Essays in business-to-business commerce on the internet



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This dissertation consists of two essays in business-to-business (B2B) commerce on the Internet. The first essay investigates the extent of Internet-based procurement of production goods in manufacturing firms. We examine Internet use in companies in both informational and transactional aspects of the procurement process. The theoretical model proposed in this essay incorporates different organizational, inter-organizational and external factors that explain the differences in Internet use across firms. Furthermore, the model also examines the impact of product characteristics on Internet use. The conceptualization used in this essay allows us to study Internet use in the entire procurement process, and to distinguish the impacts of antecedent factors on use in different aspects in the procurement process. Survey data obtained from 404 manufacturing firms support the proposed model, and illustrate an interesting combination of factors that determine the extent of Internet use in the two aspects. We find that while computerization of the procurement process and volume uncertainty impact Internet use in both informational and transactional aspects, trust impacts use in only the informational aspect and technological uncertainty influences use in only the transactional aspect. The second essay examines planned future participation in Internet-based business-to-business public markets by manufacturing firms. We develop a model to examine the extent of planned future participation in B2B markets from both short-term and long-term perspectives. We conceptualize perceived benefits and perceived risks as key mediating constructs through which all other exogenous constructs impact firm participation. While reinforcing the importance of factors investigated in the prior literature, the essay examines several factors that have not been studied in detail, such as adjustment costs and technological opportunism. Survey data collected from 273 manufacturing firms strongly support the proposed model. Our results suggest that the extent of short-term participation is strongly related to the extent of long-term participation. Perceived benefits are related to both short-term and long-term participation, but perceived risks are not related to short-term participation significantly. In addition, IT sophistication, adjustment costs and institutional pressure are significantly related to perceived benefits, adjustment costs are positively related to perceived risks and institutional pressure is negatively related to perceived risks.