Depth interview results

Findings from depth interviews confirmed the ten models identified in the literature were used for conducting B2B e-commerce, five of these models (the procurement portal, manufacturer, mega-exchange, online storefront and distribution portal models) appeared to be commonly used. Whilst, the e-speculator, solution provider, buy-side, sell-side asset exchange and specialist originator models were less frequently mentioned. All interviewees agreed that the procurement portal model was the most commonly used

Table I Comparative features of B2B e-business models Type of B2B

e-business models Features model in the agribusiness industry because current market trends indicated that buyers were making purchases as groups and they were acknowledging the benefits (such as discount purchases) involved. On the other hand, the two least frequently mentioned models identified by the interviewees were sell-side asset exchange and specialist originator models. The main reason for the lack of use of these two models was their complexity and perceived lack of suitability to the agribusiness industry, which was seen to be only in the infant stage of adopting e-business.

The results also revealed support for the 16 factors identified in the literature as potential influencing factors to the choice of models with the most frequently mentioned influencing factor being the type of industry, since interviewees suggested that models that were used in one industry might not be applicable in other industries or sectors as they could be quite different. Environmental factors (such

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

Nature of model

Supplier-centric

Supplier-centric

Buyer-centric

Supplier-centric

Buyer-centric

Neutral between supplier and buyer

Buyer-centric

Supplier-centric

Neutral between supplier and buyer

Buyer-centric as economy) were regarded as the least important influencing factor where interviewees indicated that organisations alone had limited control over this factor, thus having very minimal impact on the selection of models.

In addition, potential differences within agribusiness based on industry sector and organisational size were also highlighted. These findings were then further investigated in stage two of this research to determine if different frameworks were needed by individual sector (grain and cotton) and organisational size (large enterprise and small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME)).

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