The Evolving Web Presence of SMEs: An Empirical Approach to E-Business

The Evolving Web Presence of SMEs: An Empirical Approach to E-Business

Fernando Alonso Mendo (Brunel University, UK) and Guy Fitzgerald (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-056-1.ch014
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Abstract

This chapter reviews current approaches to the study of the progression of small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in their use of Internet technologies. It is argued that a research framework that combines three different dimensions of organisational change (process, content, and drivers) offers an alternative approach to e-commerce stage models in understanding the evolution of SMEs Web sites over time. Furthermore, a study of 192 Web sites and their evolution over ten moths is described to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of the dimensions of the framework. The study describes the different approaches (monitoring, content analysis, and telephone interviews) and the characteristics of changes on these Web sites. The proposed framework is argued to be useful to academics, providing multiple perspectives enabling more insightful study of SMEs e-business adoption and progression, and avoiding breakdown, a priori theory, for example, stage models. The framework is also argued to be useful for SME managers seeking to make the most of their limited resources in this context.

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