MacGregor, Robert C. and Vrazalic, Lejla, 2006, E-Commerce Adoption Barriers in Small Businesses and the Differential Effects of Gender, Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, 4(2), 1-24.
Over the last decade, the Internet and Internet technologies such as electronic commerce have experienced phenomenal growth. However, research shows that small businesses have been slow to adopt and to implement e-commerce due to a variety of barriers or impediments. Our understanding of these barriers and their importance has been fragmented and incomplete. This article presents an exploratory study of regional small businesses in Sweden that aims to improve our knowledge about e-commerce adoption barriers and to determine if there are any differences in the level of importance assigned to different barriers by males and females. The results of the study suggest that e-commerce adoption barriers fall into one of two distinct groupings: too difficult to implement or unsuitable to the business. The results also show that while males rate the difficulties of implementing e-commerce as more important, females indicate more concern about the unsuitability of e-commerce. The results of the study have significant implications for government organizations engaged in promoting e-commerce adoption, particularly among small businesses in regional areas.