Patterns of B2B e-commerce usage in SMEs
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify the B2B e-commerce (B2BEC) usage patterns of North American small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their supply chains the contextual factors that influence usage patterns and the subsequent effects of these patterns on firm performance. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted an online survey of North American SMEs and obtained 229 responses. They utilized several statistical methods including cluster analysis and profile analysis to test five hypotheses. Findings - The TOE framework supplemented with interorganizational factors provides a valid theoretical guideline to study firms' B2BEC usage patterns. Three distinct types of B2BEC usage patterns - E-Limiteds E-Leaders and E-Laggards - emerged. Different sets of contextual factors contribute to the formation of these three patterns of B2BEC adoption. Higher levels of B2BEC usage result in stronger firm performance. Research limitations/implications - Future clustering variables could be more specific. The effects of other potential contextual factors should also be explored by future studies. This study can be replicated in other countries to determine whether the findings can be generalized. Practical implications - In light of the potential performance improvements that B2BEC adoption offers managers should assess the risks associated with maintaining their current speed of e-business deployment versus the risks associated with escalating it. Organizations that have been more reactive should consider how well or ill their sluggish approach prepares them for navigating the inevitability of increasing sophistication in supply chain management. Originality/value - Limited empirical research exists on theB2BECusage patterns of NorthAmerican SMEs the contextual factors that motivate them to adopt different B2BEC technologies in their supply chains and how each of these usage patterns affects their performance. The current study contributes to the literature by shedding light on these issues. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
SourceIndustrial Management & Data Systems
KeywordsB2B electronic commerce
Small to medium-sized enterprises
Supply chain management
United States of America