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Abstract

This study explores the use of the Web in electronic commerce (EC) applications and proposes a framework for classifying such applications. The framework is based on three widely used models of organizations that identify application categories. The ability of each of these models to classify thirty common EC applications was then examined. The Value Chain model provided the best schema and is used as a basis for the proposed framework. This new framework was evaluated with the observed EC applications from a random sample of Fortune 500 firms. The results of this classification process are presented along with an industry analysis of the observations. The analysis suggests that adoption of particular EC applications can be explained both by the nature of the industry and the nature of the application. The framework and tests suggest fruitful avenues for future research. In particular, testing a broader set of firms and refinement of the methodology would be advantageous.

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