Electronic Commerce

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AN EVALUATION OF THE ADOPTION OF ELECTRONIC BUSINESS WITHIN THE SERVICE SECTOR IN ZIMBABWE

Table of Contents

1.0 INTRODUCTION3
1.1 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY3
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM7
1.3. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES7
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS8
1.5 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY8
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY9
1.7. DELIMITATIONS9
1.8. LIMITATIONS9
1.9. DEFINITION OF TERMS10
1.10 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE11
1.10.1 THE CONCEPT OF E-BUSINESS12
1.10.2 THE ADVANTAGES OF E-BUSINESS TO THE SELLERS AND BUYERS12 1.10.3 THE ELECTRONIC BUSINESS MODELS13
1.10.4 COMPONENTS OF BUSINESS MODELS FOR E-BUSINESS14
1.10.5 A STRATEGIC CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR AN E-BUSINESS14 1.11 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY28
1.11.1 RESEARCH DESIGN29
1.12 DATA COLLECTION METHODS29
1.13 RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS30
1.14 POPULATION AND SAMPLING31
1.15 DATA PRESENTATION31
1.16 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY31
1.17 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS31
1.18 SUMMARY32
1.19 BUDGET32
1.10 ACTION PLAN32
1.11 REFERENCES33

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the research is to evaluate the adoption of the electronic business within the service sector in Zimbabwe. The rate of adoption of electronic business in the service sector has remained relatively slower than anticipated. This is despite the fact that the service sector in Zimbabwe was the first to embrace electronic business (Turban: 2006) and it was noted that it has the ability to respond to new opportunities and innovations more quickly. The study will further explore the impact of electronic business adoption at national or regulatory level, corporate level and individual level. While much of the research regarding the utilization of electronic business has been conducted in the developed countries, little or no research has been carried out in developing countries such as Zimbabwe. The study therefore needs to close the knowledge gap by evaluating the adoption of electronic business within the service sector in Zimbabwe. This research will fulfill objectives such as to evaluate the adoption of electronic business in Zimbabwe, to analyze the electronic business regulatory framework in Zimbabwe and a number of research questions and justifications. The case of the service sector is interrogated and explored as an illustration.

1.1 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The rapid advances in the use of the internet have paved the way for several path-breaking innovations. One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of this evolution is the emergence of electronic business (e-business) as a mainstream and viable alternative to more traditional methods of businesses being conducted today. According to Paul Bocij(2003:219), electronic business is defined as the process of using electronic technology to do business. Also the structure of the internet is rapidly evolving from a loose collection of Web sites into organized market places. The phenomena of aggregation, portals, large enterprise sites, and business-to-business applications are resulting in centralized, virtual places, through which millions of visitors pass daily.

Electronic business has become standard operating procedure for the vast majority of companies. Setting up and running an e-business, especially one that processes a large number of transactions, requires technical, marketing and advertising expertise. Consumers like to access products and services on a 24-by-7 basis, and the easiest way to provide that is to move operations online. The businesses that provide the most reliable, most functional, most user-friendly and fastest services will be the ones that succeed. Don Tapscott (2001:9), argues that electronic business is changing the overall structure of the global economy. A new industrial sector is emerging and converging among computing (computers, software, services); communication (telephone, cable, satellite, wireless) and context (entertainment,...
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