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The development of e‐procurement within the ICT manufacturing industry in Ireland

Paul O. Harrigan (School of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Mary M. Boyd (School of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Elaine Ramsey (School of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Patrick Ibbotson (School of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Muriel Bright (Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 4 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that e‐procurement provides manufacturing firms with new and efficient solutions to drive significant value into their business, yet generally the use of internet technologies to accommodate e‐procurement systems remains in a formative stage. Previous research tends to focus on larger economies, so this paper provides a new perspective by presenting evidence from the Irish ICT manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The research locale is justified on the basis that the ICT manufacturing sector has a greater propensity to adopt technologies such as e‐procurement. In addition, by conducting the research in a small peripheral economy, a gap in the knowledge base is being addressed. The exploratory research adopted a quantitative methodology with a questionnaire instrument being employed to investigate various e‐procurement activities within a sample of top performing ICT manufacturing firms.

Findings

Findings show that e‐procurement is developing as a function. Significant benefits are reported, including streamlined business processes and reduced business costs. Difficulties associated with implementation are minimal, but focus on integration issues.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of small sample size negate the ability to generalise. Thus a larger scale comparative study has been initiated to investigate e‐procurement more extensively in the ICT and other industry settings in Ireland.

Practical implications

It is concluded that to further the integration of e‐procurement, organisations should develop a dual focus on technical and people issues to instil a culture of staff development and continuous improvement.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a gap in knowledge by investigating e‐procurement in the top performing firms in Ireland's ICT manufacturing sector. A picture is provided of e‐procurement development in a peripheral economy and the foundation has been laid for more extensive research in the future.

Keywords

Citation

Harrigan, P.O., Boyd, M.M., Ramsey, E., Ibbotson, P. and Bright, M. (2008), "The development of e‐procurement within the ICT manufacturing industry in Ireland", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 3, pp. 481-500. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740810863906

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited