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Journal Article

Firms Patterns of e‑Business Adoption: Evidence for the European Union‑27  pp47-56

Tiago Oliveira, Maria Fraga Martins

© Jan 2010 Volume 13 Issue 1, ECIME 2009, Editor: Elizabeth Frisk and Kerstin Grunden, pp1 - 96

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Research has shown that firms using e‑business achieve considerable returns through efficiency improvements, inventory reduction, sales increase, customer relationship enhancement, new market penetration, and ultimately financial returns. However, there is little systematic research in terms of e‑business adoption patterns in firms across countries and industries. This study addresses the research gap by analysing the pattern of e‑business adoption by firms across European Union (EU) members. For that, we used the survey data from 6,964 businesses in EU27 members (excluding Malta and Bulgaria). The choice of variables that we will use in our study is based on the technology‑organization‑environment (TOE) theory. In the TOE framework, three aspects may possibly influence e‑business adoption: technological context (technology readiness and technology integration), organizational context (firm size, expected benefits and barriers of e‑business and improved products or services or internal processes) and environmental context (internet penetration and competitive pressure). We performed a factor analysis (FA) of multi‑item indicators to evaluate the validity and to reduce the number of variables. We used the principal component technique with varimax rotation to extract four eigen‑value, which were all greater than one. The first four factors explain 72.4% of variance contained in the data. The four factors found are: expected benefits and obstacles of e‑business, internet penetration, technology readiness and technology integration. These factors are in accordance with the literature review. Afterwards, we performed a cluster analysis (CA) using variables obtained from the FA and the other variables were gathered directly (firm size, employees education, improved products or services or internal processes and competitive pressure) from the e‑Business W@tch survey. In the CA we used hierarchical and non hierarchical methods. We obtained four distinct groups of e‑business adoption. The pattern of these groups suggested that in the European context the most important factor to characterize e‑business adoption is the specific characteristics of the industry and is not the country to which the firms belong.


Keywords: e-business adoption, information and communication technology, ICT, technology-organizational-environment, TOE, framework, cluster analysis, CA, European Union, EU, members


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Journal Issue

Volume 13 Issue 1, ECIME 2009 / Jan 2010  pp1‑96

Editor: Elizabeth Frisk, Kerstin Grunden

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This issue represents papers presented at the 3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation. The conference was held in September 2009 at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.


Keywords: accounting firms, adoption, adoption barriers, business case, case study, cluster analysis (CA), collaborative technology (CT) business education, competitive advantage, complexity, computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), developing countries, developing countries, diffusion of innovation, e-Business adoption, e-government, e-Government portal, enterprise, ERP, European Union (EU) members, EUS, evaluation, executive information system, health informatics, HealthCare information systems, ICT, information and communication technology (ICT), information technology, integration, IT management practices, Jordan., mixed research, performance strategic value, post-implementation evaluation, RFID, satisfaction, small business, supply chain management, sustainability, TAM, technology-organizational-environment (TOE) framework, video conferencing, video-ethnography


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