EFFECTS OF ENTERPRISE RESOURCE FACTORS ON THE LEVEL OF ADOPTION OF E-COMMERCE STRATEGY AMONG SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN KERICHO COUNTY - KENYA
KIPLANG'AT, JOHN BII
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The study focused on the effects of Enterprise Resource Factors on the level of adoption of E-commerce Strategy among Small and Medium Enterprises in Kericho County, Kenya. Electronic Commerce is a general concept covering any form of business transaction or information exchange conducted using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).This phenomenon has been a major challenge for Small and Medium Enterprises given the fast advancement and the ever-growing ICT development throughout the World. SMEs can obtain a wide range of benefits from the use of ICT/e -commerce in the areas of productivity, adoption of new organizational Strategic and Managerial models, enabling access to new environments as well as the generation of new markets and business models. SMEs like larger organizations deploy Human, Financial, Marketing and Technological resources in order to gain competitiveness, improve profitability, growth and generally realign to changes in the internal and external business environments. The study sought to determine the effects of Enterprise Resource factors such as Finance, Technology, Marketing and Human Resources, on the level of adoption of E-commerce strategy among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kericho, Kenya. It is anchored on the Epistemological Philosophy which considers theories of knowledge concerning “…what we can know and how we can know them”. The study addresses gaps identified in past related studies. Kenyan SMEs have been documented as high in employment creation yet low in their contribution towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The established empirical knowledge gap therefore inhibit a comprehensive understanding and well informed Strategy and policy making by the SME owners, the County and National Governments. The target population of the study comprised of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kericho County. The theory underpinning the study is the Resource Based View theory with other theories being the Transporter theoretical model, the Adoption Ladder theoretical Model and the E-Channel Utilization in Micro-firms theory. Stratified random sampling method was used alongside systematic sampling covering a sample of 323 SMEs. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data and later analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were used to analyze the data, establish the relationships between the variables and draw conclusions. The findings of the study show that there is a positive relationship between Enterprise resource factors of marketing, technology and human resources on levels of E-commerce adoption. The study recommends support in SME strategy and policy development to reduce cost of ICT hardware and software, support in enabling SMEs access affordable ICT equipment , funding facilitation to enable the purchase of ICT equipment, training of SME owners and their employees and the establishment of internet hotspots for ease of access to the Internet by SMEs. Suggestions are proposed for further research in various areas including the challenges faced by SMEs in the Counties in the use of Electronic Commerce especially in particular enterprise types.