Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Adoption of E-Commerce in SMEs

Adoption of E-Commerce in SMEs
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Author(s): Arthur Tatnall (Victoria University, Australia)and Stephen Burgess (Victoria University, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch008


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Just because e-commerce technologies seem like useful tools that may assist a small to medium enterprise (SME) do its business better, it does not necessarily follow that these technologies will be adopted by this business. The implementation of an e-commerce system in an SME necessitates change in the way the business operates, and so it should be considered as an innovation and studied using innovation theory. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is concerned with how computers, information systems and communications technologies can be used by people to improve the ways in which they do business. As e-commerce necessarily involves interactions of people and technology, any study of how it is used by a small business must be considered in a socio-technical context. Although there is no universal consensus on what constitutes e-commerce, it must be considered to contain elements of information systems, computer hardware technology, business processes, communications technologies, and people. The complexity of studies in e-commerce is due, to a considerable degree, to the interconnected parts played by human actors and by the multitude of non-human entities involved. Small business managers, sales people, staff involved in procurement and warehouse operations, computers, software, Web browsers, Internet service providers (ISP), modems, and Web portals are only some of the many heterogeneous components of an e-commerce system.

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