Empowerment of SME websites—Development of a web-empowerment scale and preliminary evidence
The emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web has been argued to fundamentally reshape economic conditions and business practices of firms. It is seen as a promoter of rapid internationalisation of companies, particularly small and medium enterprises. In the aftermath of the burst of the electronic-bubble business practitioners and academics look with scrutiny on successful web-strategies, relevant dimensions of online-success and try to identify viable website practices which enable long-term rewards. The literature offers a rather patchy pattern for successful web-strategies and consumer perspectives on what is expected from websites is hardly available. Within this paper, we introduce the dimension “web-empowerment”. This is a multidimensional construct comprising of consumer views on various dimensions of relevant and successful websites. The web-empowerment scale is based on a large sample from Austria, and developed according to scale development procedures. The relevance of this construct and practical issues in the context of a cross-country sample of SME’s is empirically examined. The paper concludes by offering implications for SME practitioners and for research. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005
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