Empirical evidence shows that e-commerce activities such as electronic transactions, project monitoring and tracking have all been successfully implemented in the banking, retail and manufacturing sectors. However, the benefits in the construction industry remain relatively new and have yet to be fully harnessed, particularly in small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms. Currently the construction industry has little knowledge and expertise of how to deal with the legal aspects of e-procurement when trading on-line. Recognising this, the research aims to explore the current state of knowledge and the differences in opinion held by SME contractors with regard to the legal issues about formation of a legal contract when trading on-line. The discussion will focus on the acceptance (or otherwise) of electronic mail, digital signatures and EDI for use in construction e-procurement, compared to the conventional (paper-based) methods in construction contracting environments. Results from the UK SMEs survey show that although the e-legal frameworks and initiative well founded and supported by the UK government there appears to be little enthusiasm from the surveyed construction SMEs to adopt e-procurement in practice. The paper concluded with discussion of the survey findings and recommendations for the construction SMEs e-procurement uptake. © World Scientific Publishing Company.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Construction Research|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2006|
- 'click wrap' contracts
- Digital signatures
- EDI contacts
- Electronic contracting