This paper investigates the reasons underpinning the diverging adoption rates of different types of inter-organisational systems (IOS) amongst small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It explores the evolution of IOS from traditional proprietary and closed systems to Internet-based open, flexible systems. It illustrates, through the study of 25 SMEs, that the emergence of new Internet-based IOS provides SMEs with a rich set of technologies that may fundamentally change the technological perspective of SMEs from reluctant, reactive, slow implementers of technology to enthusiastic, proactive, rapid innovators of technology. The paper suggests that positive experiences by SMEs of Web-based electronic commerce and the continued desire of larger firms to achieve full compliance with their IOS will dramatically increase the adoption rate of Web-enabled IOS.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2003
Keywords: Electronic commerce; Small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises
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