An e-commerce framework for small tourism enterprises in developing countries

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Karanasios, Stan (2008) An e-commerce framework for small tourism enterprises in developing countries. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


For sometime there has been a push for developing countries to adopt information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a pathway to economic development. However, to date, the widespread adoption and use of ICTs in these countries has been sluggish. This is especially true amongst small enterprises, which play a major economic role in developing countries. In the context of developed countries a number of benefits have been linked with the use of the ICTs amongst large, medium, and small tourism enterprises (STEs). This suggests that STEs in developing nations can also derive some benefit from the use of ICTs. However, entrepreneurs in developing countries are hindered by the underlying environmental limitations that characterise these countries (such as the inadequate and unreliable infrastructure, high cost of ICTs, and unstable political environment). This suggests that a tool for STEs that allows them to assess their business environment by reflecting inwards and outwards of the business to make informed decisions on e-commerce would be of use. The purpose of this thesis was to develop an e-readiness framework for STEs in developing countries. The threshold of twenty employees was used to classify businesses as ‘small’. In developing the framework, the intention was to take into account the specific characteristics of small businesses in developing countries. The study was carried out across two major phases. Phase One involved an online focus group with a panel of experts. The purpose of this phase was to take the framework that was developed based on a literature review and present it to a group of experts and use their comments to refine it. After making changes to the framework the researcher set out to refine it further using an investigation of actual STEs in two developing countries. In total twenty-six tourism operators participated in the study. In addition to discussions with the tourism operators this phase also involved examining their online activities, observations, and an investigation of the country e-commerce environment. The final framework, produced as a result of thorough literature review and two data collection phases, has been placed through rigour at the conceptual design stage by academics and at the applied level with actual by STEs. The resultant framework identifies the most relevant determinants of e-readiness and identifies how STEs may exploit e-commerce.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords electronic commerce, small business, developing countries, tourism enterprises
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