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Digital Divide in the Corporate Tea Sector in Sri Lanka: An Empirical Investigation

Authors:

WKGKS Weerasinghe ,

Computer Instructor, Computer Unit, LK
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UK Jayasinghe-Mudalige

Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Agribusiness Management Faculty of Agriculture & Plantation Management Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP), LK
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Abstract

The rapid developments in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in an economy can at the same time create a "gap" between those businesses that adopt such technologies "in a flash" (innovators) and "at a snail's pace" (laggards), which is commonly referred to as Digital Divide. The purpose of this study was to examine empirically the current status of adoption of ICT and in turn the digital divide resulting from which in the corporate tea production sector in Sri Lanka and the factors affecting this behavior.

A questionnaire based survey (n = 121) was carried out to collect the data from the managers responsible for ICT of the tea estates located in the Low, Mid and Up country. An empirical model was developed to show the relationship between the level of adoption of 12 Basic, Intermediate and Advanced ICT facilities and a number of factors to reflect the managerial, production and financial aspects of tea estates. Based on the Innovation - Diffusion Theory the status of Digital Divide of an estate was specified by means of an Index. An Ordered Logistic Regression technique was employed to estimate the coefficients of the model.

The results show that these estates did not become innovators or early-adopters of ICT by adopting Advanced or intermediate type of technologies, but were mostly confined to the Basic facilities. The results from the OLR highlight that the turnover of tea estate, ICT literacy, attitudes of managers and IT training of the staff have a significant impact on the adoption of ICT.

DOI: 10.4038/jfa.v1i2.1798

Journal of Food and Agriculture Vol.1(2) 2008 pp.40-53

How to Cite: Weerasinghe, W. & Jayasinghe-Mudalige, U., (2010). Digital Divide in the Corporate Tea Sector in Sri Lanka: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Food and Agriculture. 1(2), pp.40–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v1i2.1798
Published on 19 Apr 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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