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Demographic determinants of electronic commerce (EC) adoption by SMEs: A twist by location factors

Hart Okorie Awa (Department of Marketing, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Don Monday Baridam (Department of Management, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Barinedum Michael Nwibere (Department of Management, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 13 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Research on the demographic characteristics of top management team (TMT) on e-commerce adoption has really advanced. Although some of such studies factored location factors as e-commerce adoption drivers, rare attempts have been made to unravel if the differences in the demographic composition of TMT and the rate of adoption may be explained by the differences in the firm’s geographical location. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to bridge this knowledge gap by proposing a framework that conceives and measures geographical location as a contextual variable between e-commerce adoption and TMT composition.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were generated from the opinions of owners/managers of 226 SMEs drawn purposefully from registered SMEs in five industries located in three geo-political zones of Nigeria. Two cities (a state capital and a commercial nerve centre) were studied and a four-step hierarchical regression (spanning factor-loading) was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Evidence from the study shows that the hypothesized relationships between demographic factors and e-commerce adoption (main/direct effects) were statistically significant (supporting H1-H4). The two moderators (physical infrastructures and industrial specialization) that explained location factors were equally statistically significant in moderating the relationship between the demographic composition of TMT and e-commerce adoption.

Research limitations/implications

Sampling the opinions of SMEs in some industries of three geo-political zones of Nigeria limits the power of generalization. Therefore, extended data and measures are required to replicate the study in order to build external validity and reliability, and possibly theories. Further, some errors seem unavoidable in the course of converting the data through SPSS procedure just as all the measures used appear subjective and prone to common method bias. Other demographic and location factors not captured in the study may be handled by future studies.

Originality/value

The work will be of benefit to the academia and practitioners in terms of showing how location factors dictate the relationship between the demographic composition of top management and e-commerce adoption. The paper raises pointers that stimulate future research and advised policy-makers on even or near-even distribution of infrastructural facilities.

Keywords

Citation

Awa, H.O., Baridam, D.M. and Nwibere, B.M. (2015), "Demographic determinants of electronic commerce (EC) adoption by SMEs: A twist by location factors ", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 326-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-10-2013-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited