This research study seeks to identify possible barriers that may exist within supply chain organisations and prevent the full acceptance, integration and utilisation of Internet based information system technologies, as is required by the new information age. The barriers can possibly be behavioural in nature (in measuring the use of information technology applications), psychological (dealing with perceptions) or be based on organisational policies and technical know-how. By conducting an empirical research investigation into the perceptions of users at different levels of supply chain management activity, the intention is to help organisations capitalise on their investment in information technology systems by identifying barriers to its usage after implementation. The hypothesis is derived from existing literature about business organisations‘ experiences and best practices, albeit it beyond the borders of South Africa. The respondents’ perspective is tested in a questionnaire to determine the level of organisational Internet based SCM integration and information sharing in the current South African market. This survey was conducted over a period of four months and targeted 2568 respondents. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were used to improve the value of research findings. The value of this research investigation is to assist South African supply chain management practitioners and researchers in competing with global players, since competitive advantage depends on competent supply chains in today’s digital economy, according to Philip Kotler (2001: 3). All the research objectives were achieved from the research sample data analysis. From the empirical research, the findings concern their search for lower prices, the payment receipt of money electronically and their order placement amongst others. The two underlying constructs that govern respondents’ SC interaction and in particular their information sharing activities are confidence and confidentiality, however the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. The results of this study and the contribution to the multi-discipline research area could be improved by future studies taking an even larger sample of the sample population to include more heterogeneous technology users in the study. This could facilitate the extrapolation of the results to the South African SCM market with more certainty.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2008.