Determinants of Business-to-Business (B2B) Website Use by a Buyer-Supplier Dyad: Case of an Automotive Component Manufacturing Co.

Determinants of Business-to-Business (B2B) Website Use by a Buyer-Supplier Dyad: Case of an Automotive Component Manufacturing Co.

Merlin Nandy (IBM India Private Ltd., Bhubaneswar, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2018040101


This article is based on one of the manufacturers of automotive components in India referred to as Avanti Enterprises (AvE). It describes the implementation of a Business-to-Business (B2B) website by AvE for its suppliers and highlights the factors that led to use of this website, by one particular supplier. As an example, this supplier is referred to as Bhusan Industries (BHI). The case is based on a dyad of primary organization (AvE) and the user organization (BHI) to discuss the level of use of a B2B website by the dyad and describes the factors related to the primary hosting organization and the user organization that determines use. The article aims to: understand why a website is used; to describe the website features and how they are used; describe the primary organization characteristics; how and why those characteristics influence the website use; to describe the user organization characteristics; and how and why they influence the website use. Sources of data include company documentation, interviews, industry databases, secondary case studies relevant to the framework and company websites.
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In today’s business environment, with organizations increasingly becoming multi-national in nature, it is inevitable that they build strong and reliable information technology (IT) infrastructure in an attempt to support their interactions with other global firms. The increasing complexity of operations in organizations and an increasing environmental uncertainty are leading to a greater degree of ambiguity and a lack of clarity of objectives in organizations. This amounts to more information being generated and processed within the organization as well as being exchanged with other organizations, which effectively increases the information intensity of the organization and the inter-organizational processes. Business-to-Business (B2B) electronic business (e-business) applications facilitate such inter-organization information sharing. Greater information intensity of organizational processes demands greater sophistication of information technology tools which are capable of processing such huge loads of information and help reach out to entities that need this information. However, setting up of the required IT infrastructure has not always resulted in success. The failure of many such IT initiatives has been primarily due to an inadequate understanding of the overall scenario of IT deployment in organizations at three levels – adoption, use and strategic benefits. Organizations fail to enhance benefits from IT due to a lack of understanding of IT itself and its potential to deliver strategic benefits, a lack of strategic planning for IT applications, and a lack of effective management of IT applications and environments (Gebauer and Shaw, 2002). This is further heightened by the lack of knowledge of the existing gaps between potential use and planned use, and between planned use and the actual use. The Internet has huge potential for businesses if adopted and implemented in an appropriate manner. The success of any e-business initiative depends on the successful implementation and the actual use of the web applications with a website as the front end.

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