E-commerce technology acceptance (ECTA) framework for SMEs in Middle Eastern countries with reference to Jordan : empirical evidence from electronic commerce in SMEs
Technology has transformed many aspects of business and market activities. Internet is one
of the most important technologies, which have created a global digital economy with new
opportunities. One of the most noticeable changes of business is e-commerce. E-commerce
enables business to sell products and services to consumers on global basis.
A prominent role of electronic commerce is that it assists firms to compete, have access to
new markets and extend the geographic reach of their operations. An adoption of appropriate
technology can lead the company to greater business competency, improve its business
performance, and ensure it retains its competitive advantages. Despite this awareness, many
SME in the developing countries in the Middle East have yet to fully embrace this adoption
of ecommerce in the running of their business. The problem in this research is to identify and
bring together in one framework the appropriate issues, variables, components and concepts
that need to be addressed to encourage, motivate and enable SME's in Middle Eastern
countries to adopt electronic commerce technology in the running of their businesses. The
existing innovation adoption models are inadequate in appropriately explaining which factors
are involved in the adoption decision, and are particularly insufficient with respect to small
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and further, less research is available in the context of
Middle Eastern countries.
The aim of this study is to develop a comprehensive research framework called Electronic
Commerce Technology Acceptance (ECTA) framework, which can be utilised for
discovering the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce innovation and to apply this
framework for empirically testing the adoption of e-commerce application by SMEs in
Middle Eastern Countries. The ECTA framework contains fourteen potential determinant
factors covering four phases: social stimulus, cognitive response, affective response, and
behavioural response. This empirical study was conducted through survey research and the
sample was drawn by means of systematic sampling technique. The empirical data were
collected by using self-administrated questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.
The data analysis was based on 400 Jordanian SMEs; also data analysis was based on
multivariate statistical techniques encompassing multiple linear regression, simple linear
regression, one-way ANOVA, and stepwise regression. Miles and Huberman approach and
Leximancer software were used for the qualitative data analysis. The findings of the study
reveal significant insight into understanding the adoption of electronic commerce by SMEs.This research has developed, presented and evaluated the ECTA framework. This framework
has been shown to be very viable and useful. The framework can he used as a tool to enable
Technology innovation and adoption scholars to encourage and advising SMEs to adopt
appropriate ecommerce technology to improve their business performance. Suggestions are
made to improve the framework with future work to apply this framework in more SMEs. A
strategy is suggested for policy makers to make use of these findings to improve the adoption
of ecommerce in Jordon.
The findings from this research show that the ECTA framework is beneficial to both
governmental and private sectors who intend to accelerate the adoption rate of electronic
commerce implementations and their relevant components among SMEs in Jordan.