Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1033–1046 | Cite as

Routinisation of B2B E-commerce by small firms: A process perspective

  • Probir Kumar Banerjee
  • Louis C. Ma


Prior research on e-business based on the TOE framework and the factor based variance approach have yielded mixed results in that differences exist in terms of the identified technology, organisation and environmental factors and their influence at different steps of the routinisation trajectory. In this research we probe deeper into the routinisation phenomenon and investigate the process in a bid to understand ‘when’ and ‘why’ certain TOE factors become crucial determinants at different stages of the routinisation process. The context of our study is integration of B2B e-markets by four small firms. Our findings from interpretive case studies indicate that changes in organisational characteristic (such as IT infrastructure), environmental characteristics (such as e-business usage in the industry), and perceptions of e-business (risk and benefit) over time influenced movement along the routinisation trajectory. There is evidence that in high risk e-business, the ability to conduct trials with controlled risk is a crucial determinant of progression from initial to continued usage. Also, contrary to the independent effects of the organisation, environment and technology characteristics assumed in prior research, we found that it is the interaction effect of the three factors that determined initial attitude, initial usage and continued usage. Based on our findings we develop a process model of e-business routinisation and discuss the theoretical and practical implications.


E-Business Routinisation Process theory Technology adoption B2B E-Markets TOE framework Risk Small firm Interpretivist case study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Operations and MISUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Continuing and Professional Education, Department of Information SystemsCity University of HongKowloon TongHong Kong

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