. One apparent explanation could be that many Asian countries tend to be less developed than Western countries. A more complete explanation of the lag, however, must include related problems that Asian countries have, including lower personal computer penetration, inefficiently managed telecom monopolies, language barriers, hierarchical corporate cultures, and often intrusive and bureaucratic governments (Anderson, 1998). In spite of the inertia, several Asian countries (e.g. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore) are in the process of creating IT infrastructure that will facilitate EC innovation and are attempting to remove the above-mentioned barriers. These countries are aware of the fact that the next several years will see tremendous growth in business-to-business EC. Businesses in Asia will need to link their value networks in order to maximise resources and economise on costs, given the potential offered by EC. Businesses that fail to take advantage of technological advances will decline (Dryden, 1998). This study's focus is on Singapore, which is currently promoting EC with various initiatives (NCB, 1998a and NCB. 1999). For instance, the Electronic Commerce Hotbed (ECH) programme by the National Computing Board (NCB) is designed to bring together major EC players in order to hasten realisation of EC in Singapore. There are other initiatives that are designed to turn Singapore into an EC hub. In particular, several initiatives in Singapore are targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises1 (SMEs) (Yap, 1999). There are 92,000 SMEs in Singapore, and together they make up 92% of all establishments, and employ 53% of the workforce. Yet, SMEs contribute only 34% to Singapore's GDP (Yap, 1999). Although this contribution may look small, SMEs are important to Singapore economy in several ways. “Many MNCs today were SMEs of yesteryear. SMEs are the incubators of our future economic giants” (Yap, 1999). Moreover, many SMEs engage in international businesses. This study is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it fills a knowledge gap about EC diffusion in Singapore, and aims to identify which factors are important for encouraging willingness to adopt EC. Prior research in Singapore has indicated that merchants are still uncertain about the business potential of the Internet as a medium for trading and payment (Lee et al., 1997). Security concerns emerged as the most important consideration to merchants when using the Internet (Lee et al., 1997). Retailers are still more comfortable with traditional forms of retailing than with on-line sales transactions (Abbas et al., 1998). They are unwilling and/or unable to invest sufficient resources to make on-line shopping successful here (Abbas et al., 1998). Although these studies focus on business-to-consumer rather than business-to-business EC, they indicate a low level of willingness to adopt EC. In the same vein, the results of a 1999 NCB survey of 666 Singapore businesses echoed the same low appeal for business-to-business EC. Results indicated that 8.5% of the surveyed firms were current users of business-to-business EC and that a further 4.7% were ‘extremely interested’ in adopting business-to-business EC. In contrast, 23.3% were ‘somewhat interested’ and 63.5% were either not interested in adopting business-to-business EC or did not feel sufficiently well informed to answer the question (Wirtz and Wong, 1999, p. 8). Secondly, this study focuses on a relatively unexplored sector in Singapore — the SMEs. Little research has been conducted on this size of firm. The importance of SMEs stems from their increased role in job creation (La Rovere, 1996). They differ from larger firms in that they have a tendency to operate in niches which stimulate competition, be diverse in activities and technical activities, possess hands-on managerial styles that facilitate quick decision making, have lower specialisation of factors of production and have less formality in their internal and external information systems (La Rovere, 1996). As mentioned before, SMEs are perceived as lagging in terms of EC adoption. SMEs in Singapore use the Internet mainly as a communication and information tool (Chong et al., 1998). Since SMEs' web pages are essentially static media, the advantages of the Internet remain an untapped source; they are unable to enjoy potential benefits (Chong et al., 1998). Whilst Chong et al. (1998) show that the SMEs are still in the infant stage of EC, they do not explain why SMEs are at this stage. Most research on inhibitors of EC (see for example Vogel, 1998) explores EC's usage for all sizes and types of institutions, or investigates the issues at a macro multi-country level (OECD, 1998). Research is also scanty on investigating business-to-business EC by Asian SMEs. Our study, focusing on SMEs and on business-to-business, is a preliminary attempt to quantify this area. Thirdly, this study adapts a portion of Rogers' innovation diffusion theory, which has been cited widely in innovation diffusion research. We treat EC as a new innovation (distinct from other organisational or technical innovations), and try to determine which factors, according to Rogers' framework, influence EC adoption. In particular, we focus on measuring attitudinal belief towards EC through the use of five perceived attributes (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability) (Taylor and Todd (1995) as discussed in Tan and Teo (2000)). A study of adoption of Internet banking in Singapore (Tan and Teo, 2000) also makes use of this framework. However, we believe our work is one of the first to quantify these factors within the EC context. In essence, our interest is in discovering factors affecting SMEs' willingness to engage in EC as well as in quantifying their relative importance. Specifically, through surveying SMEs and utilising an adaptation of Rogers (1995) In Rogers' (1995) model of innovation diffusion, we are interested in identifying and rank-ordering factors affecting willingness to adopt EC in Singapore by SMEs. The reminder of the paper is organised as follows. The theoretical framework underlying the study (Rogers' model of innovation decision process), its applicability and adaptation to EC, the study's research model and the hypothesis formulation are first explained. Next, the research methodology is described, followed by data and analysis. This is followed by a discussion of the results. The final sections discuss limitations and directions for future research and examine the implications of the results for research and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results of this study have implications for researchers who are interested in looking at inhibitors and motivators to EC. One of the most important findings is that the five attributes studied actually explained 36% of the variance to the willingness to adopt. Moreover, significant coefficients for relative advantage and compatibility dovetailed roughly with SME cross-country findings by OECD (1998). Although beyond the scope of this study, it would be interesting to develop a more detailed analysis based on Rogers' complete framework (see Fig. 1) or at least a more complete operationalisation (see Tan and Teo, 2000). It would also be interesting to study the same phenomenon at a macro-level or policy level instead of a firm level. (For example, see studies on the impact of environmental factors, industrial policy, and industry structure on IT diffusion ( Dedrick and Kraemer, 1995, Dedrick and Kraemer, 1998 and Dedrick et al., 1995). For SMEs, the compatibility issue is significant because it deals with their perception of the importance of EC on their businesses now and in the future. Although almost 80% of SMEs agree that EC will be important for them in the future, they may not understand what EC is about and its importance now. Studies in Singapore have indicated that top management generally does not understand what EC is all about (Gilbert et al., 1999a, Gilbert et al., 1999b and Gilbert et al., 1999c). This lack of understanding extends to many areas, but most importantly to SMEs' understanding of the new EC business model as it pertains to their business. In addition, these studies also show that they prefer to be followers rather than leaders in the adoption of EC technologies (Gilbert et al., 1999a, Gilbert et al., 1999b and Gilbert et al., 1999c). This lack of understanding could have led them to discount the impact of EC and led them to believe that they will have plenty of time to ‘adopt’ EC. Moreover, it can be seen that SMEs are most motivated by the prospects of gaining a relative advantage over other businesses. They generally believe that EC can open up the market for them, as well as lower their business costs. This perception influenced their willingness to adopt EC. On the flip side, it can be said that if companies do not believe EC can provide them a relative advantage, then their motivation to adopt will be low. Therefore, more needs to be done to address the issue of enticing SMEs to see the potential of EC. Recent media coverage on the potential size and importance of the EC market is a helpful start (NCB. 1999 and Yap, 1999). Not only do SMEs need to understand the potential size of the market, but they must also believe that engagement will reap relative advantage. In other words, they need to perceive that benefits of EC will outweigh the costs of EC. One way of achieving this is to help them engage in EC with minimal investment and costs. There are at present various incentives by the Government and private sector (NCB, 1998b and Wong, 1997), and several incubation programs are already in place (Wee, 2000). However, more needs to be done to reduce the cost of adopting EC if it is to gain critical mass quickly within Singapore.