Title: Old fashioned or enlightened? Small retailers' practices in e-procurement

Authors: Neil Connon; Bill Donaldson; Alistair R. Anderson

Addresses: Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QG, UK. ' Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QG, UK. ' Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QG, UK

Abstract: The paper considers how and why SME retailers use the internet in their procurement processes. Examining retailers' views and reasons, we relate these to existing technology acceptance models, employing a qualitative approach. Although our respondents accepted the pervasion of internet marketing, they believed that a more personalised approach to purchasing was necessary to maintain their competitive advantage. For them, effectiveness in purchasing took priority over efficiency. We argue that this view and the consequent actions were a result of the size of the firm and the nature of the products they sold. Our sample size prevents us from generalising. However, we argue that large scale surveys may miss the nuances of decision-making and that the unique character of SMEs may imply that conventional models of technology acceptance need to be modified to take account of these characteristics. Our findings challenge the assumption that one size theoretically fits all in technology driven procurement.

Keywords: SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; retailing; B2B; business-to-business; technology acceptance model; modified TAM; small firm strategy; small retailers; internet marketing; purchasing effectiveness; purchasing efficiency; firm size; technology driven procurement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2012.046431

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2012 Vol.7 No.1, pp.47 - 62

Available online: 08 Apr 2012 *

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