Small Business E-Commerce Adoption througha Qualitative Lens: Theory and Observations

  • Evan H. Offstein Frostburg State University
  • J. Stephen Childers, Jr. Radford University

Abstract

Using approaches consistent with the qualitative research tradition, the authors attempt to understand the motivation behind small business adoption and exploitation of e-commerce. A theoretically grounded model of e-commerce deployment by small businesses owners is presented, which can best be explained by two theoretical lines: an economic evolutionary perspective and a sociological institutional perspective. Further, our findings suggest a tie between owner characteristics, dispositions, traits, and the level of e-commerce integration achieved. We contend that understanding the drivers of e-commerce adoption, policy makers and other help agencies can tailor programs to assist firms with integrating and exploiting e-commerce in a cost effective manner.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Amit, R., & Schoemaker, P.J.H. (1993). Strategic assets and organizational rent. Strategic Management Journal, 14: 33-46.

Anderson, C. (2004). The long tail. Wired Magazine, 12(10): 170-177.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.

Beverland, M. (2001). Contextual influences and the adoption and practice of relationship selling in a business-tobusiness setting: An exploratory study. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 21(3): 207-215.

Brockhaus, R.H. (1994). Entrepreneurship and family business research: Comparisons, critique, and lessons. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 19(1): 25-38.

Brynjolfsson, E., Hu, Y., & Smith, M.D. (2006). From niches to riches: Anatomy of the Long Tail. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(4): 67-71.

Chell, E., Haworth, J.M., & Brearley, S. (1991). The Entrepreneurial Personality: Concepts, Cases, and Categories. London: Routledge.

Chowdhury, S.D. & Lang, J.R. (1996). The decline of small firms: A preliminary investigation into the concepts of complacency. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 13(4): 321- 331.

Churchill, N.C. & Lewis, V.L. (1986). Entrepreneurship research: Directions and methods. In: Sexton, D.L. and R.L. Smilor (Eds), The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 333-365.

Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cronbach, L.J. (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 30(2): 116- 127.

Dacin, M.T. (1997). Isomorphism in context: The power and prescription of institutional norms. Academy of Management Journal, 40(1): 46-81.

DiMaggio, P.J. & Powell, W.W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 35: 147-160.

Douglas, J.D. (1985). Creative interviewing. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.

Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 532-550.

Gandhi, S. (2006). Jupiter Research. Market profile: Understanding online small businesses. Retrieved 1 Dec. 2006 .

Gephart, R.P. (2004). Qualitative research and the academy of management journal. Academy of Management Journal, 47(4): 454-462.

Glaser, B.G. & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Chicago: Aldine.

Holt, R.T. & Turner, J.E. (1970). The Methodology of Comparative Research. In: R.T. Holt and J.E. Turner (Eds), The Methodology of Comparative Research. New York: Free Press.

Johnson, T.G. (2001). The rural economy in a new century. International Regional Science Review, 24(1): 21-37.

Kalleberg, A.L. & Leicht, K.T. (1991). Gender and organizational performance: Determinants of small business survival and success. Academy of Management Review, 34: 136-161.

Kennedy, M.M. (1979). Generalizing from single case studies. Evaluation Review, 3(4): 661-678.

Kroepsch, A. (2008). 2007 legislative summary: Technology & communications: Broadband Internet access extension. Congressional Quarterly, 57.

Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Kogut, B. & Zander, U. (1992). Knowledge of the firm, combinative capabilities, and the replication of technology. Organization Science, 3(3): 383-397.

Lee, T. (2001). From the editors. Academy of Management Journal, 44(20): 215- 216.

Leonard-Barton, D. (1992). Core capabilities and core rigidities - A paradox in managing new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 13: 111-125.

Lincoln, Y.S. & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Lohr, S. (2006). New York Times site. Web services upend old ideas about the little guy's role. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2008 .

Mahoney, M.J. (1991). Human Change Processes: The Scientific Foundations of Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

Merriam, S.B. (1995). Theory to practice: What can you tell from an N of 1? Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. PACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, 4: 51-60.

Merriam, S.B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.

Meyer, J.W. & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83: 340-363.

Mitchell, R.K., Busenitz, L.W., Bird, B., Gaglio, C.M., McMullen, J.S., Morse, E.A., & Smith, J. B. (2007). The central question in entrepreneurial cognition research 2007. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(1): 1-27.

NFIB. (2005a). The ABCs of e-commerce. National Federation of Independent Businesses site. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2008 .

NFIB. (2005b). NFIB national small business poll: Innovation. National Federation of Independent Businesses site. Retrieved 1 Dec. 2006 .

Nelson, R.R. & Winter, S.G. (1982). An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Ossinger, J.L. (2006). Small business (A special report); Numbers on the net: New online tools help businesses keep track of their finances. 13 Nov. 2006. Wall Street Journal, R.8.

Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation Methods (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Pociask, S.B. (2005). Broadband use by rural small businesses. US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy site. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2008 .

Popper, K.R. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson Press.

Porter, M. (1980). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press.

Pratt, J.H. (2002). E-Biz: Strategies for small business success. US Small Business Administration- Office of Advocacy site. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2008 .

Seidman. I. (1998). Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and Social Sciences. Columbia, New York: Teachers College Press.

Shane, S. & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1): 217-226.

Small Business Administration. (2006). Frequently asked questions. US Small Business Administration: Office of Advocacy site. Retrieved 1 Dec. 2006 .

Spradley, J.P. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. London: Sage Publications.

Teece, D.J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7): 509-533.

Weick, K.E. (1995). What theory is not, theorizing is. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(3): 385-390.

Wiklund, J., Davidsson, P., & Delmar, F. (2006). What do they think and feel about growth? An expectancy-value approach to small business managers' attitudes toward growth. In: P. Davidsson, F. Delmar, and J. Wiklund (Eds), Entrepreneurship and the Growth of Firms. Northampton, MA: Elgar.

Zahra, S., & G.G. Dess (2001). Entrepreneurship as a field of research: Encouraging dialogue and debate. Academy of Management Review, 26(1): 8-10.
Published
2008-01-21
How to Cite
OFFSTEIN, Evan H.; CHILDERS, JR., J. Stephen. Small Business E-Commerce Adoption througha Qualitative Lens: Theory and Observations. Journal of Small Business Strategy, [S.l.], v. 19, n. 1, p. 35-54, jan. 2008. ISSN 2380-1751. Available at: <https://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/jsbs/article/view/102>. Date accessed: 18 apr. 2019.
Section
Articles