The electronic business landscape is confusing for many new entrants, and many of them face the paradox that hesitation would run the risk of being left behind, but rushing in and making an incorrect choice regarding e-business initiatives could have dire consequences for organisations (Wise & Morrison, 2000). E-business poses significant challenges for organisations as it affects both how organisations relate to external parties, and how they operate internally in managing activities, processes, and systems (Rayport & Jaworski, 2001). Porter (2001) argues that the companies that succeed with e-business will be those that use the Internet in conjunction with their traditional business models and activities. Osterwalder, Ben Lagha, and Pigneur (2002) and Osterwalder, Pigneur, and Tucci (2005) argue that “after an initial phase of euphoria and the following disillusionment” (in relation to e-business) it is important to understand fully how business models function. Linder and Cantrell (2000) argue that existing frameworks are not sufficient to describe the rich array of business model choices facing managers in e-business environments. In particular, decisionmakers have a difficult task in assessing the range of proposed models in order to determine those that are most suitable. The objective of this research is to develop a ‘prerequisites framework’ for assisting decision-makers assess the suitability of e-business models during the intelligence phase of the decision-making process. Following this introduction, the business model concept is discussed and the range of models proposed by researchers explored. The issue of deciding on appropriate business models is then outlined. This is followed by an explanation of the theoretical grounding for the proposed framework, and a discussion of its operationalisation as a series of Likert scales. The research concludes with thoughts on refining and testing the framework.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Supply-Chain Integration: The degree to which the business functions and processes of an organisation are integrated with those of their supply-chain partners.
E-Business Model: An architecture for product, service, and information flows, incorporating a description of the sources of revenue, the actors involved, their roles, and the benefits to them.
Organisational Prerequisites: Necessary elements existing within the organization which are examinable by the organisation, before commencement of an implementation project.
Economic Control: Economic control refers to the degree to which a market is hierarchical or self-organising.
Functional Integration: The degree to which multiple functions are integrated together within particular business models.