More useful tips on how to tackle the fifth bullet point in the AQA Research brief on: The factors influencing if, why and how businesses respond to the growth in e-commerce.
The Relevance and Significance of Factors
Since the mid to late 1990’s there have been numerous studies (surveys, interviews and case studies) on the adoption and use of e-commerce technologies, often focusing on small and medium enterprises (SME’s).  The majority of these have examined variables that either act as:

  • barriers or constraints ie factors which inhibit adoption and use; or act as
  • drivers or incentives ie factors which promote adoption and use.

A paper on this topic, written by Scott A. Wymer and Elizabeth A Regan, published in 2005 in Electronic Markets – The International Journal on Networked Businesses (, examined all the literature published at this time, and came up with a consolidated list of a set of 25 ‘neutral’ factors (if we exclude the ‘other’ category which they included in subsequent primary research on the topic), which they classified into 4 categories.  This classification can be found on the fourth page of a key document relating to this research which can be accessed from here:
This is a useful starting point for student’s research into this aspect of the theme.  However, this is an extensive list of factors and it is important to highlight the following up-front:

  • Not every factor will be relevant to all businesses due to the different circumstances that they may face.
  • Some factors, whilst relevant, will be more important to some businesses than others.
  • In some cases, what may be a barrier or constraint to the adoption of e-commerce may be an incentive or ‘driver’ in others.

Numerous examples with regard to this will be included in our Complete Companion for use with the theme, which is due to be published later this term and can be pre-ordered now.  In the meantime, look out for further emails from us with advice and tips on how to approach the theme.
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