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Article

Ian Corner and Matthew Hinton

Addresses variables in the implementation of software applications for aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in medium‐sized organisations. The…

Abstract

Addresses variables in the implementation of software applications for aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in medium‐sized organisations. The objective is to identify those variables that present the greatest risks to effective and successful implementation in the light of the operating relationships between the main “actors” in multi‐channel CRM implementation projects. Bases theoretical development on two central themes. The first theme is that any implementation has risks that need to be managed and the second is that the dynamics of the relationships of the main actors are more complex where a system is acquired from external developers than with an internally developed system. Explores these assumptions using qualitative linear case studies, where success or failure has not been established at the start. Derives a model which represents a typical relationship dynamic for a CRM implementation. By establishing the nature of the risks involved within the context of a monitored relationship dynamic offers a framework for guidance in the implementation process.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article

David Barnes and C. Matthew Hinton

Previous empirical research into the performance measurement of exemplary e‐businesses has pointed to a lack of progress in developing distinctive performance metrics for…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous empirical research into the performance measurement of exemplary e‐businesses has pointed to a lack of progress in developing distinctive performance metrics for e‐business and a failure to adopt best practice in performance management. The objective of this paper is to reconsider the evidence from that study by drawing on innovation adoption theories.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper re‐examines the findings from case study‐based research that investigated leading e‐business performance measurement practices. The study suggests that there are limitations in analysing the findings using normative best practice, the dominant paradigm within performance management. Given that e‐business innovation relies on the adoption of multiple technologies this paper reconsiders the findings using the conceptual perspective of the innovation adoption literature.

Findings

The study highlights the importance of individual, cognitive, social and cultural influences in an organisation's operating environment on its willingness to adapt performance measurement metrics for online business activities. The findings point to the benefits available from incorporating new theoretic perspectives in performance measurement research.

Research limitations/implications

The work points to a need to adopt a more context‐specific approach to the development of e‐business performance measurement. Furthermore, it indicates ways in which both the understanding and practice of performance measurement in e‐business can be advanced.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the limitations of current performance management literature as monopolised by normative best practice thinking, and argues for the need to incorporate other theoretical perspectives into performance management research.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Matthew Hinton and David Barnes

The objective of this paper is to identify the features of an effective e‐business performance measurement system, as well as the practices in organisations with…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to identify the features of an effective e‐business performance measurement system, as well as the practices in organisations with distinctive e‐business performance metrics. From this it was hoped to identify a set of best practice recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology is used to examine the performance measurement practices of 12 potentially exemplar organisations that have made efforts to develop distinctive performance metrics for e‐business. Qualitative data are collected from interviews with key informants from each organisation, with supporting data generate from company documents.

Findings

The study has uncovered a variety of approaches to e‐business performance measurement, with no common framework apparent. Whilst the case organisations show significant differences in the level of success achieved in developing suitable measures, there is evidence of a common concern to link e‐business performance to organisational objectives. However, there is a general unwillingness to embark on major overhauls of existing performance measurement systems.

Research limitations/implications

The acknowledged weakness of case study research is that it can only investigate a limited number of situations. This raises the issue of the generalisability of the findings to a wider population. However, in the absence of empirical work in this area, the case organisations provided examples of superior practice in e‐business performance measurement when compared to organisations more generally.

Practical implications

This study identifies several gaps between the academic literature and current management practice, suggesting that researchers should consider the impact of theory on the process of organisational performance management. It also offers advice for organisations with respect to absorbing e‐business measures into their current performance measurement systems.

Originality/value

This paper offers empirical understanding of the application of performance metrics to e‐business and identifies several inconsistencies between academic theory and real‐world practice.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Matthew Hinton, Graham Francis and Jacky Holloway

Reflects on a three‐year project examining the evolving nature of “best practice” benchmarking in UK‐based organisations. The findings describe the current state of…

Abstract

Reflects on a three‐year project examining the evolving nature of “best practice” benchmarking in UK‐based organisations. The findings describe the current state of benchmarking and some of its advantages across a wide variety of public and private sector organisations. Also investigates the disincentives to benchmarking activity experienced by practising benchmarkers, as well as the factors which inhibit the initial take‐up of this technique. In addition, the notion that a maturity curve exists for organisations engaged in benchmarking is explored.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article

C. Matthew Hinton and Yan Tao

To investigate the key sources of competitive advantage gained from e‐business applications by Chinese real estate developers and whether the value chain theory and its…

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the key sources of competitive advantage gained from e‐business applications by Chinese real estate developers and whether the value chain theory and its related theories can explain this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

A key issue in e‐business is how established companies can gain competitive advantage. Despite the interest in e‐business applications, few empirical studies have been carried out to look at how “clicks‐and‐mortar” approaches offer competitive advantages, especially from specific industry perspectives. By using a qualitative case study approach this study addresses this.

Findings

The study shows that the value chain framework is useful to identify and categorize possible e‐business application areas. Moreover, this categorization makes identification of key sources of competitive advantage explicit. However, this framework cannot fully explain the success of e‐business applications nor the realization of intended motivations.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to make the value chain model become an easily‐used, practical guideline for e‐business implementation. This study has focussed on one specific industry within China (centre on real estate) so generalisation to other industries is limited at this stage. Similar research in other sectors will go a long way to addressing this.

Practical implications

Offers organizations a theoretical framework which helps to support the identification of appropriate e‐business applications. Furthermore, it closes the gap between strategic direction and subsequent system implementation.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence of how established organizations gain competitive advantage through their e‐business applications. Furthermore, it offers insight into how value chain theory helps to explain this phenomenon within the context of ongoing changes within the Chinese economy.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

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Article

Jacky Holloway, Graham Francis and Matthew Hinton

This paper critiques the notion that a single approach to performance improvement can alone be responsible for significant organisational transformation. We draw on…

Abstract

This paper critiques the notion that a single approach to performance improvement can alone be responsible for significant organisational transformation. We draw on phenomenological case study evidence, placed in the context of an ongoing series of studies of the nature and prevalence of best practice benchmarking in the UK, including large‐scale questionnaire surveys and longitudinal case studies of the rich experiences of a number of practitioners and organisations. We argue that complex approaches to performance improvement such as benchmarking, however technically powerful they may be, are only as effective as the people who apply them and their compatibility with the organisational context in which they are used. The contribution of such methods is often difficult to separate from other variables. In addition to internal organisational characteristics, external contextual factors play an important part both in establishing a need to use such approaches, and encouraging commitment to their use. Some of the clearest examples of the distortion of the potential impact of new management practices by the wider policy context can be found in public services such as the National Health Service, from which examples are drawn in this paper.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

David Barnes, Matthew Hinton and Suzanne Mieczkowska

This paper reports on research that investigates how three start‐up dotcoms, founded at the height of the Internet boom avoided joining the many dotbombs of the subsequent…

Abstract

This paper reports on research that investigates how three start‐up dotcoms, founded at the height of the Internet boom avoided joining the many dotbombs of the subsequent crash of the Internet economy. The paper describes how the companies made use of Internet‐based information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their business operations. It draws lessons from their experiences that might be applied more generally to other dotcom start‐ups. These centre on the need to use the technology to manage business processes to meet the clearly definable needs of a targeted niche of customers. The desirability of suitable in‐house ICT expertise is stressed.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

David Barnes, Matthew Hinton and Suzanne Mieczkowska

This paper reports how three UK “old economy” manufacturers are adapting their operations to meet the challenge of the “new economy”, in which it is claimed that dotcoms…

Abstract

This paper reports how three UK “old economy” manufacturers are adapting their operations to meet the challenge of the “new economy”, in which it is claimed that dotcoms can deliver virtual products to cybercustomers at the speed of light. Successful manufacturing is not only about producing better goods than competitors but also about delivering a product/service package that solves customers' problems. Although e‐commerce can be used to reduce operating costs, any such advantage may be shortlived. The almost limitless connectivity of the Internet offers the opportunity to deliver an enhanced service to customers through improved communication throughout the supply chain. A differentiation strategy based on service enhancement can offer manufacturers a route to sustainable competitive advantage as an alternative to trying to compete on price alone. The cases illustrate how manufacturers can use e‐commerce for competitive advantage in the new economy.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 15 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Content available
Article

Jacky Holloway

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Gamal Mohamed Shehata and Mohammed A. Montash

The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically examine a comprehensive model that attempts to identify the factors that explain competitive advantage of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically examine a comprehensive model that attempts to identify the factors that explain competitive advantage of implementing electronic business (e-business) in an emerging market. It seeks to fulfill an inevitable lack of conducting rigorous and intensive empirical studies on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in which the internet use and e-business applications are on the rise.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is descriptive in nature where a quantitative research methodology is deployed. Data are collected using both interviews and e-survey for a sample of 302 Egyptian companies serving in diverse industries. A multivariate partial least squares technique is employed to analyze the collected data.

Findings

This study explores various e-business modes and applications widely employed in the MENA region. It also addresses a set of e-business-driven competitive advantages that are mainly generated from supportive ICT environment, major market forces and strategic opportunities, and at last, from electronically driven customers’ relationship initiatives. A number of e-business barriers are claimed to moderate the relationship between those forces and the resulting competitive advantages.

Research limitations/implications

Although this research main framework incorporates important variables based on theoretical and empirical foundations, integrating other factors may extend understanding of how these factors, independently and/or interactively, explain the adoption of e-business and its merit to create distinctive competitive advantage.

Practical implications

This work helps managers and e-business experts alike to comprehend the ways through which firms target the applications of e-business technologies to realize a competitive edge in MENA region. It also helps practitioners and professionals comprehend the interrelationship between the type of forces drive e-business based competitive position and key barriers that deteriorate such a connection in emerging markets.

Originality/value

A model that enables scholars to better understanding the e-business phenomenon in MENA market is developed and validated. This model rests on e-business experts’ perspectives, reflections and it is evidently substantiated by past works in the areas.

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