The e-business model has become an integral feature of business practice. Its existence has created an extra electronic layer to business relationships. This has facilitated close partnerships to add unique and complex electronic components to their relationships that are not easily
copied by other firms. The emergence of e-relationships is detailed and their value creating potential explored. The e-relationship concept is then applied to the small firm. The strategic and implementation barriers that inhibit small firms from capitalising on such relationships are examined.
E-relationships are found to offer competitive advantage to few small firms. Critical to an e-relationship's success is the relationship orientation of the partners.