Key Dimensions of Inhibitors for the Deployment of Web-Based Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce

There has been a rapid increase in the number of firms undertaking business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce (e-commerce) initiatives. Although there are various benefits to B2B e-commerce, there are also inhibitors to its deployment. This study empirically investigates the inhibitors for deploying Web-based B2B e-commerce applications in organizations. A field survey of senior IT executives was conducted to examine the key problems that inhibit the deployment of Web-based B2B e-commerce. A comprehensive list of inhibitors was derived from an extensive review of the literature and pretested with senior IT executives. Data from 249 firms were factor analyzed to yield the underlying structural dimensions of inhibitors impacting the deployment of Web-based B2B e-commerce. Univariate t-test and multivariate discriminant analysis were carried out on the resulting ten dimensions to compare B2B (i.e., firms who have deployed B2B) and non-B2B firms (i.e., firms who have not deployed B2B). The results suggest that key inhibitors in B2B deployment are the lack of top management support, unresolved technical issues, the lack of e-commerce strategy, and the difficulties in cost-benefit assessment of e-commerce investments. Implications of the results for researchers and IT/engineering management executives are discussed