Understanding Adoption of Internet Technologies Among SMEs
AbstractThe Internet has been viewed as a powerful tool enabling small firms to "level the playing field" when competing with larger firms. Yet, the benefits of e-business are accruing to larger, rather than smaller, firms. While numerous studies have been conducted in other countries to examine the use of the Internet by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), similar studies focused on U.S. small firms have not yet emerged. Using the Commission of the European Communities' stringent definition of SMEs, this paper identifies significantly different patterns in e-business usage among 395 micro, small, and medium-sized firms. While using the Internet to find information and to enhance the company/image brand is important for all firms, the smallest of firms attach greater importance to using the Internet for research purposes and lesser for communication reasons (i.e., e-mail). This pattern is reversed for larger (i.e., small and medium sized) firms.
Alva, M. (1999). The net imperative: small biz owners that e-commerce brings crises along with customers. Grain's New York Business, (September 13)27.
Auger, P. (2003). An empirical investigation of the Miles and Snow typology for small online businesses. Internationa/ Journal of internet and Enterprise Management, 7(3), 245-264.
Auger, P., BarNir, A., & Gallaugher, J.M. (2003). Strategic orientation, competition, and Internet-based electronic commerce. Information Technology? and Management, 4(2-3), 139-164.
Auger, P. & Gallaugher, J.M. (1997). Factors affecting the adoption of an Internet-based sales presence for small businesses. The Information Society, 13, 55-74.
Bahaee, M.S. (1992). Strategycomprehensiveness fit and performance. Australian Journal of Management, 77(2), 195-216.
Bajwa, O.S. & Lewis, L.F. (2003). Does size matter? An investigation of collaborative information technology adoption by U.S. firms. JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 5(1), 29-46.
Burke, R.R. (2002, Fall). Technology and the customer interface: what consumers want in the physical and virtual store. Academy of Marketing Science Journal 30(4), 411-432.
Burpitt, WJ. & Rondinelli, D.A. (2000, October). Small firms' motivations for exporting: to earn and learn? Journal of Small Business Management, 38(4), 1-14.
Chaffey, D., Mayef, E., Johnson, K., & EllisChadwick, F. (2000). Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. London, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Chaston, I. & Mangles, T. (2003). Relationship marketing in online business-to-business markets: a pilot investigation of small UK manufacturing firms. European Journal of Marketing, 37(5/6), 753-773.
Chaston, I. & Mangles, T. (2001, October). E-commerce and small U.K. accounting firms: influence of marketing style and orientation. The Services Industries Journal, 21(4), 83-99.
Cunningham, G.B. (2002). Examining the relationship among Miles and Snow's strategic types and measures of organizational effectiveness in NCAA division I athletic departments. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 37(2), 159-175.
Daniel, E., Wilson, H., & Myers, A. (2002, August). Adoption of e-commerce by SMEs in the UK. International Small Business Journal, 20(3), 253-268.
Davis, F.D. (1989). Perceived usefullness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MS Quarterly, 13, 319340.
Davis, F.D., Bagozzi, R.P., & Warshaw, P.R. (1992). Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to use computers in the workplace. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(B), 1111-1132.
Downie, G. (2003, July). Internet marketing and SMEs. Management Services, 47(1), 8-11.
Drew, S. (2003). Strategic uses of ecommerce by SMEs in the east of England. European Management Journal, 21(1), 79-88.
DTI. (2000). International Bench Marking Survey for ICT Use. UK Department of Trade and Industry. Available: http://www.ukonline.gov.uk.
Entrialgo, M., Fernández, E. & Vâsquez, C.J. (2001). The effect of the organizational context on SME's entrepreneurship: Some Spanish evidence. Small Business Economics, 16(3), 223-236.
Egan, T., Clancy, S., & O'Toole, T. (2003). The integration of e-commerce tools into the business processes of SMEs. Irish Journal of Management, 24(1), 139-153.
Feindt, S., Jeffcoate, J., & Chappell, C. (2002, August). Identifying success factors for rapid growth in SME ecommerce. Small Business Economics, /9(1), 51-62.
Forfás/National Competitiveness Council. (2000, July). Statement on Telecommunications, e-Business and the Information Society. Available at: http://www.forfas.ie/ncc/reports/ncc _telecomm/index.html.
Freel, M.S. (2000). Do small innovating firms outperform non-innovators? Small Business Economics, 14(3), 195-210.
Gagnon, Y.C., Sicotte, H., & Posada, E. (2000, Winter). Impact of SME manager's behavior on adoption of technology. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 25(2), 43-55.
Geiger, S. & Martin, S. (1999). The Internet as a relationship marketing tool some evidence from Irish companies. Irish Marketing Review, 12(2), 24-36.
Giustiniano, L. & Fratocchi, L. (2002). The virtual internationalisation process of Italian SMEs in the food industry. International Journal of Business Performance Management, 4(2-4). 231-247.
Goode, S. & Stevens, K. (2000). An analysis of the business characteristics of adopters and non-adopters of World Wide Web technology. Information Technology and Management, 7(1-2), 129-154.
Griffith, D. A. & Krampf, R.F. (1998, Summer). An examination of the web-based strategies of the top 100 U.S. retailers. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 6(3), 12-23.
Hamill, J. & Gregory, K. (1997). Internet marketing in the internationalization of UK SMEs. Journal of Marketing Management, 13, 9-28.
Hart, K., Doherty, N., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2000). Retailer adoption of the Internet. European Journal of Marketing, 34(8), 954-974.
Hatten, KJ., James, W.L. & Meyer, D.G. (2004). The longevity of the performance effects of the Miles and Snow strategic archetypes: A ten-year perspective in US banking. International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 5(2/3), 196-215.
Hauser, J.R. & Simmie, P. (1981, January). Profit maximizing perceptual positions: an integrated theory for the selection of product features and price. Management Science, 27(1), 33-56.
Haynes, P.J., Becherer, R.C., & Helms, M.M. (1998). Small and mid-sized businesses and Internet use: unrealized potential? Internet Research, 8(3), 229-235.
Jeffcoate, J., Chappell, C., & Feindt, S. (2002). Best practice in SME adoption of e-commerce. Benchmarking, 9(2), 122-132.
Karagozoglu, N. & Lindell, M. (2004). Electronic commerce strategy, operations, and performance in small and medium-sized enterprises, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 11(3), 290-301.
Keil, M., Beranek, P.M., & Konsynski, B.R. (1995). Usefulness and ease of use: field study evidence regarding task considerations. Decision Support Systems, 73,75-91.
Kolesar, M.B. & Galbraith, R.W. (2000). A services-marketing perspective on e-retailing: implications for eretailers and directions for further research. Internet Research, 10(5), 424-438.
Kula, V. & Tatoglu, E. (2003). An exploratory study of Internet adoption by SMEs in an emerging economy. European Business Review, 75(5), 324-333.
Lanz, J. (2002, April). Worst information technology practices in small to mid-size organizations. The CPA Journal, 72(4), 71-74.
Lee, C-S. (2001). An analytical framework for evaluating e-business models and strategies. Internet Research, 77(4), 349-360.
Lertwongsatien, C. & Wongpinunwatana, N. (2003). E-commerce adoption in Thailand: an empirical study of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 6(3), 67-83.
Levenburg, N.M. & Dandridge, T.C. (2000). High lech, potential?: an exploratory study of small firms and usage of the Internet. International Small Business Journal, 75(2), 81-91.
Martin, L.M. and Matlay, H. (2001). "Blanket" approaches to promoting ICT in small firms: Some lessons from the DTI ladder adoption model in the UK. Internet Research, 77(5), 399-410.
MassMutual Financial Group & The Raymond Institute. (2003). American Family Business Survey. Available at: http://www.usasbe.org/pdf/ AFBSresults.pdf
McCann, III, J.E., Leon-Guerrero, A.Y., & Haley, Jr., J.D. (2001). Strategic goals and practices of innovative family businesses. Journal of Small Business Management, 39(1), 50-59.
Mehrtens, J., Cragg, P.B., & Mills, A.M. (2001). A model of Internet adoption by SMEs. Information and Management, 39(3), 165-176.
Miles, R.E. & Snow, C.C. (1978). Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process. New York: McGrawHill.
More, R. (1992). Managing new technology adoption. Business Quarterly, 56(4), 69.
Olivia, R. A. (1997). Harnessing an unpredictable tool. Marketing Management, 6(1), 34-36.
Piccoli, G., Spalding, B.R., & Ives, B. (2001, June). The customer-service life cycle: a framework for improving customer service through information technology. Cornell hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 42(3), 38-45.
Pollard, C. (2003). E-service adoption and use in small farms in Australia: lessons learned from a governmentsponsored programme. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 6(2), 45-63.
Poon, S. (2000). Business environment and Internet commerce benefits - a small business perspective. European Journal of Information Systems, 9,12-81.
Poon, S. & Swatman, P.M. (1997). Small business use of the Internet: findings from Australian case studies. Internationa/ Marketing Review, 14(5), 385-402.
Pratt, J.H. (2002, October). ?-biz: Strategies for small business success. U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy. Available at: http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/ rs220tot.pdf
Rao, S.S., Metis, G., & Monge, C.A.M. (2003). Electronic commerce development in small and medium sized enterprises: a stage model and its implications. Business Process Management Journal, 9(1), 11-32.
Raymond, L. (2001). Determinants of web site implementation in small businesses. Internet Research, 11 (5), 411-422.
Raymond, L. & Blili, S. (1997). Adopting EDI in a network organization: the case of subcontracting SMEs. European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 3(3), 29-45.
Rayport, J.F. & Sviokla, JJ. (1995). Exploring the virtual value chain. Harvard Business Review, 73(6), 75-85.
Riquelme, H. (2002). Commercial Internet adoption in China: comparing the experience of small, medium and large businesses. Internet Research, 72(3), 276-286.
Rogers, E.M. (1962). Diffusion of Innovations. New York: The Free Press.
Sadowski, B.M., Maitland, C., & van Dongen, J. (2002). Strategic use of the Internet by small- and mediumsized companies: an exploratory study. Information Economics and Policy, 14(1), 75-93.
Sarosa, S. & Zowghi, D. (2003, December). Strategy for adopting information technology for SMEs: experience in adopting e-mail within an Indonesian furniture company. Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, 6(2), Available at: http://ejise.com/volume6-issue2/issue2artl8.htm.
Scupola, A. (2003). The adoption of Internet commerce by SMEs in the south of Italy: an environmental, technological and organizational perspective. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 6(1), 52-71.
Siu, W-S. (2002, February). Marketing activities and performance: a comparison of the Internet-based and traditional small firms in Taiwan. Industrial Marketing Management, 31(2), 177-188.
Thong, J.Y.L. (1999. Spring). An integrated model of information systems adoption in small businesses. Journal of Management Information Systems, 75(4), 187-214.
Tornatsky, L.G. & Fleischer, M. (1990). The Process of Technological Innovation. Lexington Books.
Upton, N., Teal, EJ. & Felan, J.T. (2001) Strategic and business planning practices of fast growth family firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 39(1), 60-72.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2002). 2002 Economic Census: Summon' Statistics by 2002 NAICS United States. Available at: http://www.census.gov/econ/census 02/data/us/US000.HTM
Utomo, H. & Dodgson, M. (2001). Contributing factors to the diffusion of IT within small and medium-sized firms in Indonesia. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 4(2), 22-37.
Venkatesh, V. & Brown, S.A. (2001). A longitudinal investigation of personal computers in homes: adoption determinants and emerging challenges. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 71-103.
Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F.D. (1994). Modeling the determinants of perceived ease of use. Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Information Systems, J.I. DeGross, S.L. Huff, and M.C. Munro (eds.), Vancouver, British Columbia, 213-227.
Venkatraman, N. (1994, Winter). IT-enabled business transformation: from automation to business scope redefinition. MIT Sloan Management Review, 35(2), 73-87.
Walczuch, R., van Braven, G., & Lundgren, H. (2000, October). Internet adoption barriers for small firms in the Netherlands. European Management Journal, 18(5), 561-572.
Walsh, J. & Godfrey, S. (2000, February). The Internet: a new era in customer service. European Management Journal, 75(1), 85-92.
Zhu, K., Kraemer, K.L., & Xu, S. (2002, December). A cross-country study of electronic business adoption using the technology-organizationenvironment framework. Proceedings, Twenty-Third International Conference on Information Systems, 337-348.
Zimmerer, T. W. & Scarborough, N.M. (2003). Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business^Management, 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.