SMEs e-business behaviour: a demographics and strategic analysis

Ilias Vlachos

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to understand the strategic uses of e-business systems and technologies by classifying companies and particularly small and medium businesses according to demographics as well as e-business behavior variables.The study was based on data from a large quantitative survey of European E-business W@tch for the period 2007 using questionnaire interviews (N=409). We employed two-step cluster analysis, multinomial logistic regression and stepwise descriminant analysis as the most appropriate methods for our analysis. The findings revealed six clusters associated to e-business adoption. The six groups differ in terms of demographic characteristics as well as e-business applications they use. We found that the following clusters exist: (a) Leaders: large companies that extensively use ebusiness in a strategic manner (b) innovators: use e-business in an way that allows them to innovate and differentiate from other companies (c Beginners: small and medium companies across all sectors that only recently start to use e-business (d) Unready Adopters: micro and small companies that lag behind (e) Late Adopters: small-size companies but larger that the Unready Adopters, that appear not to be interest in the advances of ICTs and (f) Laggards: micro companies with little use of e-business.The results of our survey can positively contribute to managers aiming to take advantage of technological advances in electronic business as well as to any researcher who study e-business management and applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalJournal of Enterprise Resource Planning Studies
Issue number2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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