Internet use among small businesses has recently become a popular topic for researchers in the fields of marketing, information systems and entrepreneurship. In view of the media hype this topic has received over recent months, it is important for small businesses to learn from the experiences of early adopters of the Internet. Presents the results of a case study research involving 23 Australian small businesses which were early adopters of the Internet ‐ and which are still users. Finds that they are predominantly using the Internet as a communications medium and, to a lesser extent, as a document transfer and advertising channel. Management enthusiasm and perceived benefits seem to be the driving force for ongoing Internet use, although little or no integration was discovered between internal applications and Internet inter‐organizational functions. Findings also point to the importance of entrepreneurship for successful Internet use.
International Marketing Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1997
Keywords: Australia; Electronic Data Interchange; Entrepreneurship; Internet; Marketing communications; Small firms
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