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The influence of organizational factors on e‐business use: analysis of firm size

Victoria Bordonaba‐Juste (Department of Marketing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Laura Lucia‐Palacios (Department of Marketing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Yolanda Polo‐Redondo (Department of Marketing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 23 March 2012




There are two purposes of this paper: first, to analyze the effect of size and other organizational factors (IT knowledge, IT external support and the level of employees' education) on the use of e‐business; and second, to identify similarities and differences among these factors in micro, small, medium‐sized and large enterprises.


The proposed model is empirically tested using data from the Sectorial e‐Business W@tch survey. A logit estimation for the whole sample and for each type of firm size has been implemented on the use of e‐business.


The study finds positive and significant effects of all the organizational factors on the intensity of e‐business use. When analyzing the effect of size, it was found that medium‐sized and large firms are more likely to use e‐business more intensively. Although medium‐sized and large firms are similar, some differences have been found between small and medium‐sized firms. Only small firms use IT outsourcing as a key factor to use e‐business.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on a cross‐sectional data set. Longitudinal research would be needed for comparing results over time. Future studies could focus on the use of each type of e‐business technology, instead of a global measure of e‐business use. Future research could also analyze the differences of e‐business adoption rates among countries.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that small and micro firms are less likely to conduct e‐business than medium‐sized and large firms. An important influence on the use of e‐business is workforce education, implying that training could substitute hiring IT employees. Outsourcing IT activities is a suitable strategy only for small firms.


The paper contributes to the literature on e‐business with new evidence of the importance of size and human capital. Additionally, an analysis for each firm size has been done, which allows comparison of results.



Bordonaba‐Juste, V., Lucia‐Palacios, L. and Polo‐Redondo, Y. (2012), "The influence of organizational factors on e‐business use: analysis of firm size", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 212-229.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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