CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Easwar Nyshadham

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Utako Tanigawa


e-commerce, management, small business, small firms, strategy, strategy-making


At least five decades of business strategy-making research strongly suggests that how a firm goes about strategy-making, or its strategy-making mode, is a significant determiner of firm performance. A mode can be simply described as the manner in which something happens, occurs, or gets done. Accepting the notion that strategy-making modes are determinants of firm performance, this study contends that how a firm goes about its e-commerce strategy-making, or its e-commerce strategy-making mode, can be a significant determinant of e-commerce performance.

Given the paucity of work in the topic, an exploratory study to identify and characterize e-commerce strategy-making modes among small firms was conducted. The study asked three questions: (1) What e-commerce strategy-making attributes characterize e-commerce strategy making modes in small firms? (2) How can e-commerce strategy-making attributes be grouped to form e-commerce strategy-making modes in small firms? and (3) What e-commerce strategy-making modes are in use in small firms?

This study combined findings from non-e-commerce domains along with findings from e-commerce practitioner interviews in order to develop a comprehensive set of attributes for classifying e-commerce strategy-making modes. A pilot study followed by a final study was conducted to collect responses to the instrument. Analysis of the data suggests that e-commerce strategy-making modes in firms with fewer than twenty-six employees can be categorized as: inclusive e-commerce strategy-making, (2) open e-commerce strategy-making, (3) clear e-commerce strategy-making, and (4) controlled e-commerce strategy-making

The identification of e-commerce strategy-making modes provides the perquisite first step towards future research investigating links between these modes and e-commerce performance.

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