Business Use of the Internet: An Analytical Framework and Exploratory Case Study

Anand Vadapalli and K. Ramamurthy
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 2, Number 2, Winter 1997, pp. 71.

Abstract: While the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) appear to have gained fairly rapid acceptance, some key questions remain: What could be the underlying motivation for businesses to adopt and make use of the Internet? How can businesses effectively manage this technology and its use? What are likely to be the major organizational consequences from its use? This study offers a theoretical framework for analyzing the use of the Internet for business. Innovation-specific characteristics (the social and technological context) and organization-specific characteristics (organization boundaries, transaction cost economics, and organizational cognition) are proposed to be the determinants of business use of the Internet. Building on the model and propositions in the theoretical framework, this study presents the results and analysis of an exploratory case study, which finds preliminary support for the proposed model. This study is intended to spur future empirical research in this increasingly important area.

Key Words and Phrases
: Innovation, Internet, intranet, learning and absorptive capacity, morphogenesis, organizational boundaries, population ecology model, rational model, transaction costs, World Wide Web.