The suitability of wireless technologies for implementing an ebusiness infrastructure in Kenyan Micro and Small Enterprises.
This thesis interrogates the suitability of wireless technologies to implement an eBusiness infrastructure in Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries, particularly in Kenya. A research model was developed based on literature and information obtained from a pilot study. The proposed model extended Task-Technology Fit with two core constructs from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. A preliminary study was conducted to refine the proposed model and inclusion of any variables limiting the suitability of wireless technologies as MSEs’ eBusiness infrastructure. The proposed model was empirically tested using data collected using a survey questionnaire and five descriptive case studies on MSEs in Kenya. A proportionate stratified random sampling method within well defined geographic clusters was used to collect data from 570 MSEs. The constructs were assessed for reliability, validity and exploratory factor analysis using SPSS and validated via a confirmatory factor analysis using Structural Equation Modeling with AMOS maximum likelihood method. Most Kenyans live in rural areas of the country with no access to mainstream technologies and a considerable digital divide exists, particularly between the urban and rural areas. This necessitated an intra-country comparison of access and use of wireless technologies in rural and urban MSEs in implementing an eBusiness infrastructure. The results of the intracountry comparisons indicate that while there are indisputable similarities in usage and perception of barriers and benefits of using wireless technologies to implement eBusiness infrastructure between the rural areas and urban centers in Kenya, there are also considerable differences. The relationships among the research model constructs were different depending on whether the sample was rural or urban. However, the differences between rural and urban MSEs’ ratings of the proposed research model constructs were not statistically significant. The study finds that there are evident positive performance impacts on MSEs that use wireless technologies for their eBusiness infrastructure and that the research model fit well with the data collected. The results also indicate that Task-Technology Fit and Usage directly and significantly affect organizational performance while Performance Expectance, Social Influence and Task-Technology Fit were significant determinants of Usage. Among the three proposed barriers of Security Risks, Affordability and Performance Risks, only Performance Risks had a significant negative effect on Usage. Finally, the study’s results, theoretical, managerial and policy implications are discussed and recommendations for future research given.