An examination of the impact of e-business evolution within small and micro businesses

McCarthy, John (2009) An examination of the impact of e-business evolution within small and micro businesses. Doctoral thesis, Buckinghamshire New University.

John Mccarthy thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This study focuses upon the distinctiveness of small business and utilizes an innovative action research methodology to enhance understanding of the nature and form of e-business evolution within micro and small firms. The investigation facilitates, through the creative Participatory Action Research approach, the actual process of e-business implementation. It uses this approach as a form of “research laboratory” to identify and analyse constraints to effective e-business uptake, and factors which enable utilisation of e-business and to assess the actual and potential advantages and benefits derived from successful e-business utilisation. The use of Participatory Action Research sees the researcher ‘partnership working’ with the owner managers of five case study small businesses to identify and implement appropriate e-business tools. Integral to and within the context of the Participatory Action Research based approach this work uses an E-Business Development Platform which is unique to this study. This circumvents initial cost, ICT security and skills deficiencies which are commonly found to constrain small business uptake of ICT. Thereby providing a live action based ICT implementation context to facilitate an in depth investigation of key issues and factors associated with small firm e-business uptake and impact on working practices and strategic development. These are considered in the context of the firms’ relationships and relationship strategies as they migrate to more complex e-business provision. The processes and outputs from each action research investigation are then considered, assessed and presented in case study form. The findings are discussed with regard to practical insight findings capable of informing small business management and development practice, e-business evolution and security, the firms’ relationship strategies and the relationship strategies that could be utilized by an ICT provider facilitating a small firm. The work concludes with consideration of its contribution to and enhancement of current academic insight.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 14:58
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2023 06:46

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item