How organizing visions influence the adoption and use of reverse auctions

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Business and Law


School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice




Standing, S. , Standing, C. , Love, P., & Gengatharen, D. E. (2013). How organizing visions influence the adoption and use of reverse auctions. Electronic Commerce Research, 13(4), 493-511. Available here


This research investigates strategic and tactical approaches to reverse auction use, and how they are influenced by organizing visions. Organizing visions are real and perceived forces that influence the adoption of information technology. We use an extensive literature review and a case study of a reverse auction provider, that has managed thousands of auctions for organizations, to investigate how organizing visions impact on decision making in relation to reverse auction adoption and use. The findings from the study show that e-auctions are used to reduce procurement costs and improve efficiency and are more likely to be used for commodity purchases. The narrower tactical role for e-auctions that is now evident in some organizations is shaped by the fear and disdain surrounding past use and in particular the perception of the damage to supplier relationships that their widespread adoption in procurement could create. The reverse auction vendor legitimates tactical adoption through the type of service provided. The paper makes an original contribution to theory in extending the concept of organizing visions. It concludes that although an organizing vision is often viewed as a force for adopting technology it can also be a limiting force that inhibits organizations from obtaining significant benefits from technological opportunities.