,.Article citation: Richard Boateng, (2011) "Mobile phones and micro-trading activities – conceptualizing the link", info, Vol. 13 Iss: 5, pp.48 – 62
Richard Boateng, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana, and Founder and Executive Director of PearlRichards Foundation, Accra, Ghana
Received: 27 December 2010. Revised: 31 March 2011. Accepted: 21 Apriol 2011. The author wishes to thank Joseph Budu, Daniel Opoku, Winfred Larkotey, Vera Quashie, Abubakari Maliha, Thomas Nunoo, Isaka Buraima and Ellis Commey for their support as research assistants. This work was supported in part by The Pearl Richards Foundation under a grant for Gender Development Project (www.ewuraba.com).
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of mobile phones on the micro-trading activities of traders in Ghana. The study aims to develop a conceptual model analyzing the impact of mobile phones on pre-trade, during-trade and post-trade activities.
Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach consisting of a descriptive survey of 136 traders and a case study of two traders was adopted.
Findings – The findings suggest that traders primarily use mobile phones to monitor goods and pricing strategies, scheduling deliveries, and addressing inquiries and complaints in during-trade activities. Traders, including those with no formal education, also use mobile phones as calculators in post-trade activities. This innovative use of mobile phones is a function of their pre-knowledge which may have been developed through formal education and/or social networks. Improving information management through mobile phones directly or indirectly contributes to the economic empowerment of the trader.
Research limitations/implications – The paper proposes a conceptual framework that extends the transaction cost theory to consider transaction benefits and effects in micro-trading. The study develops four...