Faculty of Business and Law
School of Management
In Western Australia (WA), efforts to increase SME e-commerce adoption have been integrated with some governmentlunded collaboratively-owned regional Internet community portals. This paper examines three such cases, two in regional WA and one in the metropolitan area, to determine the impact of cultural factors on the success of these portals. Results indicate that the collectivist culture of the communities in the two regional areas played an important role in initially sustaining the portals. Subsequently, legitimacy and mimetic pressure also contributed to SME involvement in these portals resulting in an overall increase in awareness by this sector of the benefits and drawbacks of participating in such portals. In contrast, the individualistic nature of the owners and the communities catered for by the metropolitan portal resulted in its failure even before it could properly take off. This research suggests that cultural contexts underlying the region and the alliances in the collaborative efforts can in some cases be leveraged to achieve intended outcomes. In others, they can indicate that the initiatives are not suitable and would require significantly greater resources to succeed.