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An empirical analysis of the barriers to implementing e-commerce in small-medium sized construction contractors in the state of Victoria, Australia

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To improve organizational performance and sustain a competitive advantage many Australian businesses have begun to embrace e-commerce. For example, businesses from the automotive, banking, insurance and retail industries have been able to leverage the benefits of information and communication technologies. Yet, those from the construction industry have been slow, perhaps even reluctant, to implement information and communication technologies to support e-commerce. Thus, this paper aims to determine the barriers that small-medium sized contractors are experiencing when confronted with the need to implement e-commerce to sustain their competitiveness. Unstructured interviews were undertaken with managers from 20 small-medium sized contractors from the State of Victoria in Australia, which had annual turnovers ranging from $1_50 million. The financial, organizational, technical and human barriers that were identified from findings are presented and discussed. The paper concludes by proposing strategies that small-medium sized contractors may adopt if they to leverage the benefits of e-commerce.

Keywords: e-commerce; information and communication technology; small-medium sized contractors

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/147141701701571599

Affiliations: 1: School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University 2: Department of Information Systems & Computing, Brunel University 3: Department of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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