An Empirical Investigation of Competency Factors Affecting E-Business Success in European Smes

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An empirical investigation of competency factors affecting
e-business success in European SMEs
Tom R. Eikebrokk, Dag H. Olsen *
Department of Information Systems, Agder University College, Serviceboks 422, N-4604 Kristiansand, Norway Received 8 June 2005; received in revised form 5 February 2007; accepted 17 February 2007 Available online 5 June 2007

Abstract
In the last decade there was growing interest in strategic management literature about factors that influence a company’s ability to use IT. There is general consensus that knowledge and competency are necessary in developing an IT capability, but there is very little understanding of what the necessary competencies are, and how they influence IS usage in different contexts. The small and medium-sized enterprise context is particularly interesting for two reasons: it constitutes a major part of the economy and it has been relatively unsuccessful in exploiting e-business.

We explored the relationship between e-business competency and its success in European SMEs. A literature review was used to determine factors representing e-business competency, and develop hypotheses, which were tested using data collected from 339 SMEs in Europe. Our results provide evidence on the importance of certain e-business competencies on e-business success, and have implications for both research and practice in the field of SMEs. # 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: E-business competency; SMEs; E-business success; E-business strategy; IT-business process integration 1. Introduction
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are a
major part of the industrial economies. Their survival and
growth has therefore been a prominent issue, and
considerable research has been initiated to determine
e-business diffusion in SMEs. It has been assumed that
success of e-business in the SME segment will increase a
country’s competitiveness, and that successful adoption
and use of e-business technology are crucial...
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