Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show that e‐procurement provides manufacturing firms with new and efficient solutions to drive significant value into their business, yet generally the use of internet technologies to accommodate e‐procurement systems remains in a formative stage. Previous research tends to focus on larger economies, so this paper provides a new perspective by presenting evidence from the Irish ICT manufacturing industry. Design/methodology/approach – The research locale is justified on the basis that the ICT manufacturing sector has a greater propensity to adopt technologies such as e‐procurement. In addition, by conducting the research in a small peripheral economy, a gap in the knowledge base is being addressed. The exploratory research adopted a quantitative methodology with a questionnaire instrument being employed to investigate various e‐procurement activities within a sample of top performing ICT manufacturing firms. Findings – Findings show that e‐procurement is developing as a function. Significant benefits are reported, including streamlined business processes and reduced business costs. Difficulties associated with implementation are minimal, but focus on integration issues. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of small sample size negate the ability to generalise. Thus a larger scale comparative study has been initiated to investigate e‐procurement more extensively in the ICT and other industry settings in Ireland. Practical implications – It is concluded that to further the integration of e‐procurement, organisations should develop a dual focus on technical and people issues to instil a culture of staff development and continuous improvement. Originality/value – This paper addresses a gap in knowledge by investigating e‐procurement in the top performing firms in Ireland's ICT manufacturing sector. A picture is provided of e‐procurement development in a peripheral economy and the foundation has been laid for more extensive research in the future.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2008
Keywords: Communication technologies; Manufacturing industries; Procurement; Electronic commerce; Ireland
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