CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Critical Success Factors for Service-Oriented Small Businesses In the E-Commerce Environment

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Easwar Nyshadham

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Abstract

Adoption and use of ecommerce by small businesses is generally understood to be rather slow, though the reasons are unclear. In this research, the factors (called critical success factors) affecting the adoption and continued use of e-commerce technologies are studied. Three well known theoretical frameworks and views from strategy literature have traditionally provided theoretical reasons for identifying factors a small business would use to successfully employee-commerce technologies in their organization, viz., the technology-organization-environment (TOE) framework, the chain of causality (C of C) and the resource-based view (RBV). In this study, a model called the critical success factors model, was developed to study adoption and use of e-commerce technologies by service-oriented small businesses. The model utilizes factors identified by the three established frameworks and contextualized them to small business and e-commerce. The model is empirically tested using data collected from (146) small business firms. Analyses and results suggest that the employee's computer expertise, the decision maker's ability and willingness to innovate, and the degree to which ecommerce technologies integrate with existing infrastructure significantly affect the longevity of system use. Therefore it is suggested that a manager (small business owner) planning an e-commerce system should try to be innovative in the use of e-commerce applications and technologies in their organization, hire skilled people to handle their e-commerce systems, and carefully analyze the benefits versus the costs of integrating e-commerce systems with existing infrastructure.

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