Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8708-0.ch011


The management of a small business requires many processes which promote a smooth and efficient operation. Internally, these processes relate to inventory, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. Externally, there are processes which support the small business interaction with customers and suppliers. As a small business matures so should the management processes. Sophisticated technology, such as the Internet, will add further benefits to applying e-business to the management processes. This chapter discusses the benefits of this application.
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Electronic Business

Van Hooft & Stegwee (2001) define E-business as follows:

“A secure, flexible and integrated approach to delivering differentiated business value by combining the systems and processes that run core business operations with the simplicity and reach made possible by Internet technology.” (Van Hooft & Stegwee, 2001, p. 44)

Schlenkar and Crocker (2003) investigated how the Internet could contribute to increased value for small business. Good use of technology will support current operations of the small business and contribute to its long-term success (Schlenkar & Crocker, 2003). They defined the following terms:

  • Information Technology: “…the use of management and processing of information, traditionally within the confines of a company or institution.” (Schlenkar & Crocker, 2003, p. 9)

  • Internet Technology: “…the use of both public and private telecommunications networks to extend and interconnect information technologies inside the organization and out.” (Schlenkar & Crocker, 2003, p. 10)

  • E-business: “…the use of Internet technologies to produce business value. (Schlenkar & Crocker, 2003, p. 10)

A closer look at these definitions shows that E-business encompasses both of the other terms. Thus, overall E-business relates to how employees can improve business processes and provide information to meet customer needs (Schlenkar & Crocker, 2003).

Another definition of E-business suggests it involves business transactions or exchanges of information which employs the Internet (Moodley, 2003). The available information is more timely and accurate. This facilitates internal decision-making and external relationships with business partners and customers (Zhuang & Lederer, 2003). E-business positively affects management processes within the business and with other partner businesses (Ash & Burn, 2003). Adoption of E-business, considered valuable technological innovation, contributes to small business competitive advantage (Martin & Matlay, 2003).

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