Document Type

Journal Article


Despite the proclaimed advantages of small business strategic alliances, little research has been carried out to determine whether these structures "cushion" the disadvantages arising from e-commerce adoption for member businesses. There has also been a lack of research into comparing e-commerce use in those small businesses that are members of a strategic alliance to those that have opted to remain outside such arrangements. This article aims to correct the situation by presenting the findings of a study of 177 regional small businesses in Sweden and Australia that investigated the impact of strategic alliance membership on disadvantages associated with e-commerce adoption. The results of the study indicate that e-commerce disadvantages are often dissipated through a strategic-alliance structure more easily than through a single self-directed unit. However, the cushioning effects of a strategic alliance membership are not uniform and they differ depending on organisational factors such as the size of the business, the market focus, and the business sector. Copyright.