The aim of the paper was to examine comprehensively, the internal and external factors of organisations which affect the future of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and the magnitude of these constraints in Kenya, using the systems framework. The research methodology used a questionnaire survey (internet survey) to collect data from 137 e-commerce businesses out of which 74 or 54.01% usable questionnaires were received. The businesses ranged from very small to large organizations cutting across all major industry sectors, consisting of the following forms of ownership: local, government, multinational and joint ventures with foreign ownership. The findings of the study established the following barriers in order of decreasing magnitude: economic, social, telecommunications infrastructure barrier, legal/political, individual and organizational barriers. The first three variables are positively but moderately correlated with each other, while with the exception of telecommunications infrastructure, others are poorly correlated with individual and organisational barriers. As expected, the latter two correlate moderately with each other. The regression analysis suggests that telecommunications infrastructure barriers hold the key to unlocking the gordian knot of e-commerce in Kenya, as a decrease in this area would have multiplier effects on the other barriers. The study recommended that the government has a vital role to play in reducing the first four barriers, which are all external to organisations, while at the organisational level, organizations should set (e-commerce) goals and objectives that are well spelt out; build human organisational capital structures to facilitate good working relationships and provide training on e-commerce to minimise resistance and blocking of new changes in organizations.
Key words: E-commerce, barriers, magnitude, internal and external factors, internet, Kenya, systems.
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