Internal factors

Seven of the nine internal factors were identified as important to the selection of e-business models. Respondents supported resources available and technological infrastructure and knowledge as being critical in determining the organisation's capability to develop and support the selected e-business model (Bagchi and Tulskie 2000). For example, the megaexchange model would be more suitable for SMEs as this model required a lesser commitment (such as financial and human resources) from these smaller organisations, which were subject to intense resource constraint. Target market segment and market scope were regarded as essential to organisations where customers' needs in the various target market segments must be met with specific models (Hoffman et al., 1997) whilst it was also important that organisations select models that matched the nature of the products or services they offered (Timmers, 1999). For example, the solution provider model might be more appropriate in a niche market since organisations could use this model to offer unique and valuable services to specific target markets. A good understanding of e-business models, including the nature and benefits of the various e-business models, would provide organisations with theoretical and technical knowledge to determine the suitability of the model to be adopted (Timmers, 1999). Lastly, the types of business strategy and organisational structure and culture were important in setting the foundation for the models to be adopted in order to achieve overall strategic goals (Song et al., 2002; Nwachukwu, 2002). For example, organisations (suppliers) seeking a defensive strategy of strategic alliance might adopt the distribution portal model as this model enable suppliers to work as a group so that relationships and mutual understanding could be developed and enhanced.

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