Multiple Conceptualizations of Small Business Web Use and Benefit*

Multiple Conceptualizations of Small Business Web Use and Benefit* Small businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy and there is anecdotal evidence that use of the Web is beneficial to such businesses. There is, however, little systematic analysis of the conditions that lead to successful use of and thereby benefits from the Web for small businesses. Based on the innovation adoption, organizations, and information systems (IS) implementation literature, we identify a set of variables that are related to adoption, use, and benefits of information technology (IT), with particular emphasis on small businesses. These variables are reflective of an organization's contextual characteristics, its IT infrastructure, Web use, and Web benefits. Since the extant research does not suggest a single theoretical model for Web use and benefits in the context of small businesses, we adopt a modeling approach and explore the relationships between “context‐IT‐use‐benefit” (CIUB) through three models—partial‐mediator, reduced partial‐mediator, and mediator. These models posit that the extent of Web use by small businesses and the associated benefits are driven by organizations’ contextual characteristics and their IT infrastructure. They differ in the endogeneity/exogeneity of the extent of IT sophistication, and in the direct/mediated effects of organizational context. We examine whether the relationships between variables identified in the literature hold within the context of these models using two samples of small businesses with national coverage, including various sizes, and representing several industry sectors. The results show that the evidence for patterns of relationships is similar across the two independent samples for two of these models. We highlight the relationships within the reduced partial‐mediator and mediator models for which conclusive evidence are given by both samples. Implications for small business managers and providers of Web‐based technologies are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Decision Sciences Wiley

Multiple Conceptualizations of Small Business Web Use and Benefit*

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0011-7315
eISSN
1540-5915
DOI
10.1111/j.1540-5414.2003.02539.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Small businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy and there is anecdotal evidence that use of the Web is beneficial to such businesses. There is, however, little systematic analysis of the conditions that lead to successful use of and thereby benefits from the Web for small businesses. Based on the innovation adoption, organizations, and information systems (IS) implementation literature, we identify a set of variables that are related to adoption, use, and benefits of information technology (IT), with particular emphasis on small businesses. These variables are reflective of an organization's contextual characteristics, its IT infrastructure, Web use, and Web benefits. Since the extant research does not suggest a single theoretical model for Web use and benefits in the context of small businesses, we adopt a modeling approach and explore the relationships between “context‐IT‐use‐benefit” (CIUB) through three models—partial‐mediator, reduced partial‐mediator, and mediator. These models posit that the extent of Web use by small businesses and the associated benefits are driven by organizations’ contextual characteristics and their IT infrastructure. They differ in the endogeneity/exogeneity of the extent of IT sophistication, and in the direct/mediated effects of organizational context. We examine whether the relationships between variables identified in the literature hold within the context of these models using two samples of small businesses with national coverage, including various sizes, and representing several industry sectors. The results show that the evidence for patterns of relationships is similar across the two independent samples for two of these models. We highlight the relationships within the reduced partial‐mediator and mediator models for which conclusive evidence are given by both samples. Implications for small business managers and providers of Web‐based technologies are discussed.

Journal

Decision SciencesWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2003

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

  • Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual International Conference on Information Systems
    Bouchard, L.
  • Evaluating goodness‐of‐fit indexes for testing measurement invariance
    Cheung, G. W.; Rensvold, R.
  • Emerging electronic partnerships: Antecedents and dimensions of EDI use from the supplier's perspective
    Hart, P.; Saunders, C.

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