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An empirical study of the impact of e-commerce applications on an enterprise's marketing performance in China
Chapter II Literature review
2.1 Introduction of literature review
The second part of this chapter first reviews researches related to the nature of e-commerce and understands the role and characteristics of e-commerce, then it reviews the relevant literature related to the relationship between e-commerce and enterprise performance. In the following section, it reviews and the dimensions of e-commerce application and determine the research indicators of e- commerce application in this study. The third part first reviews the nature of marketing capability and understands the role and characteristics of marketing capability, and it reviews the related literature of marketing capability and enterprise performance, then it reviews the research dimensions of marketing capacity to determine the research dimensions of marketing capacity. The fourth part first reviews the relevant studies on the relationship between marketing performance and enterprise performance, then it reviews the research dimensions of marketing performance and determines the research indicators of marketing performance. The fifth part indicates the theoretical significance of this study.
2.2 Research on e-commerce application
2.2.1 Research on the nature of e-commerce application
There is no unified definition for e-commerce application and different researchers have described it from different perspectives and dimensions.
Porter (2001) analyzed the specific content of Internet application from the perspective of enterprise value chain enterprise, that is, from the perspective of enterprise infrastructure, human resource management, technology development, procurement, internal logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, after-sales service to analyze the possibility of e-commerce application. Wu, Vijay and Sridhar (2003) figured that different companies have different focus for e-commerce application, therefore to distinguish different functions of e- commerce application is very important. Based on the interviews with enterprises and the observations towards corporate websites, Wu figures that e-commerce is the use of network and IT technology to manage business process, he focuses his research on e-commerce application on four operational functions, including: communication, internal management, order reception and procurement, and in accordance with the scope designed accordingly to enterprises’ value added activities to build a matrix of e-commerce.
Zwass (1996; 2003) considered that the e-commerce is sharing information, maintaining business relationships and conducting business transactions in the telecommunications network, accordingly, e-commerce activities include inter-organizational processes related to particular activities, as well as internal process for supporting them. E-commerce should not just making purchase and selling electronic, it should also include a very wide sales of pre-and post-sales behavior
Apigian et al (2005) brought forward the idea of enterprises’ use of the Internet through methods of the literature research and survey towards enterprises, they defined it as internal and external use of the Internet to support the organization's activities and processes, including the five aspects: the Internet-driven market channels, the internal operations in the Internet, the interaction with customers through the Internet, the interaction with suppliers through the Internet and distribution supported by the Internet.
Through a summary of the above literatures, this study finds that, in general, although there are some people who feel that companies use the Internet primarily for achieve business transactions, but more scholars tend to hold the view that e-commerce application is not just the realization of transactions, but also the integration of corporate management functions (Wu, Vijay & Sridhar, 2003; Zwass, 1996); it not only includes communicating with customers, as well as with channel partners, especially the connection and co-operation with suppliers. Therefore, it can be said that these literatures which 留学生论文Literature review-留学生论文文献综述范文-英语论文文献综述范例discussed the nature of e-commerce have linked e-commerce application with enterprise business processes together. Wu, Vijay and Sridhar (2003) divided e-commerce application according to the different business functions, Zwass (1996) analyzed from the perspective of organizational processes, Apigian et al (2005) construed from the perspective of business process. These literatures provided this study with a basis for analyzing the nature of e-commerce application from the perspective of business process. To sum up, this study can draw the following conclusions: the nature of enterprises’ e-commerce application is through information technology and communication networks to achieve the electronic business processes.
2.2.2 Research on the impact of e-commerce activities on enterprise performance
Based on the results of studies of the real cases, George, Ray and Georgios (1999) made use of simulating method for the assessment of the positive and negative effects of EDI on enterprise performance. Differing from other researches, their measurement towards enterprise performance was implemented in three dimensions: time for ordering, time for reversing orders and delivery time. Studies have shown that single use of EDI can only add the performance of the main process (time for completing orders) to a certain extent, rather than commendably improve the time for completing orders as it has been expected.
Wu, Vijay and Sridhar (2003) used regression analysis to construe the impact of e-commerce applications impact on the performance of U.S. companies. In the analysis, they break down enterprise e-commerce application in four areas: communication, internal management, order reception and e-procurement. The results showed that e-commerce application did not have a very significant impact on enterprise performance, but only had much more impact on customer satisfaction and improving relationship to a certain level and less affected efficiency and sales performance. There is a positive correlation between overall level of e-commerce application and four indicators of enterprise performance (including: customer satisfaction, relationship improvement, efficiency, sales performance), the different aspects of e-commerce application show the different relationships with the indicators of performance, of which, there is a positive correlation between communicate and four indicators, especially there is a high degree of correlation with efficiency, sales performance and customer satisfaction; internal management has an impact on two indicators of performance: customer satisfaction and relationship improvement, but has nothing to do with the efficiency and sales performance; order reception and e-procurement are independent with the four indicators.
Shao B. J. and Cai Z. G. (2005) considered that enterprises added values into product or services through certain activities and the behavior of e-commerce to make customers more willing to purchase the product which had a more high price than the original, which could enable enterprise performance increase. They used regression analysis method to analyze the role e-commerce activities play in enterprise performance. The study found that e-commerce could increase enterprises’ income, improving the operational efficiency of enterprises and increasing. A summary of the relevant research literatures has shown that e-commerce can enhance enterprise performance, however, both the researches which study on the impact of e-commerce application on the overall enterprise and literatures on the impact of e-commerce application on enterprise function performance have linked e-commerce application with enterprise performance directly, they do not implement an in-depth analysis towards whether there is some intermediate variable or what intermediate variable existing between e-commerce application and enterprise performance.
As the researches of Barua and Mukhopadhyay (2000), Tippins and Sohi (2003), Sambamurthy, and Bharadwaj Grover (2003) on the relationship between information technology applications and enterprise performance have shown that, simple information technology can not directly bring a competitive advantage effectively, there should be an important intermediate variables between enterprises’ information technology and competitive advantage, there should be more researches to analyze what intermediate variable information technology uses to affect enterprise performance (Tanriverdi, 2005). As many researches on e-commerce application are built on the basis of the study of information technology. Therefore, in this study, it is believed that separating the impact of other factors on the performance, simply research on the relationship on e-commerce application and enterprise performance do not take into the other variables which is likely to affect the relationship between the two. There are many methods used for analysis of e-commerce currently, methods of data analysis which many scholars have used are more traditional exploratory factor analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis, because of the existence of multi-collinearity and neglect of variables measurement error, the objectivity of the analysis has always been questioned. The delayed research methods have a negative impact on the tightness of argument of the relationship between e-commerce application and enterprise performance. Therefore, this study introduces marketing capacity as an intermediate variable, through applying structural equation model to explore the impact of e-commerce on enterprises’ marketing performance, thereby improving the objectivity and preciseness of research results.
2.2.3 Research dimensions of e-commerce application
A large number of scholars implemented analysis on e-commerce application from different perspectives. Porter (2001) analyzed the status of e-commerce application of eight major activities of the value chain. In measuring the difference of the existing e-commerce application in U.S. enterprises, Wu, Vijay and Sridhar (2003) mainly focused on the four major business functions: communication, internal management, order reception and procurement. Apigian et al (2005) broken down relevant content into the Internet-driven market channels, the internal operations in the Internet, the interaction with customers through the Internet, the interaction with suppliers through the Internet and distribution supported by the Internet from the perspective of the use of the Internet. After contrast it can be seen that, the frame provided by Wu, Vijay and Sridhar (2003) is the most succinct and which is more in line with the requirements of this study, therefore, this study uses it as a basic reference object.
As the purpose of this study is to explore the role marketing capability playing between e-commerce application and marketing performance. Accordingly, it is essential to extract marketing from the various business processes of commerce application. Therefore, Wu, Vijay and Sridhar’s (2003) frame model cannot fully meet the needs of this study, after careful comparison, it found that the segment of ‘order reception’ in the frame set by Wu and others was an over-simplification, even it has been added the content of ‘communication with customer’ in ‘information communication’, this measurement content still cannot cover the content of marketing and sales, because in addition to order reception and communication with customer, corporate marketing and sales may also include: the establishment of online sales channels including Web sites and network market, opening with the real-time path of internal and external channels which relate to customer information, product catalog, dynamic pricing, inventory, online quotes and orders, on-line product configuration; special marketing for customer through customer segmentation; marketing promotion advertising; build on-line channels for customers, implement of feedback tracking of marketing and promotions towards opt-in (opt) / opt-out (opt-out) mode through the web-based survey to gain real-time customer feedback (Porter, 2001). Therefore, based on Wu, Vijay and Sridhar’s (2003) frame, this study selects ‘communication’, ‘internal management’ and ‘e-procurement’ together with ‘marketing and sales’. These constitute the indicators of the measurement towards enterprises’ e-commerce application in this study. Specifically, these four indicators are:
(1) Communication: including interaction and exchange of information between enterprises and customers, enterprises and suppliers, enterprises and the public as well as their partners through computer networks.
(2) Internal management refers to enterprises’ realization of managing enterprise infrastructure, human resources, technology development, internal logistics and operational management through computer networks.
(3) e-procurement refers to enterprises’ procurement activities of the raw material through computer networks.
(4) Marketing and sales: including enterprises’ activities of marketing strategy, sales, customer service, as well as the marketing survey through the use of computer networks.
2.3 Researches on marketing capability
2.3.1 Researches on the nature of marketing capability
Marketing capability is a unique, aggregative, dynamic, intangible capacity of an enterprise’s which has functions of co-ordination （Grham, et al, 1999.）. It is the survival and development basis of an enterprise, it is also an enterprise’s basis to obtain a competitive advantage, but it eventually emerges in an enterprise in the form of materialization, there must be a carrier of transmission between an enterprise’s capability and the final materialized result, which is a necessary condition for an enterprise to play its role, without such transmission links, the enterprise’s capability is meaningless. Such capability includes both an enterprise’s abilities to effectively mobilize and make good use of the internal and external resources and its abilities of technological innovation and innovation in marketing and management (Xia, 2002), and the development and the establishment of the key marketing capability are considered an important means to gain a competitive advantage in an organization (Day & Wensley, 1988; McKee et al, 1989; Day& George 1994; Sheth, Sisodia & Sharma, 2000). According to the analysis results of Yu, et al (2003) on 167 pieces of researches on the core competence at home and abroad since 1990, it can be drawn a conclusion that marketing capability is an important component factors of an enterprise’s core competence. Therefore, the deepening of researches on enterprises’ capability is bound to elicit researches on marketing capability. To define the content of enterprises’ marketing capability includes: hypothesis of capability of resource integration, which takes enterprises’ marketing capability as capability of resource integration, for example, Day (1994), Grant (1991), Paolo and Gabriele (2006,2007), Vorhies (1998 ) looked on marketing capability as an integrated process, which aims at using the accumulated knowledge, skills and resources to solve market-related issues and to create superior customer value. Day (1994) believes that marketing capability is an enterprise’s integrated process and capability of making use of the comprehensive knowledge, skills and resources to meet market demand, win products and the value of services, according to the different marketing process, it can be divided into three kinds of capability: from exterior to interior (that is an enterprise’s capability in areas such as judging the market, cultivating customer relationships, channel control, and technical controls, and so on, from interior to exterior (mainly focused on enterprises’ internal resources and capability, such as financial management, cost control, technology research and integrated logistics, and so on) internal and external integration (mainly including the completion of customer orders, pricing, procurement, customer service and the development of new products, services, etc.). To integrate these views, this study holds that marketing resources and marketing capability are intertwined, without marketing capability, enterprises can not improve marketing performance, marketing capability is different from marketing resources, it is an enterprise’s potential which enables the enterprise configure and organize resources to meet the needs of customers through effective and rapid business processes and activities, which is the complex model of coordinating human resources and marketing resources through leaning from others in practice, it is an enterprise’s cumulative results of marketing practice.
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