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Title: Development of a change framework to study SME web site evolution
Author: Mendo, Fernando Alonso
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 8733
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2007
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It has been suggested that the adoption of e-commerce by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) follows a sequence of stages with each representing increasing complexity and benefits. These models imply a development of their web sites in successive iterations or redesigns from basic use of the Internet (as a marketing tool) to the most advanced level of sophistication and integration. The EU and the UK government appear to believe such models and have used them in their e-commerce adoption encouragement policies for SMEs. However, recent research in Europe reveals that e-commerce initiatives in SMEs in most cases are still in their initial stages, which do not exceed the use of email and simple information-based web pages. This failure of SMEs to engage in the more advanced stages of adoption suggest that our understanding of the implementation and management of SME web sites over time is too limited. Thus, the main aim of this research is to establish an enhanced understanding of the dynamics of SME web site transformations over time to better support SME e-commerce progression. The specific objectives of this research are to (1) examine the literature that explain or guide the evolution of web sites and internet strategies, particularly in the context of SMEs, (2) develop a multidimensional framework that combines three dimensions of organisational change (extent, content and drivers) to characterise and model the evolution of the web presence of SMEs and (3) undertake a study of the types and characteristics of actual changes on a sample of SME web sites over time to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of the dimensions of the framework. This study employs both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The quantitative part of the study includes the collection and observation of the sample of SME web sites to study the extent of the changes and the content of the changes incorporated. The qualitative part of the study involves telephone interviews to seek additional information about the drivers for web site redesigns and complement the previous observations. It is argued that a research framework that combines three different dimensions of organisational change offers an alternative approach to e-commerce Stage Models in understanding the evolution of SME web sites over time. The developed framework is useful to academics by providing multiple perspectives that enable more insightful study of SME web site evolution, and avoid over-simple, a priori theory, e. g. staged approach. The framework is also argued to be useful for SME managers seeking to make the most of their limited resources in this context.
Supervisor: Fitzgerald, G. ; Brooks, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available