Title: Small business clusters and their role in prioritising barriers to e-commerce adoption: a study of two approaches to cluster development

Authors: Robert MacGregor, Lejla Vrazalic

Addresses: Department of Information Systems, University of Wollongong, Northfield Ave, Wollongong 2522, Australia. ' Department of Information Systems, University of Wollongong, Dubai Campus, UAE

Abstract: In the last decade there has been renewed interest in the role of clusters as tools for boosting regional competitiveness. This has been especially evident with the advent of e-commerce and initiatives by governments throughout the world encouraging the adoption and use of the technology. This paper investigates two approaches to cluster development and e-commerce adoption and their effect on the level of importance placed on barriers to e-commerce adoption by regional small businesses. The results show that not only does membership/non-membership of a cluster affect the perceived importance of barriers to e-commerce, but that the cluster approach itself also affects the priorities placed on e-commerce adoption barriers.

Keywords: cluster development; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; e-commerce; electronic commerce; barriers; prioritisation; electronic marketing; electronic retailing; Sweden; Australia; small business clusters; regional competitiveness; internet marketing; internet retailing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2007.013055

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2007 Vol.1 No.3, pp.236 - 259

Published online: 06 Apr 2007 *

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