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Development of a business‐to‐business critical success factors (B2B CSFs) framework for Chinese SMEs

Woon Kian Chong (Department of Business, Economics, and Management, Xi'an Jiaotong‐Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)
Mathew Shafaghi (School of Business and Creative Technology, The University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)
Boon Leing Tan (Department of Business, Economics, and Management, Xi'an Jiaotong‐Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore business‐to‐business critical success factors (B2B CSFs) for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Chinese B2B marketplace, evaluate the findings, and use the generated CSFs to propose a framework to assist in the marketing management of B2B in China. The proposed framework provides a guideline for academics and practitioners and highlights the significant role of each factor in developing and sustaining effective B2B electronic commerce (B2B e‐commerce) practice for SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed framework is constructed by combining the empirical findings and B2B literature. The quantitative (online survey) was targeted at, proprietors, chief executive officers, managing directors, general managers, sales/marketing managers and export managers in selected SMEs that participated in B2B electronic marketplace (B2B e‐marketplace) in China. The data received from the recipients were processed on SPSS to conduct factor analysis to identify whether a factor structure underlies the correlations between a number of variables.

Findings

The findings are indicative of two sets of internal and external critical factors, including: successful customer relationships, supply chain facilities, global competition, information system/information technology (IS/IT) infrastructure and performances, information visibility, top management support and commitment, government encouragement and commitment, security and trust, and cultural consideration.

Practical implications

SME managers can derive a better understanding and measurement of marketing activities that appropriately balance between traditional and B2B e‐commerce practice. At the same time, the CSF can be integrated into the companies to determine the level of marketing performance in B2B e‐marketplace.

Originality/value

The paper's findings provide new theoretical grounds for research into B2B relationships in the digital business environment. The paper also provides an empirical assessment of the essential components in B2B e‐commerce adaptation, and implications for the means to prioritize CSF.

Keywords

Citation

Kian Chong, W., Shafaghi, M. and Leing Tan, B. (2011), "Development of a business‐to‐business critical success factors (B2B CSFs) framework for Chinese SMEs", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 517-533. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634501111153700

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited