Understanding the Use of Business-to-Employee (B2E) Portals in an Australian University through the Employee Lens: A Quantitative Approach

Understanding the Use of Business-to-Employee (B2E) Portals in an Australian University through the Employee Lens: A Quantitative Approach

Md Mahbubur Rahim (Monash University, Australia), Mohammad Quaddus (Curtin University, Australia) and Mohini Singh (RMIT University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch058
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

The focus of the existing body of e-business literature is primarily directed at Business-to-Consumers (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) forms of e-business. In contrast, Business-to-Employee (B2E) is relatively less highlighted in the scholarly literature. Despite the lack of attention given to B2E systems, it represents an emerging area which has the potential to have a major impact on organisations. In general, B2E systems use intra-business networks allowing organisations to provide useful services, information, or products to their disperse employees (Turban et al., 2008). By providing easy access to relevant information, services, and products, B2E systems help in creating satisfied workforce that is expected to be more loyal to organisations (Dube, 2005). These systems also help organisations in reducing their administrative costs by streamlining employee related process (Singh, 2005) and eliminating expenses related to paperwork, postage, printing and travel (Killen Associates Report, 2001). Adoption of B2E e-business systems can even assist organisations in outperforming competitors by connecting their employees together (Hansen and Deimler, 2001).
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

The focus of the existing body of e-business literature is primarily directed at Business-to-Consumers (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) forms of e-business. In contrast, Business-to-Employee (B2E) is relatively less highlighted in the scholarly literature. Despite the lack of attention given to B2E systems, it represents an emerging area which has the potential to have a major impact on organisations. In general, B2E systems use intra-business networks allowing organisations to provide useful services, information, or products to their disperse employees (Turban et al., 2008). By providing easy access to relevant information, services, and products, B2E systems help in creating satisfied workforce that is expected to be more loyal to organisations (Dube, 2005). These systems also help organisations in reducing their administrative costs by streamlining employee related process (Singh, 2005) and eliminating expenses related to paperwork, postage, printing and travel (Killen Associates Report, 2001). Adoption of B2E e-business systems can even assist organisations in outperforming competitors by connecting their employees together (Hansen and Deimler, 2001).

Recognising the above mentioned benefits, an increase in the demand for various types of B2E e-business solutions is noted by several industry reports (Killen Associates Report, 2006; Merrill Lynch Capital Markets cited in Brooks, 2004; and Banks, 2004). Regrettably, despite a growing demand for implementing B2E solutions, their usage in organisational settings has not been critically analysed and reported in the current scholarly literature. We argue that evaluation of the use of B2E solutions by employees represents a key research concern because the benefits arising from the introduction of such solutions are unlikely to be realised when they are not satisfactorily diffused among employee community. Therefore, managers need to be aware of the factors that may potentially affect the use of B2E e-business systems in their organisations. Against this background, we report the experience of a large Australian university in introducing an employee portal (a popular form of B2E e-business system) by analysing the perceptions of a segment of university staff about the influences of popularly discussed factors on their portal usage behaviour. Our findings provide interesting interpretations of the influence of several factors on the low usage of portal by employees. More specifically, we find that portal usefulness is a complex construct that fundamentally consists of two dominant dimensions (i.e. perceived collaboration usefulness and perceived information communication usefulness) – both of which are in turn influenced by management support. The discovery of these dimensions represents a major contribution of our work.

Our paper is organised as follows. First, we review various streams of literature related to B2E and similar other systems. Next, building on literature review and our prior research in this area, we identify a range of factors that may potentially affect use of B2E systems by employees. Then, our research approach is described. Next, background of the participating university is described. Then, the survey findings are presented and discussed in light of the existing e-business and IS/IT implementation literature. Finally, our contributions are highlighted and future directions of our research are indicated.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Usage Factors: They represent the conditions that influence the use of an IT application. These conditions can be related to technology (e.g. ease of use, complexity) and organisation (e.g. top management support).

Portal: It is defined as a web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services (e.g. e-mails, search engines, online shopping malls) to individuals. The first web portals were online services, such as AOL, that provided access to the Web.

Business-to-Employee (B2E): It represents an employee centric e-business initiative. Typical examples include various types of innovative web-based B2E products including employee portals, e-HR systems and ESS.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset