The Microstructure of Collaborative E-business Capability
Sammanfattning: IT has direct and observable positive effects for consumers. For firms, the situation is somewhat different, because efficiencies generated by publicly available technology tend to be competed away. Therefore, researchers from the strategy field and students of information systems have concluded that for firms, the opportunity lies in using IT better than competitors rather than in the technology itself. The thesis takes this conclusion as its premise and introduces the capability perspective to the study of collaborative B2B, a practice in which firms use IT to gain efficiencies and other benefits across organisational boundaries. Based on a literature review and an in-depth longitudinal case study of e-business at SCA Packaging, including three projects with customers, the thesis proposes a framework for the microstructure of collaborative e-business capability ? the CEBCAP-MS framework. The key categories in this framework are desired ends (the firm's motives for engaging in collaborative B2B), elements (the factors that enable attainment of desired ends) and flows to these elements (what management can do to develop collaborative e-business capability). The study supports the relevance of desired ends for e-business proposed in previous literature. Both efficiencies and lock-in effects are included among the motives that managers cite for engaging in collaborative B2B. The CEBCAP-MS framework points to six main elements that collectively influence the extent to which firms reach this potential: e-business applications, value system understanding, implementation, a collaborative foundation of the focal customer relationship, project evaluation and e-business organisation.
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