International Journal of Internet Science

A peer reviewed open access journal for empirical findings, methodology, and theory of social and behavioral science concerning the Internet and its implications for individuals, social groups, organizations, and society.

Volume 3, Issue 1 (2008)

The Influence of Firm Owner Characteristics on Internet Adoption by Independent Retailers: A Business Survey
Jesse W. J. Weltevreden, Ron A. Boschma
Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Abstract: While most studies concerning Internet adoption by retailers primarily focused on multiple retail organisations, this paper investigated domain name registration and Web site adoption by independent retailers. While controlling for organisational variables, we scrutinised the explanatory value of firm owner characteristics that so far received little attention in the retail literature. Data analysis of a business survey among 686 independent retailers in the Netherlands showed that firm owners and their family/friends play an important role in developing and managing the Web site of independent retail businesses. Results further indicated that age, ethnic background, personal Internet experience, and perceived competitive pressure of the firm owner are important explanatory variables for domain name registration and/or Web site adoption among independent retail organisations.

Keywords: Internet adoption, firm owner (CEO) characteristics, networks, retailing, (small) independent retailers, the Netherlands

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