Small firms’ use of e-business is limited and little is known about what drives small businesses (SMEs) to embrace e-business. It first discusses different growth strategies adopted by SMEs and reviews Internet adoption in SMEs. Drivers and inhibitors of e-business are identified. Three research questions are derived - does strategic intent drive e-business adoption and is it a factor of market position or product innovation? Is this consistent across sectors? And how is strategic intent and industry adoption influenced by the enablers and inhibitors of e-business adoption? Using survey data from 354 SMEs in the UK West Midlands the paper investigates these. The research demonstrates that strategic intent influences decisions to invest in e-business. Those SMEs remaining in their existing markets are the least likely to invest, primarily due to the Internet not being seen as necessary for growth. Product innovation rather than market penetration drives e-business. e-Business drivers and inhibitors provide insights into this.
Levy, Margi; Powell, Philip; and Worrall, Les, "Strategic Intent and eBusiness in SMEs: Enablers and Inhibitors" (2004). ECIS 2004 Proceedings. 82.