E-business Adoption among SMEs in China: A Study of the Perceptions of SMEs in Hunan Province

Zhao, Ming (2016) E-business Adoption among SMEs in China: A Study of the Perceptions of SMEs in Hunan Province. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The significance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for China’s economy has received increasing attention over the last decade, with the latest official reports suggesting that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the key role of e-business in sustaining and developing China’s SMEs and an unprecedented range of benefits brought by the business innovation.
This thesis reviews the most commonly used research theories and conceptual models in the research area of organisational technology adoption, taking into account the characteristics of business environment faced by SMEs in China. It appears that Diffusion of Innovation theory (DOI) has the greatest potential to provide a useful framework for explaining the unique phenomenon.
Based on the proposed conceptual model derived from DOI, this study investigates the role of e-business in developing and sustaining SMEs in China and how small business decision makers perceive the innovation, through examining the applicability of the adoption elements and adapting them to fit the business context. This research is one of the first to comprehensively study e-business and SMEs by adopting China’s latest SME criteria which was released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China in 2011.
The findings reveal that DOI theory is applicable to e-business adoption issues for SMEs in China, with all of the four proposed elements being found relevant. The study has valuable implications to practitioners and policy makers in general, and can serve as the theoretical basis for future research.

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