Key themes and concepts

This chapter addresses four key themes which are central to understanding how businesses are utilising Internet technologies:

1 The B2B e-context: this section explores the circumstances in which B2B usage of the Internet occurs and highlights some features of the online trading environment which affect business involvement.

2 Commercial exchanges in B2B markets: this section examines: 1. the electronic marketplace in terms of growth, volume and global dispersion; and 2. electronic exchanges looking specifically at how organisations are using Internet technologies for (a) communications, and (b) e-commerce (online buying and selling).

3 Trading relationships in B2B markets: this section explores how trading relationships are changing as a result of online trading, the structure of the online buying group and the online supply chain.

4 Digital marketing strategies: this section looks at the focus of digital marketing strategies - tactical or strategic, the extent to which such strategies are integrated into an organisation's overall strategic planning; and the impact on organisational success.

Within this chapter, industry case histories are provided as illustrative examples of organisational behaviour in the online trading environment. Additionally, academic articles are introduced to support underlying theoretical issues and concepts.

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