An investigation of challenges in the effective utilization of E-commerce in the Mining Industry in Zimbabwe: The case of RioZim Limited (2005 – 2011)
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This dissertation focuses on the challenges encountered in achieving the effective utilization of e-commerce in the mining industry. RioZim Limited was used as a case study for the period 2005 to 2011. Empirical data were gathered through the use of a structured questionnaire sent to RioZim management concerning the challenges in the effective utilization of e-commerce for the study period. The questionnaire was divided into distinct parts which focused on the current utilization of e-commerce, benefits of e-commerce, major challenges and recommendations for overcoming the challenges. The findings were that RioZim managers were of the opinion that e-mail and the Internet were the most widely used e-commerce applications at the organization. The managers acknowledged very low usage in terms of e-commerce technologies like e-procurement, e-recruitment, credit cards, point of sale, e-cheque and e-wallet. The study revealed that improved communication was a key benefit associated with e-commerce utilization at RioZim Limited. Other benefits included finding new and/or global markets, improved competitiveness, finding new suppliers and improved marketing. It was concluded that lack of e-commerce infrastructure was the major technical barrier to the utilization of e-commerce in the mining industry. Lack of secure payment infrastructure, lack of e-commerce standards and absence of regulatory and legal systems, lack of awareness of e-commerce benefits and low level of readiness in government institutions also had great influence on e-commerce utilization. The researcher recommended that, RioZim should purchase more ICT and e-commerce equipment. Zimbabwean education system should include the basics of e-commerce in its curriculum. Infrastructural development can help to enhance Internet connectivity and other ICT technologies. The proposition, “lack of senior management support is the major challenge”, was refuted.