Assessment of business-to-business (B2B) e-marketplaces' performance

by Salehi-Sangari, Esmail; Engström, Anne, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Electronic marketplaces (e-marketplaces) are new business venues for buying, selling, and supporting customers, products, and services in many industries. The emergence of business-to-business (B2B) e-marketplaces has opened up opportunities for efficient online transactions between firms. While large capital investments were made in numerous B2B e-marketplace initiatives, a significant number of these firms ended up going bankrupt. Today, many e-marketplaces are still struggling to survive and are trying to understand the characteristics of viable business models and strategies for becoming successful. Research within this field is scarce and provides only fragmented insights into the area. Thus, the research problem of this thesis was designed to investigate holistically how the business performance of a B2B e-marketplace can be analyzed. Based on literature review and a pilot study, four research questions were developed and a theoretical framework was then created. A qualitative research approach, investigating six B2B e-marketplaces in Europe and the US, was adopted. Results from this study indicate that differences exist between B2B e- marketplaces in several aspects of their strategic position; thus, the existing taxonomy of B2B e-marketplaces can be questioned. Findings also indicate that several factors can determine the success and/or the failure of B2B e-marketplaces. Having technological expertise and a critical mass of companies trading through the e-marketplace are crucial to the e- marketplace's success. Results also suggest that the common challenges facing B2B e-marketplaces are business related, rather than technically oriented. Major challenges e-marketplaces have to address to perform successfully include, for example, creating liquidity and keeping a balance between the diverse interests of stakeholders. Concerning the critical impact business model components have on the success and/or failure of B2B e-marketplaces, it could be concluded that the companies' internal capabilities and assets, in particular, as well as their cost and revenue model, have an important role to play. Finally, the outcome of the study shows it may be possible to utilize the emerged frame of reference as a foundation to understand B2B e-marketplaces holistically.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation



Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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