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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Commosioung, Michelle H.; Waller, Lloyd G
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Paper/Section Title
Beyond diffusion: Mapping the use of ICTs among Jamaican micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
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Proceedings Title
International Telecommunication Society (ITS) 2008 - 17th Biennial Conference of the ITS.
Date of Meeting
June 2008
Place of Meeting
Montreal, Canada.
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Extent of Work
31 p.
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Location/URL
http:; www.canavents.com/its2008/abstracts/600.pdf
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Abstract
Much research has been done regarding issues of ICT diffusion in developing countries; and, indeed, there are numerous discourses pertaining to the subject-matter. To this end, several ICT for Development policies have been designed and implemented across the developing world to try to address, among other things, the global digital divide through the promotion of ICT diffusion. To date, a number of developing countries, including Jamaica, rank highly in terms of Network Readiness and the availability of new technologies. However, is this supposed high level of ICT diffusion being translated into ICT usage? For example, how integrated are ICTs in the everyday business processes of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); entities, often, considered to be the engine of most developing countries and, hence, possessing the capabilities of thrusting these countries along their development paths. The over-riding objective of this research is to investigate the use of ICTs among Jamaican MSMEs. In the first quarter of 2008, a survey instrument was designed and used to gather quantitative and qualitative data from 1,931 Jamaican MSMEs. Contrary to prevailing 'supply-driven' arguments that suggest developing countries are “passive adopters” of the ICTs with which they are presented, our research results provide evidence that, in fact, the choice and use of ICTs (such as, cellular mobile phones, personal computers, emailing, online shopping, and fax machines) for the Jamaican MSME is 'strongly' associated with the typology of the enterprise. Unarguably, the results highlight the need for researchers and policymakers to look beyond the diffusion of ICT and concentrate efforts and funds on the indigenised use of these technologies. Above all, it is a development imperative for developing states, and entities within those states, to 'self' define what they consider to be the appropriate technology for them to use within their development context. Therefore, moving away from the 'onesize-fits-all' ICT policy methodology often, imposed on them by international organisations towards a “demand-driven” ICT approach.....
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