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Driving the internet and e-business technologies to generate a competitive advantage in emerging markets : Evidence from Egypt

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Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically examine a comprehensive model that attempts to identify the factors that explain competitive advantage of implementing electronic business (e-business) in an emerging market. It seeks to fulfill an inevitable lack of conducting rigorous and intensive empirical studies on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in which the internet use and e-business applications are on the rise.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is descriptive in nature where a quantitative research methodology is deployed. Data are collected using both interviews and e-survey for a sample of 302 Egyptian companies serving in diverse industries. A multivariate partial least squares technique is employed to analyze the collected data.

Findings

This study explores various e-business modes and applications widely employed in the MENA region. It also addresses a set of e-business-driven competitive advantages that are mainly generated from supportive ICT environment, major market forces and strategic opportunities, and at last, from electronically driven customers’ relationship initiatives. A number of e-business barriers are claimed to moderate the relationship between those forces and the resulting competitive advantages.

Research limitations/implications

Although this research main framework incorporates important variables based on theoretical and empirical foundations, integrating other factors may extend understanding of how these factors, independently and/or interactively, explain the adoption of e-business and its merit to create distinctive competitive advantage.

Practical implications

This work helps managers and e-business experts alike to comprehend the ways through which firms target the applications of e-business technologies to realize a competitive edge in MENA region. It also helps practitioners and professionals comprehend the interrelationship between the type of forces drive e-business based competitive position and key barriers that deteriorate such a connection in emerging markets.

Originality/value

A model that enables scholars to better understanding the e-business phenomenon in MENA market is developed and validated. This model rests on e-business experts’ perspectives, reflections and it is evidently substantiated by past works in the areas.
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Keywords: Adoption; Barriers to e-business; Business models; Competitive advantage; E-business modes; E-marketing; Electronically driven customer relationships management; Internet and e-business applications; Online shopping; Services operation and management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Business Administration, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt 2: Business Division, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Publication date: August 23, 2019

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