Strategic Choice of Electronic Marketplace Functionalities: A Buyer-Supplier Relationship Perspective

Authors

  • Shan Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. A PhD student in the Management Science & Information Systems Area at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. Her research interests include business-to-business electronic commerce and Internet-based electronic marketplaces. She holds a BA in Economics from Wuhan University, China, and an MA in Economics from Queen's University, Canada
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  • Norm Archer

    Corresponding author
    1. A professor emeritus in the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. He is also a special advisor to MeRC (McMaster eBusiness Research Center) and ORNEC (Ontario Research Network in Electronic Commerce). He is the former Director of MeRC and the former holder of the Wayne C. Fox Chair in Business Innovation. His research interests are in topics that relate to e-business, including business-to-business implementations, mobile commerce, intelligent agents, knowledge management, and the human-computer interface. He has published in a number of journals, including Internet Research, International Journal of Management Theory and Practice, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, International Journal of Technology Management, and many others.
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Address: DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4 Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 26183.

Address: DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4 Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 23944.

Abstract

This paper explores the important factors affecting the choice of electronic marketplace (EM) functionalities. We propose that buyer-supplier relationship-related factors, such as transaction uncertainty, transaction specific investment, transaction frequency, complexity of product description, and non-contractible factors, can affect the choice of different EM functionalities. A case study method was employed to verify these propositions. We found that transaction frequency and non-contractible factors were two strong indicators of EM functionality choice, and transaction specific investment is a weak indicator. Depending on different types of transaction uncertainty, companies will choose different EM functionalities. Complexity of product description was low in all the cases we studied, and did not appear to affect functionality choice. An additional finding was that supplier power could influence a buyer's choice of different functionalities.

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