Disintermediation, Altered Chains and Altered Geographies: The Internet in the Thai Silk Industry

Mark Graham


The Thai silk industry is in a worrying position. For centuries the industry has provided economic support to hundreds of thousands of people in the northeast of Thailand and become a part of the region’s cultural heritage. However, the industry is now dying largely because of uncompetitive nature of the silk being produced. This paper therefore examines one of the most widely touted development strategies: the use of the internet to both expand markets and disintermediate commodity chains. Using surveys and interviews, this study examines the geographic and topological effects that the internet has had in the value chains of Thai silk.


E-Commerce; disintermediation; commodity chains; value chains; crafts; silk

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The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org