E-Commerce and SMEs: A Reflection and the Way Ahead

E-Commerce and SMEs: A Reflection and the Way Ahead

Simpson Poon (Charles Sturt University, Australia) and Xueli (Charlie) Huang (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-146-9.ch002
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Since the middle of the 1990s when e-commerce1 promised to transform the way business is done, curiosity about what impact it has on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was raised. Throughout the 1990s till this chapter was written, academia, industry, and governments around the world have carried out much research in this area. The efforts range from studying adoption of e-commerce to understanding what contributed to the success of e-commerce. Some focused on the technical issues while other looked at organizational and management concerns. Despite this wealth of added knowledge, there is only a fragmented understanding of how SMEs have benefited from e-commerce. In this chapter, we attempt to provide a reflection, based on the research published, on how SMEs have fared in the era of e-commerce. We conclude that further consolidation of the understanding will be developed by systematically refining research so far carried out.

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