The transition to e-commerce: a case study of a rural-based travel agency

Department of Management, Southern Illinois University, 62901, Carbondale, IL
Journal of Internet Commerce 01/2003; 2. DOI: 10.1300/J179v02n01_05


When the Internet started to establish itself in the corpo-rate world, some observers foresaw a diminishing role for, if not the end to, many intermediary functions. Consequently it has been argued that suppliers will need to use the Internet and related technologies to cut costs and establish closer links with consumers by bypassing organiza-tions that currently play an intermediary role in the traditional transac-tion system. The objective of this case study is to enhance the understanding of the process of transition from a traditional business model to an e-commerce model. It focuses on a very small business that has successfully navigated the transition to e-commerce. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH.

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    • "Examples of the dimensions on which owner-managers can differ (and which might impact on blog adoption decisions and use) include: • Their age and educational level (Burke, 2005; Ching & Ellis, 2004; Fillis et al., 2004; Martin & Matlay, 2001), which suggests that younger owner-managers and/or those more highly educated might be more likely to know about and consider blogs in their business. • Their attitude toward eBusiness (Al-Qirim, 2005; Alexander et al., 2003; de Guinea et al., 2005; Del Aguila-Obra & Padilla-Meléndez, 2006; Tsao et al., 2004) shaped by their knowledge of and experience with eBusiness (Al-Qirim, 2005; Del Aguila-Obra & Padilla- Meléndez, 2006; Dholakia & Kshetri, 2004; Wymer & Regan, 2005), which suggests that eBusiness savvy owner-managers might be more likely to use blogs and/or have a positive attitude toward them. • Their degree of entrepreneurship, market (Ching & Ellis, 2004; Galloway & Mochrie, 2005; Jones et al., 2003; Simmons et al., 2008) and/or export orientation (Chong, 2006; Wagner et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Blogs appear to be gaining momentum as a marketing tool which can be used by organisations for such strategies and processes as branding, managing reputation, developing customer trust and loyalty, niche marketing, gathering marketing intelligence and promoting their online presence. There has been limited academic research in this area, and most significantly concerning the types of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for which blogs might have potential as a marketing tool. In an attempt to address the knowledge gap, this paper presents a future research agenda (in the form of research questions) which can guide the eBusiness research community in conducting much needed studies in this area. This paper is particularly novel in that it aims to demonstrate how the heterogeneity of SMEs and their specific business uses of eBusiness technology such as blogs can form the central plank of a future research agenda. This is important because the existing eBusiness literature tends to treat eBusiness collectively rather than focusing on the specific business uses of different eBusiness technologies, and to treat SMEs as a homogeneous group. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this research agenda can form the basis of studies which use a range of different research methods, and how this "big picture" agenda approach might help the eBusiness research community build theory which better explains SME adoption and use of eBusiness.
    Australasian Journal of Information Systems 11/2009; 16(1). DOI:10.3127/ajis.v16i1.561 · 0.04 Impact Factor
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    • "Exploring the complex interrelationships between business strategy, eBusiness strategy and firm performance (Karagozoglu & Lindell 2004; Locke 2004; Ray & Ray 2006; Rivard et al. 2006; Tse & Soufani 2003) (in some cases proposing models or reporting on the evolution of how eBusiness strategies are formed in SMEs (Alexander et al. 2003; Ashworth et al. 2006; Jones et al. 2003a; Kartiwi 2006; Paper et al. 2003; Tucker & Lafferty 2004), or a subset of adoption factors and their impact on how (if at all) eBusiness is used strategically by SMEs (Levy & Powell 2003; Martin & Matlay 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research which consolidates the growing body of academic literature on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and electronic business (eBusiness) has taken the form of meta-analyses which focus on analysing adoption factors, pre-2000 articles and a small number of journals. This paper makes a valuable contribution to the analysis of SME-eBusiness research by addressing the limitations of past literature analyses because it presents an extensive literature review of 120 SME-eBusiness journal articles published between 2003 and 2006 in 53 journals. This paper is unique, when compared to meta-analyses of adoption factors, because it analyses the SME-eBusiness literature broadly on the basis of the data collection approaches used, countries and eBusiness technologies studied, and the primary research objective of each article. This approach to the analysis revealed a number of limitations in the existing research such as the tendency: to treat SMEs and eBusiness applications homogeneously rather than as highly diverse, complex entities; to repeat adoption factor studies which have now reached saturation point; and to focus on SMEs themselves without considering the complexity of relationships which many SMEs have with family, friends, other businesses and eBusiness solution providers. These limitations highlight the need for new research directions which move beyond identifying and evaluating adoption factors. The paper concludes by outlining a number of broad research directions which might help overcome the limitations with the existing body of SME-eBusiness research.
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    • "Small firm owners are also diverse in regard to their perceptions of eBusiness and technology generally, as is commonly recognised in the literature. These perceptions are influenced by such owner qualities as: support level given to projects or top management support (Alexander, Pearson & Crosby 2003; Al-Qirim 2005; de Guinea, Kelley & Hunter 2005; Del Aguila-Obra & Padilla-Meléndez 2006; Tsao, Lin & Lin 2004); attitude toward technology generally (Al-Qirim 2005; Caldeira & Ward 2003; Del Aguila-Obra & Padilla-Meléndez 2006; Fillis, Johansson & Wagner 2003); knowledge of and (past) experience with eBusiness and other related technologies (Al-Qirim 2005; Del Aguila-Obra & Padilla-Meléndez 2006; Dholakia & Kshetri 2004; Wymer & Regan 2005); and trust or confidence in eBusiness (Wymer & Regan 2005). These qualities will influence an owner's tendency to view eBusiness applications as solutions to their problems (assuming they believe they have any) and goals. "
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    ABSTRACT: eBusiness research typically questions why small firms do not adopt these powerful technologies and suggests explanatory factors for these perceived shortcomings. This paper argues against the technological expansionist view by questioning why small firms should adopt eBusiness. Specifically, it proposes a new conceptualisation showing that each small firm has different circumstances and associated business goals, and that researchers and practitioners must convince each small firm why eBusiness should be used for its goals in preference to non-technology solutions. The paper also provides some preliminary insights, based on this view, into future theoretical and empirical directions to guide researchers who conduct small firm eBusiness adoption studies.
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