The adoption of e-commerce applications is promoted in the developing world as a systemic innovation offering producer firms new exchange mechanisms that enable them to compete on a more equal basis in world markets. It promises a radical shift in the way in which international buyers and sellers trade with one another. Empirical evidence obtained from researching leading garment exporting firms in South Africa suggests that B2B e-commerce is not as effective in reducing transaction costs or in opening up new global market opportunities as claimed by the "optimists". It has only marginally altered trading and business patterns between international buyers and sellers in the garment industry. The findings indicate that trading relationships in this sector are fostered over extended periods of time, depend on non-contract based activities and on complex information requirements and tend to be highly personalized. If B2B e-commerce implementation is to become more widespread, much greater attention will need to be given to the tight and complex interdependencies between buyers and sellers, technological opportunities and constraints, related institutional issues, and the specific characteristics and positioning of South African garment producers within global value chains.
AIn the hands of the South African government, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for development operates as a powerful discourse, which functions both as an ideology and a rhetorical tool. The South African government's discourse is framed in a rigid modernization schema informed by an overoptimistic understanding of the power and valence of ICT for poverty reduction and broad-based development. Government invokes new ICT as an autonomous and largely unassailable force. Over the last decade, a narrow and deterministic model of ICT for poverty reduction has become hegemonic as an ideal as well as a set of development practices, a model which operates to exclude alternatives. The view of technology as an external, autonomous force exerting an influence on society presents a limited set of options: (1) uncritical embracing of technological change or (2) defensive adaptation to it. If we are to attempt a more objective, detached analysis of ICT for development, then it would seem appropriate to move beyond the linear "cause and effect" model of technological determinism and explore alternative perspectives on society and technology.
The South African Menopause Society (SAMS) consensus position statement on menopausal hormone therapy (HT) 2014 is a revision of the SAMS Council consensus statement on menopausal HT published in the SAMJ in May 2007. Information presented in the previous statement has been re-evaluated and new evidence has been incorporated. While the recommendations pertaining to HT remain similar to those in the previous statement, the 2014 revision includes a wider range of clinical benefits for HT, the inclusion of non-hormonal alternatives such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors for the management of vasomotor symptoms, and an appraisal of bioidentical hormones and complementary medicines used for treatment of menopausal symptoms. New preparations that are likely to be more commonly used in the future are also mentioned. The revised statement emphasises that commencing HT during the 'therapeutic window of opportunity' maximises the benefit-to-risk profile of therapy in symptomatic menopausal women.
The importance of global connectivity for Third World producers has recently come under intense academic scrutiny in the value chain literature in development studies. However, global value chain analysis seldom mentions the importance of the Internet in facilitating and enhancing the access of Third World manufacturers to developed country markets. This paper attempts to bridge this gap in the literature by exploring the link between Internet connectivity and access to global markets, and uses the South African wood furniture sector as a case study. E-commerce technologies are becoming increasingly important for South African wood furniture producers as they are integrated into global value chains and exposed to the demands of more sophisticated markets. Failure to adopt e-commerce technologies on the part of wood furniture producers could lead to them becoming increasingly marginalized from the international markets that they wish to supply. The paper articulates a number of policy recommendations to promote greater diffusion of e-commerce technologies in the wood furniture sector.
Abstract. Business-to-business electronic commerce has become a priority area for many international development organisations, particularly since concerns about the 'digital divide' have put the policymaking spotlight on the connection between ICTs and industrial development policies. This paper aims to explore the current state and likely future direction of B2B e-commerce in the South African manufacturing sector. The empirical research is based on 120 firm-level interviews, and 31 personal interviews with industry experts. The results suggest that B2B e-commerce is in an embryonic stage in the South African manufacturing sector, and technology and market dynamics are still casting its basic shape. The ability to realise efficiency gains in the B2B electronic marketplace will largely hinge on the climate of confidence and trust that businesses are able to create in their relations with their suppliers and customers. We argue that policy decisions will have a major impact on the kind of environment in which e-commerce will develop and should therefore be crafted with due recognition of its fragile and evolving nature.
The impetus for supply chain integration (SCI) in the global automotive industry is being driven by the Internet. The article critically explores the potential of the Internet to optimise and streamline the complex supply chains found in the South African automotive industry. The Internet's potential to create seamless, collaborative supply networks could provide the local automotive industry with a distinctive competitive advantage in its pursuit of an 'outward orientation' and 'global connectedness' after a lengthy period of trade isolation and government protection. The findings, however, reveal that domestic automotive firms are generally not using the Internet for substantive interbusiness trade and advanced SCI. By not making the transition to Internet-enabled SCI, South African automotive firms may be placing themselves at risk of becoming less competitive in the globally interconnected market, which will impact on both their current market positions and long-term viability.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.