Strategies for consulting engagement for E-business development: A case analysis of Australian SME's
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Business
It is estimated that there are 1,004,200 private sector small businesses in Australia, of which almost 900,000 were non-agricultural businesses, and 104,500 in the agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses (DEWRSB, 1997). It is also estimated that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)1 employ 51% of the private sector workforce (SBDC, 1999) and so make a substantial contribution to the nation’s economy and employment. This pattern is not unique to Australia but reflected in many developed and developing economies around the world. In general, therefore, SMEs have been strongly encouraged by government to embrace the new e-business environment and expand their global reach with enhanced productivity. However, the relationship between SMEs and e-business has been found to be an uncomfortable fit. SMEs have been reluctant to adopt electronic commerce principles and practices in their day-to-day business transactions (Beer, 1999; DIST, 1998; Shern, 1998; SBI, 1998; Yen, 1998) for a wide variety of reasons.