Conclusions and implications

This article set out to provide a better understanding on the use of web sites for creating value in industrial buyer-seller relationships. Through an extensive yet not exhaustive review

of previous studies on B2B web site development in general, and more specifically the use of extranets, four research questions emerged. These research questions provided a methodological foundation from which empirical evidence could be obtained from an industrial setting in Sweden. Using within-case as well as cross-case analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1994), findings were compared not only with the theory on extranets reviewed, but between the cases as well. From this, the following specific conclusions and implications for future research are provided.

In general, access to the extranet was exclusive to those buyers geographically and culturally closest to the selling organization. It seems the farther away buyers were in the real world, the less access they had in the digital world of cyberspace, at least at the extranet level of this seller's I-E-I framework. Of particular interest was the finding that within the buying organizations, there was more use (and therefore value) of the extranet by the pre-purchase member of the buying team versus the post-purchase member in that same team. There is not indication as to why this is, leading to the question, is it the role within the buying team that determines extranet use or is it the individual characteristics (i.e. background, personality, etc.) of the member within that team? This of course deserves more research.

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