Lockett, N J and Brown, D H (2003) The investigation of e-business engagement by SMEs with reference to strategic networks and aggregation: the dairy farming industry. Working Paper. The Department of Management Science, Lancaster University.
The lack of anticipated engagement in e-business by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), who are an important contributor to economic activity, is of increasing concern to governments and service providers alike. This paper explores the use of a conceptual framework which includes theoretical contributions from ICT adoption by SMEs, strategic networks and inter-organisational systems and e-business models literatures in an industry specific context, in this case the UK dairy farming industry. Current levels of e-business engagement are considered together with evidence of aggregation and the role of intermediaries by the use of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (case study) methods. The example of the organic industry is investigated within the conceptual framework resulting in critical comment and validation in order to provide the basis for future multiple case investigations
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