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The Advancement Of E Commerce Information Technology Essay

This research paper aims to study the advancement of e-commerce and its effects on different levels of organization culture. The fast growth of Internet users has converted the Internet an increasingly significant and attractive platform for business transactions. E-commerce is advantageous to both organizations and customers by eliminating time and distance barriers. For customers, e-commerce offers superior information richness in short time. The quick explosion of the Internet has attracted many organizations to utilize this modern technology to run on-line electronic stores to develop their market values and to improve the operational performance.

Therefore, it is fascinating to examine why electronic commerce profits some industries more than others, and what factors affect the impact of using e-Stores on performance in different industries. This research aims to identify the significant effects of both e-commerce and industrial characteristics models on the firm performance.

Research Objectives

This research paper aims to look at the significance of organizational dimensions and strategic utilization of effective e-commerce in reference to the organizational performance and sustainable growth. In the present scenario the important resource of information systems need to set properly to do a successful e-commerce business. The utilization of E-commerce and information systems in an appropriate method allows the organization to move towards its goals.

In the volatile competitive business world, e-commerce takes an important role. More and more organizations are investing in IT to get the success. In the field of strategic management, many researchers agreed that the utilization of new IT systems in favour of e-commerce is significant in the business strategy. But it is not clear how much impact an organization will have on its performance by utilizing e-commerce and effective IT systems. The research aims to evaluate the impact of e-commerce on the performance of the organization.

The intention of this research paper is to measure the business value of e-commerce potential and IT systems in the background of e- business at the organizational level. Utilizing the resource-based theory of the firm, this paper constructs a research framework to investigate the association between Information technology infrastructure, the capability of e-commerce and the performance of the organization. Using this theoretical framework, this research recommends several suggestions and identifies three key aspects to help the development of the theory. Finally, the research directs out few research suggestions to the further study related of e-commerce capacity and business value research.

Organizational Background

Three organizations were selected for this research. The Aim of the research is to evaluate the firm performance based on E-commerce and e-Business. So the evaluated organizations should be in the same domain. To evaluate different stages they should be in different categories. So after a careful consideration three different organizations such as Kiddicare Ltd, Bambino direct Ltd and Babynco Ltd were selected. All the three organizations are in the retail industry selling Baby Nursery goods, equipments and furniture.

Kiddicare Ltd is one of the pioneers in the industry. They have strong organizational structure with high level e-business infrastructure. It is a Family run Business that continues to endeavour to provide satisfied services to the families all over UK. They have strong E-business portal apart from the biggest show room. They are number one online store in the UK with almost 400,000 customers placing orders approximately every year.

Source: http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/aboutus0_10751__-1_10001 available online. [Accessed on 23rd Oct 2010]

Bambino Direct Ltd also one of the largest independent stockists in the UK and that have huge satisfied customer base. They offer lowest possible prices on the big brands and customer friendly. They do moderate e-commerce business on the Internet. They have better IT infrastructure and good resources.

Source: http://www.bambinodirect.co.uk/content/about.asp available online [accessed on 21st Oct 2010]

Babynco Ltd is a Baby store that displays wide variety of brands that manufacture baby goods and products. They have very good staff and earned a name for customer service. The shop performs very well with huge customers. But they don’t have a base for the E-commerce. They were fighting for with the stiff competition from the present E-business trends. So the management decided to transform the resources in to effective online management store with proper e-commerce applications. They feel that they were lagging behind the competitors as they don’t have a proper e-business structure.

Source: http://www.babynco.com available online [accessed on 21st Oct 2010]

Literature Review

This description is generally consistent with e-business descriptions found in the literature Flurry and Vicknair (2001); Rodgers et al (2002), Kalakota and Robinson (2000), Tapscott (2001), Wu et al (2003). An organization can be potentially converted in to great networked creature with flawless supply chains and value creation process (Sawhney and Zabin, 2001).

It presents the electronic methods to facilitate connections between and among functions to happen in primarily new means and at great velocity that it factually opens up the capacity to completely reconfigure every basic operating process. In the current environment, firms repeatedly incorporate the technology of internet to restructure functions in a way that makes stronger in their competitive advantages strategies (Phan, 2003). Subsequently, e-commerce has a significant impact throughout the whole length of the firm’s structure and across a variety of its business processes (Wu et al., 2003).

E-business has the strength for engendering revenues from its applications of e-com but its core contribution arises from its strength to decrease costs that include both fixed and variable costs. For instance, utilizing Internet expertise in combination with office computerization and ERP software will help the organization to reduce fixed and overhead costs (Quan et al., 2003). These kinds of advantages increase efficiency and enhance productivity. The above point was agreed and enhanced by Thatcher and Oliver (2001) who differentiated enhancing E-commerce and IT Systems investments into three major categories. They are

Investments on those that reduce fixed and overhead costs,

Investments on those that reduce product design and development costs, and

Investments on those that reduce operational variable costs such as manufacturing, distribution and services, etc.

Electronic commerce and E-business has transformed the ways in organizations do their business. The changes are able to be seen in many ways: the rising competition structure between companies; theories of customer relationship and satisfaction; the order fulfilment speed; and the leadership nature were best examples (Kalakota and Robinson, 2001). As e-commerce offers an open communications atmosphere where everybody can communicate efficiently and effectively, it eases the exchange of products and information easily and at a rapid speed.

There is no doubt in the role of E-commerce in helping the organizations to be more open, approachable and flexible to ever-changing needs of customer and business (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2005). The majority of organizations were forced to opt for e-commerce, as the quantity of the customers using internet is increasing tremendously and at the same time the competition between the organizations for survival and growth is also keep increasing.

Various researches conducted previously confirmed that e-com and e-business have significant positive influence on the performance of the organization. Karagozoglu and Lindell (2004) evaluated that e- business and e-commerce strategies direct the firm’s sales to considerably higher levels. Straub and Klein (2001) explained that in growing productivity and/or dipping production costs are the successful results of effective E-commerce. Further they argued that effective e-business will result in market expanding, increase in revenue and greater efficiency.

For greater success and effectively compete in the business world, organizations require generic strategies. According to Porter (1980) the organizations must concentrate on 3 strategic directions for getting above – average returns. They are a. Differentiation, b. Cost leadership c. Focus. Various researches conducted in the past established that firm performance is critically affected by generic strategies (Dess and Davis, 1984; Powers and Hahn, 2004; Allen and Helms, 2006).

In the recent times, as e-commerce has progressively more diffused in the organizations, it is vital to evaluate how e-commerce affects the Porter’s generic strategies. Porter and Millar (1985) stated that the effective IT Systems can be utilized to support generic strategies. Porter (2001) argues that firms must need to incorporate the Internet as the main aspect into their general strategies if they want to achieve competitive advantages. Lee (2001) too confirmed that the mixing of e-commerce and e-business into the organizations overall strategy is a must if they want exploit e-commerce. Evidently, these researches illustrate that generic strategies persist to play a critical role in the firm performance. Thus, it is apparent that e-commerce strategies result in improvement of firm performance in many ways. The hypothesis of this research is constructed using the arguments provided by Sambamurthy et al. (2003) who also propose that organizational capabilities are the direct driver for the performance of organizations and so the firm performance is directly proportional to level of e-commerce facilities implemented using effective and efficient IT infrastructure. Based on this, the Hypothesis can be set as

Hypothesis

Firm performance α E-commerce (‘α’ symbol for directly proportional to)

Methodology

Case studies can be utilized as effective means of mechanism to conduct an investigative research. In particular, if the area of the research is not clear, then the analysis must be conducted in real life context representing various external sources. Analysing various case studies allows to draw a common point (Eisenhardt 1989).

To assess the developed hypothesis, three different organizations were selected with various levels of incorporated E- commerce, E-business and IT systems in the same domain. They are Kiddicare Ltd, Bambino Direct and Babynco ltd. Kiddicare is a big firm with a strong IT infrastructure and developed e-commerce facilities. Bambino Direct is medium range organization with growing e-commerce setup with the regular levels information systems and planning to utilize e-commerce as their main source of growth. Whereas Babynco is small organization with no e- commerce setup but wants to implement better IT infrastructure and plans to enter in to E-commerce and online sale to better their organizational performance.

All the three organizations are initiated in the same time. But their growth phase is at different levels. The reason for this was analysed and how these organization utilizes the effective e-commerce for firm performance will be evaluated. For this Levy and Powell’s (2000) approach towards Small and medium business organizations strategies for E-commerce and e-business will be utilized. The data collection will be done using principle methods like in-depth interviews, Participant observation, questioner methods and also via informal social contact with the participants. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with employees, managers, top level management and the owners of all the three organizations. The market, background of the organization, history of the organization, performance will be discussed in detail.

The secondary data required for this research will be collected through various related books, internet, publications, annual records and reports of all the three organizations will be collected.

The received data will then be evaluated utilizing the available theoretical and academic frameworks to conceptualize the firm performance based on the e-commerce and E-business utilizing the effective IT systems. A questioner will be prepared based on the available survey models.

The responses will be evaluated using a 10 point scale where 1 being minimum 10 being maximum based on the importance of the point. The respondents are categorised in to three categories.

Category A: Top level management including CEOs and Directors of all the three firms.

Category B: managers and other senior people in the three companies

Category C: employees of the companies.

The data analysis will be carried out using Cronbach’s alpha test method that is significantly recognized for the accuracy, easy and straight forward method.

E-business or e-commerce can be explained as the exchange of electronic data, communication, relationship managements, association, and the institution of workflow functions with partners, co-workers, customers, and other agents of business, as long as these responsibilities or functions are taken place by electronic means.

The expected outcomes

The research aims to evaluate the role of e-commerce and e-business in the firm performance and growth utilizing effective information systems using 3 different organizations with different levels of implemented e-commerce and IT systems. The research will describe the link between the firm performance and e-commerce using effective information systems and business process of all the three organization. This paper will also try to describe the challenges posed by e-commerce in the companies and management solutions. Derives the relationship between e-commerce and processes of IT and IS in strategic management. Try to explore the competitive advantage of all the three organizations and compare them that will assist the organizational management to expand or transform the E-business strategy by assessing strategic advantages of E-business and organizational dimension.

Aims to present theoretical perceptive of technological, organizational and environmental factors to assess the strategic utilization of E-commerce and e-business using Information Technology (IT) Systems related to cost leadership, product or service differentiation and growth advantage these three organizations respectively Kiddicare Ltd, Bambino Direct Ltd and Babynco Ltd.

The planned Time table – GANTT Chart

Task

Oct-2010

Nov-2010

Dec-2010

Jan-2011

Feb-2011

Mar-2011

W3

W4

W1 & W2

W3 & W4

W1 & W2

W3 & W4

W1 & W2

W3 & W4

W1 & W2

W3 & W4

W1 & W2

W3

Commencing Project

X

Preparing objectives

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Primary Data Gathering

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X

Finalize objectives & methodology

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X

Read & review the Literature

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X

X

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Preparing Proposal

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Submission of Proposal

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Establish interview contacts

X

X

X

X

Conducting Interviews

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Gathering Data

X

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Analyzing Data

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Review the Data

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Preparing the draft report

X

X

Submission of draft report

X

Review the draft report

X

X

Finalize the project Report

X

X

Submission

X

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