Title: The co-evolution of IT competence, organisational agility and entrepreneurial action: a case study of entrepreneurial e-tailers

Authors: Shan Wang; Youwei Wang; Norm Archer

Addresses: Department of Finance and Management Science, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, PotashCorp Building, 25 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A7, Canada ' Fudan University, 714 Siyuan Faculty Building, 220 HanDan Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai 200433, China ' McMaster University, DSB A214, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4, Canada

Abstract: Due to the turbulent business environment, small and medium-sized e-commerce companies tend to adopt a strategic logic that requires the support and co-evolution of organisational agility capability and information technology (IT) competence. However, the characteristics of organisational agility and IT competence and their co-evolution mechanisms are largely unknown. Based on the Sambamurthy et al. (2003), theoretical framework about the strategic logic for firms in a turbulent business environment, we undertook a case study of ten entrepreneurial e-tailers (retailers selling primarily on the internet) on a third party Chinese e-commerce platform. From these firms we identified the characteristics and the evolutionary path of entrepreneurial actions, organisation agility and IT competence for small and medium-sized entrepreneurial actions, organisation agility and IT competence from the perspective of real options and adaptive learning. This research advances our current understanding of SME e-commerce firm strategic logic and required firm capabilities.

Keywords: entrepreneurial action; organisational agility; IT competence; adaptive co-evolution; real options; adaptive learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2018.090672

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2018 Vol.18 No.1, pp.1 - 29

Received: 03 Nov 2015
Accepted: 03 Apr 2016

Published online: 27 Mar 2018 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article