A Framework for Electronic Commerce Research in Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises

A Framework for Electronic Commerce Research in Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises

Nabeel A.Y. Al-Qirim (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-146-9.ch001
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Abstract

It is believed that the recent emergence of electronic commerce (e-commerce) in the early ’90s could provide different opportunities to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in overcoming part of their technological, environmental, organizational, and managerial inadequacies. However, recent research portrays a gloomy picture about e-commerce uptake and use in SMEs. Therefore, the implication here is twofold. Initially, there is a need to generate more e-commerce research that could penetrate much deeper into main impending issues pertaining to the SMEs in their potential uptake and use of e-commerce. On the other hand, e-commerce is characterized of being embryonic but growing very fast and fragmented across the different disciplines, which makes the task of capturing its different perspectives a very complex one. The preceding two implications represent the greatest challenge for researchers and professionals interested in undertaking e-commerce research in SMEs. In line with the above implications, the first objective of this research aims at capturing the different e-commerce perspectives from the SMEs’ point of view, and the second objective aims at capturing the e-commerce perspective from the theoretical and the methodological point of view. Addressing the preceding implications in this research could shed some light into some of the gray areas in the e-commerce research in SMEs.

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