Small firms and e-business: cautiousness, contingency and cost-benefit

Jurong Zheng, Nigel Caldwell, Christine Harland, Philip Powell, Maria Woerndl, Sue Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how e-business affects small firms in supply chains. Research in four UK supply chain cases, assistive/medical technology, construction, computer consumables and apparel, indicate widening gaps between large and small firm investment and strategy for exploitation of e-business. Existing models of e-business operationalisation are critically evaluated; and their appropriateness in providing insight and guidance is reflected on. While each model individually provides some useful insights, none are appropriate for examining small firm take up of e-business. Therefore a new framework is developed based on three key issues—cautiousness, contingency and cost-benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • small firms SMEs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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