Determinants of small business EDI adoption: An empirical investigation

Patrick Y.K. Chau, Kai Lung Hui

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Given the importance of widespread adoption for the success of electronic data interchange (EDI) and the "much-slower-than-anticipated" growth of EDI adoption in small businesses, in this study we aimed to identify the key determinants of small business EDI adoption. Based on prior research on IT/EDI adoption in large/small organizations, a model that incorporates 7 factors that are hypothesized to have influence on the EDI adoption decision was developed and empirically tested against data collected from 627 small businesses, with 38% of them having already adopted the technology. The findings suggest that in the eyes of small businesses, EDI still is not considered as something that enables a business to gain major strategic benefits or competitive advantages. Although perceived costs are found to be major impediments to adoption, small businesses tend to have an "unbalanced" treatment between direct and indirect benefits, focusing more on those that are immediate and direct rather than on long-term, indirect benefits. Furthermore, prior EDI experience and perceived level of support from the vendor are also important determinants of EDI adoption in small businesses. Implications to Internet-based EDI systems are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-252
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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