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Does E-Commerce Provide a Sustained Competitive Advantage? An Investigation of Survival and Sustainability in Growth-Oriented Enterprises

by Qingyi Chen 1 and Ning Zhang 2,*
1
School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
2
School of Management, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1411-1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7021411
Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
Enterprises should find a new business model for their development, so as to make better use of their own advantages. At the same time, with rapid development of the economy and of science technology, the competition between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises is inevitable, so it is very important for small and medium-sized enterprises to find better ways to improve their ability to compete. E-commerce is a new medium of commerce in this 21st century, so as to promote the quantity development of SMEs and enhance the risk management ability of enterprises. However, at present, many of China’s small and medium enterprises face many challenges in the process of electronic commerce’s development, such as, which factors hinder the performance of electronic commerce, and what aspect of enterprises should be improved? This paper is based on the above problems, using theoretical analysis and empirical research methods to explore the root of these problems and find the solutions. In the empirical section, we explore how e-commerce influences sales growth in the short- and long-term. Through analysis of e-commerce performance, we further explore the causality relationship and influence degree. The results show that: first, IT Investment is the most important factor to achieve success, what competitive advantage can be achieved largely depends on whether enterprises will effectively use the network technology; second, the expansion of the enterprise size can promote transaction volume increase of SMEs in the short term; third, internet availability has a positive effect on the trade volume of e-commerce, but the intensity is not obvious, and the effect is relatively stable. View Full-Text
Keywords: commerce; competitive advantage; SMEs; sustainability; business value; causality test; China commerce; competitive advantage; SMEs; sustainability; business value; causality test; China
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Chen, Q.; Zhang, N. Does E-Commerce Provide a Sustained Competitive Advantage? An Investigation of Survival and Sustainability in Growth-Oriented Enterprises. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1411-1428.

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