A framework to assess the factors affecting success or failure of the implementation of government-supported regional e-marketplaces for SMEs
Business and Public Management
School of Management
Regional electronic marketplaces (REMs) have been used to promote e-commerce uptake by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, the community and regional economic development motives underpinning REM creation can cause complexities. While REM development and management can be informed by existing theoretical frameworks, there is no comprehensive framework that can be used to examine the factors affecting the success or failure of government-supported SME-REMs. The objective of this paper is to construct such a framework that can be used to examine these factors. The literature on e-marketplaces and IT|[sol]|IS|[sol]|e-commerce adoption by SMEs is examined to determine the appropriateness of existing theoretical frameworks, the key constructs of which are synthesised to form an integrated theoretical framework. The value of the framework is confirmed by content analysis of published case studies and empirical results from in-depth case studies of two SME-REMs. The most significant factors affecting success or failure of government-supported SME-REMs are as follows: SME-owner innovativeness; REM ownership structure and governance that engender trust and build critical mass by including SMEs in REM development and management; matching REM focus and structure with regional profile by leveraging community ties and existing business relationships; adopting a staged approach to REM development; and ensuring REM benefits are understood by SMEs.