Case studies from Ghana's non-traditional export (NTE) sector
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the possibilities and challenges facing the application of e-business in the Ghanaian exporting sector. The paper also ascertains, from a value chain perspective, the extent of e-business usages within two export organizations in Ghana's Non-traditional Export (NTE) sector. The two export firms profiled were from the private and governmental/public sectors of Ghana's NTE sector. Design/methodology/approach: The paper adopted a case study approach. This approach was chosen in view of its ability to contribute to deep and detailed knowledge, especially in areas that are characterized by rapid changes. It was also chosen because it is useful for analysing contemporary events. The primary source of data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with senior management personnel in the firms we studied. The data obtained was analysed thematically. Findings: Across the various value chain activities, the private sector firm showed deeper e-business use concentration than the governmental export organization. More importantly, across the two cases, the value chain activities of export organizations in developing economies that could be most strategically leveraged using e-business are customer service, sales and marketing, operations, logistics and procurement, in that order. Originality/value: The study is one of a few studies that aim to build on the existing value chain theories in relation to e-business. This study focused on an emerging economy context. Practical implications: Developing economy export firms looking to develop capabilities and better leverage their e-resources to build competitive advantage should focus on building their customer service and marketing competencies first.
Telematics and Informatics, 2010, Vol 27, Issue 3, p. 323-340