A qualitative investigation of smaller firm e-business development

Fillis, Ian and Johansson, Ulf and Wagner, Beverly (2004) A qualitative investigation of smaller firm e-business development. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 11 (3). pp. 349-361. ISSN 1462-6004

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A previous paper by the authors drew on existing research on e‐business and the smaller firm, developed a conceptual model and a set of research propositions. This paper analyses a series of qualitative, in‐depth interviews of owner/managers of smaller firms in central Scotland in order to test the research propositions. Results indicate that industry and sectoral factors play an important role in the level of e‐business development achieved. In many cases the customer determines the need for e‐business adoption, rather than any internally planned programme of adoption. Other important factors include the degree of entrepreneurial orientation of the key decision maker and the ability to exploit appropriate competencies. Recommendations for encouragement of e‐business development are made and suggestions for future research are included.