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Factors affecting e-business adoption in SMEs: an empirical research

Factors affecting e-business adoption in SMEs: an empirical research Purpose– Nowadays, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are incrementally using e-business tools in order to compete in an extremely hostile market and gain global access. The importance of e-business adoption for the economic success and survival of SMEs creates a very interesting field of research. The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically test a conceptual framework that investigates the factors affecting the e-business adoption decision in SMEs. Design/methodology/approach– The examination of the proposed conceptual framework was made with the use of a newly developed structured questionnaire that was distributed to a group of Greek SMEs. The questionnaire was distributed to 600 companies, while 161 usable questionnaires were finally returned. exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, linear regression methods and the structural equation modelling (SEM) technique were used to test the research hypotheses. Findings– The proposed model explains 71 per cent of the variance of e-business adoption, with firm size, firm scope, IT infrastructure and internet skills being the most important e-business adoption drivers (with firm size being the most significant). On the other hand, CEOs knowledge, adoption cost, and competitive pressure do not seem to play an important role in the e-business adoption decision. Research limitations/implications– A limitation stemming from the implemented methodology is the use of self report scales to measure the constructs of the proposed model. Moreover, the present paper lacks a longitudinal approach, since it is cross-sectional and provides a static picture of e-business adoption. Practical implications– The paper makes an effort in order to point out areas that companies should emphasise in order to successfully adopt e-business and, therefore, harvest its potential benefits. Certain practical implications are offered in the final part of the paper. Originality/value– First, the present study places SMEs in the centre of its attention, while the contemporary research mostly examines the implementation of e-business practices in large organisations. Second, the present study proposes a three-dimensional conceptual framework, including technological, organisational and environmental context. Such a multidimensional approach has randomly been explored in the existing literature. Third, the results of the study may be generalised in other developed countries with similar economic realities and yield interesting outcomes for practitioners in these countries. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Enterprise Information Management Emerald Publishing

Factors affecting e-business adoption in SMEs: an empirical research

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References (86)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1741-0398
DOI
10.1108/JEIM-03-2014-0033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– Nowadays, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are incrementally using e-business tools in order to compete in an extremely hostile market and gain global access. The importance of e-business adoption for the economic success and survival of SMEs creates a very interesting field of research. The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically test a conceptual framework that investigates the factors affecting the e-business adoption decision in SMEs. Design/methodology/approach– The examination of the proposed conceptual framework was made with the use of a newly developed structured questionnaire that was distributed to a group of Greek SMEs. The questionnaire was distributed to 600 companies, while 161 usable questionnaires were finally returned. exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, linear regression methods and the structural equation modelling (SEM) technique were used to test the research hypotheses. Findings– The proposed model explains 71 per cent of the variance of e-business adoption, with firm size, firm scope, IT infrastructure and internet skills being the most important e-business adoption drivers (with firm size being the most significant). On the other hand, CEOs knowledge, adoption cost, and competitive pressure do not seem to play an important role in the e-business adoption decision. Research limitations/implications– A limitation stemming from the implemented methodology is the use of self report scales to measure the constructs of the proposed model. Moreover, the present paper lacks a longitudinal approach, since it is cross-sectional and provides a static picture of e-business adoption. Practical implications– The paper makes an effort in order to point out areas that companies should emphasise in order to successfully adopt e-business and, therefore, harvest its potential benefits. Certain practical implications are offered in the final part of the paper. Originality/value– First, the present study places SMEs in the centre of its attention, while the contemporary research mostly examines the implementation of e-business practices in large organisations. Second, the present study proposes a three-dimensional conceptual framework, including technological, organisational and environmental context. Such a multidimensional approach has randomly been explored in the existing literature. Third, the results of the study may be generalised in other developed countries with similar economic realities and yield interesting outcomes for practitioners in these countries.

Journal

Journal of Enterprise Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 11, 2016

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