The Impact of eReadiness on eCommerce Success in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence


Molla, A. (2004). The Impact of eReadiness on eCommerce Success in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence. Development Informatics Working Paper Series, No.18/2004. Manchester: Institute for Development Policy and Management. Retrieved May 24, 2006 from

Work data:

ISBN: 1 904143 482

Type of work: Working Paper


e-Business & e-Commerce | e-Readiness | ICT4D


This paper explores the organisational and environmental "e-readiness" variables that might affect e-commerce success in developing countries. Data are extracted from a survey of business organisations conducted in South Africa. Cluster, discriminant function and canonical correlation analysis are used to analyse the data. The results indicate that - contrary to the conventionally-accepted perception that treats environmental factors as major barriers to e-commerce in developing countries - firm-specific variables appear to be the key drivers in differentiating relatively successful from less successful businesses.

In particular, the technological resources of businesses, the governance model they put in place, and their commitment appear to be playing significant roles in affecting successful development of e-commerce and its benefits in terms of communications improvement, cost saving and market performance. The implication is that businesses in developing countries that excel in these three areas are likely to achieve greater e-commerce success. However, because any sustained advantage is context-specific (that is, there are no universal sources of advantages), the importance of other organisational and environmental contextual variables should not be ignored.