Document Type



Electronic marketplaces operate in highly dynamic environments. B2B (Business-to-business) e-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) is expanding rapidly, but Independent Internet based Electronic Marketplaces (IBEM) have passed through periods of boom and bust. In start-up entrepreneurial ventures such as IBEMs, adaptation is critical than at any other stage in the life cycle and hence the ability to learn and adapt becomes a key competency. The research uses the resource-based theory as a means of analyzing the evolution and adaptation of the resources and capabilities of IBEMs and the sustainability of competitive advantage. We use four case studies to trace the pattern of adaptation as well as identify the variables. Based on the inputs from this, we use a comprehensive sample of 135 IBEMs across various geographic regions covering 15 industry segments. The findings of this study provide key managerial insights into various issues that are important to IBEMs in particular and start-up entrepreneurial firms operating in highly dynamic environments in general. These include the stages of evolution and the sources or the lack of competitive advantage at each stage, the type of resources and capabilities, which need to be built, the type of complementary assets, which needs to be leveraged and the degrees of adaptation at various stages.