This thesis analyses e-commerce adoption by businesses in China from organisational, inter-organisational and external perspectives, taking into consideration the impact of regional differences within the nation. A comprehensive theoretical framework was created from both the Information System and Marketing literature.
A quantitative study of 445 companies was conducted to validate the proposed theoretical framework. Eight determining factors were extracted from the organisational, inter-organisational and external perspectives by using Principal Component Factor Analysis. They are: Awareness, Intention, Preparation, Business Resources, Human Resources, Power/Dependence, Conflict/Cooperation and External Environment. Discriminant Analysis was then employed to analyse the ranking of these factors in each of three regions in China - the Pearl River Delta Economic Region, the Yangtze River Delta Economic Region and the West Region. This revealed the impact of uneven regional development on B2B e-commerce adoption patterns. Results from MANOVA test further identified differences between the regions.
This thesis confirmed the effectiveness of both organisational and technological factors on B2B e-commerce adoption in developing economies, extending previous knowledge from IS literature. This study also revealed the importance of the inter-organisational interaction atmosphere on adoption preferences, which was ignored in existing literature. It is further found in this thesis that regional differences strongly influenced adoption, resulting in three completely different regional adoption patterns.
Implications are drawn for both academics and practitioners who wish to study B2B e-commerce adoption in specific geographical regions.