The Internet as a Complementary Resource for SMEs: The Interaction Effect of Strategic Assets and the Internet

Webb, Brian and Schlemmer, Frank (2009). The Internet as a Complementary Resource for SMEs: The Interaction Effect of Strategic Assets and the Internet. International Journal of E-Business Research, 5(1) pp. 1–24.

URL: http://www.irma-international.org/viewtitle/1920/

Abstract

It has been suggested that the Internet can be used to leverage a firm’s strategic assets. However, empirical research on complementarity is still rare and frequently inconclusive, especially in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises. We propose a theoretical framework with the independent variables business resources, dynamic capabilities and IT assets. Survey data of 146 small firms suggest that the Internet is complementary with business resources and dynamic capabilities but not with IT assets. Therefore, the framework may enable small firm managers to create competitive advantage by identifying strategic assets that are complementary with the Internet. Furthermore, our research our research highlights the threat of an over-investment in IT assets.

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