LUMINA Volume 24 No. 2

Avenues for ICT adoption and use in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises: The Case of the Philippine Footwear Industry

by Dr. Sherwin Ona and Ms. Ma. Theresa Cristobal

In developing countries, micro-small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) are recognized as significant contributors to socio-economic development. At present, MSMEs contribute 32% of the country's GDP and employing around 69.9% of the national labor force. Although considered as vital pillars for sustained economic growth, this sector is not without its share of challenges. In particular, Philippine MSMEs continue to suffer from productivity problems, one of which is the failure of most MSMEs to adopt and fully utilize information and communications technologies (ICT) in their operations. Recognizing the crucial role of ICT in MSMEs, the current use and adoption practices of five MSMEs belonging to the footwear industry are examined. Using the Technology Adoption Model (TAM) and through the use of world table analysis, factors that contribute to ICT adoption and the possible operational areas where ICT can be utilized are identified. The study recommends that as possible alternatives for MSMEs, practices on digital business environment and MSME clustering are best routes to ensure ICT integration in business operations. To achieve this, government needs to provide a proactive policy environment to promote ICT use and encourage innovation, quality, and competitiveness.

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