Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Conceptualizing Model of Factors Influencing Electronic Commerce Adoption in Iranian Family SMEs

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Conceptualizing Model of Factors Influencing Electronic Commerce Adoption in Iranian Family SMEs

Article excerpt


Purpose - This paper aims to provide a conceptual model for the purpose of examining potential influencing factors as well as particular effect of family SMEs' heterogeneity factors on EC adoption in Iranian family SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach - The conceptual model originates from EC adoption study backgrounds, grounded in the major concepts of frequently EC adoption and their dependent-extended models. Literature review presents relevant items under their main first order factors, including family SMEs' heterogeneity factors, categorized by contexts.

Findings - The model, in which EC adoption refers to the significance of 'Extent of Deployment' as innovation behavior, respecting to the theoretical basis of human behavior including essential pure theories (i.e. Learning; Anchoring-and-Adjustment) and major concepts of frequently EC adoption models (TAM; TPB; SCT; DOI), besides role of family SMEs' heterogeneity factors (i.e. The moderating effects of 'Family Strategic Orientation') provided a basis for assessing potential EC adoption antecedents (under which different facets of EC adoption would be considered) including 13th first orders, categorized under four main individual, organizational, industrial, and national contexts.

Practical implications - As a sustainable business market mean, EC adoption as an extra-exploitation of electronic commerce, making wider and more diversified external 'business-linked' and/or 'customer-linked' business relationships, particularly for family SMEs that suffer from 'marketing deficiency', time and effort is necessary so as to identify influencing factors and diagnose their effects on EC deployment in such Iranian SMEs, where EC adoption is questionably near to ground. The presented model is quite valuable for the analysis.

Originality/value - This paper presents a conceptual model for analyzing EC adaption factors under related contexts. Independent influences of 12 first potential factors categorized in four contexts as well as the moderation effect of 'family strategic orientation' variable on EC adoption are studied in the model. The design differs from previous studies as they used dichotomous approaches for 'family strategic Orientation' determination.

Keywords: electronic commerce, EC adoption, family SMEs, Iranian family SMEs, family (strategic) orientation, intergenerational succession

1. Introduction

Family SMEs as the majority of family businesses, which in turn are the most spread businesses across the world (Astrachan & Torsten, 2010), play an important role in the global economy, by creating a safe and transparent investment environment, overcoming the milieu of economic crisis. Family SMEs are the crucial section, not merely based on their critical involvement in economy, but presenting a long-term steadiness and responsibility. They represent 70-90% of the global GDP (Wealth and the Barclays Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009), 50% of the GDP and employment in US (Astrachan & Jaskiewicz, 2008), more than 60% of the European companies in a vast range of sectors (European commission reports, 2009), two-thirds of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the dominant form of business in Australia (Kotey, 2005), more than 90% of Japanese domestic companies (Astrachan & Jaskiewicz, 2008), 95% of the private companies in the Middle East (Walton and Whitener, 2010) and dominate form of SMEs compromising 98% of business in Iran (Jamali et al., 2015). Relatively, the regional advancement in the majority of societies are highly depends on the family SMEs' contribution (IFERA, 2003). They have a direct effect on poverty reduction and employment by sharing the economic pie to the societies' disadvantageous like youngsters and absorbing the redundant manpower, resulting from governments' privatization policies. However, despite the numerous advantages, they evidently suffer from serious challenges such as limited resources, deficiency of internationalization and unknown image. …

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