Role of Small-Business Strategic Alliances in the Perception of Benefits and Disadvantages of E-Commerce Adoption in SMEs

Role of Small-Business Strategic Alliances in the Perception of Benefits and Disadvantages of E-Commerce Adoption in SMEs

Robert MacGregor (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Lejla Vrazalic (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-819-2.ch001
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Abstract

Despite the proclaimed advantages of small-business strategic alliances, little research has been carried out to determine whether these structures promote the benefits and/or “cushion” the disadvantages arising from e-commerce adoption for member businesses. There has also been a lack of research into comparing e-commerce use in those small businesses that are members of a strategic alliance to those that have opted to remain outside such arrangements. This chapter aims to correct the situation by presenting the findings of a study of 176 regional small businesses in Sweden that investigated the impact of strategic-alliance membership on the benefits and disadvantages associated with e-commerce adoption. The results of the study indicate that there are no significant differences between strategic-alliance members and nonmembers where benefits of e-commerce are concerned. In contrast, e-commerce disadvantages are often dissipated through a strategic-alliance structure more easily than through a single self-directed unit. The study also shows that correlations between e-commerce benefits exist and that the benefits can be grouped according to three distinct factors: costs, efficiency, and sales or inventory.

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