The adoption of e-business technology by SMEs

Windrum, Paul and de Berranger, Pascale (2002). The adoption of e-business technology by SMEs. UNU-MERIT Research Memoranda. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Windrum, Paul
    de Berranger, Pascale
    Title The adoption of e-business technology by SMEs
    Series Title UNU-MERIT Research Memoranda
    Volume/Issue No. 23
    Publication Date 2002
    Place of Publication Maastricht, NL
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Pages 33
    Language eng
    Abstract The paper examines the key factors influencing the adoption of e-business technology by SMEs. To this end, the paper draws on a range of literatures on the diffusion of new information and communication technologies (ICTs), many of which have hitherto been treated as separate. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, e-business technologies are the latest in a line of new ICT technologies. When exploited successfully, ICTs have increased firm competitiveness either by raising the efficiency of internal communication and organisation and/or supply chain relationships, or by facilitating the development of new/improved products and services. Second, it is hypothesised that many of the factors affecting the successful adoption of new technologies are generic in nature. With regards to SMEs specifically, consideration of earlier research may assist us in identifying a set of enablers and barriers to e-business adoption. Hence, by explicitly acknowledging the context and prior history of research in the area, we are able to map out the dimensions of future theoretical and empirical research in e-business adoption by SMEs. In addition to drawing together factors identified by existing research, the paper highlights the implications of network externalities for the timing of technology investments and the returns that accrue to early and late adopters. It also draws attention to a number of problems associated with the analytical concept of 'the SME' when it is applied to this area. The research proceeds by clearly defining the technological and organisational characteristics of the e-business model and a brief consideration of the trends in adoption in the UK vis-__-vis adoption in the other G7 countries. Together these set up a detailed consideration of the internal and external factors influencing adoption. A qualitative approach, in the form of a detailed case study, is then used to explore the potential usefulness of the factors that have been identified. The results of these findings are then drawn together in the concluding section of the paper.
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    Copyright Year 2002
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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    Created: Fri, 13 Dec 2013, 12:42:12 JST