Information and Communication Technology Strategies to Improve International Competitiveness in a Barbados Organization
The changing global economic environment, particularly regarding globalization, trade liberalization, and changing international trade regulations, has created a set of new challenges for Caribbean private sector businesses. Wholesale and retail trade sectors, which are major contributors to gross domestic product (GDP) in Barbados, recorded a decline in real value added, from 7.0% in 2007 to 0.2% in 2013. Barbados's technological readiness scored 5.3 out of 7 in a global competitiveness survey. However, Barbados still acknowledged that inadequate Internet infrastructure and lack of information and communication technology (ICT) supporting strategies impedes the international business sector. This qualitative single case study explored the ICT strategies that managers of Barbados's wholesale trade businesses use to improve international competitiveness in Barbados. The resource-based view theory was the conceptual framework for this study. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 15 business managers, participant observation, and organizational document analysis. Data analysis and methodological triangulation revealed 4 themes that helped to understand the findings within the context of the research question and the purpose of the study. These themes included competitive position and response, internal factors, IT-specific factors, and ICT experiences. Implications of social change include providing business managers with specific knowledge on ICT strategies used to improve international competitiveness in Barbados and an understanding of desirable and undesirable perspectives held regarding these strategies.