Dissertation

Dissertation

Table of content
Table of content 1
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 5
1.1. Background of study 5
1.2. E-business in Vietnam 5
1.3. Profile of HolcimVietnam Ltd 6
1.4. Research objectives 8
1.5. Scope of study 8
1.6. Research contribution 8
1.7. Research ethics 9
1.8. Structure of the research 9
Chapter 2: Literature Review 10
2.1. Introduction 10
2.2. E-business in Vietnam 10
2.2.1. Awareness of need for adopting e-business 10
2.2.2. Slow growth 12
2.2.3. Bright future 12
2.3. Impacts of e-business 13
2.3.1. Impact on HVL and cement industry 14
2.4. Application of e-business 15
2.4.1. E-business application capability 15
2.4.2. Application of e-business 17
2.5. Identification of challenges and critical success factors (CSFs) of e-business implementation for HVL 18
2.5.1. Challenges 18
2.5.2. CSFs 19
2.6. E-business strategy 20
2.6.1. Approaches to e-business strategy 20
2.6.2. Developing e-business strategy 22
2.7. Chapter summary 23
Chapter 3: Methodology 24
3.1. Introduction 24
3.2. Research philosophy 24
3.2.1. Positivism philosophy 25
3.2.2. Phenomenology philosophy 25
3.3. Research approach 26
3.4. Research strategy 26
3.5. Research method 27
3.6. Research data collection 28
3.6.1. Data source 28
3.6.2. Collection method 28
3.7. Sample size 29
3.8. Data analysis method 29
3.9. Reliability and Validity 29
3.9.1. Reliability 29
3.9.2. Validity 30
3.10. Research limitations 30
3.11. Chapter summary 30
Chapter 4: Findings, Discussion and Analysis 31
4.1. Introduction 31
4.2. Findings from the Survey 31
4.2.1. Demographic Data 31
4.2.2. Application of e-business in HVL 35
4.2.3. Challenges HVL facing when adopting e-business 39
4.2.4. CSFs for HVL when adopting e-business 43
4.2.5. Impact of e-business on HVL 46
4.2.6. E-business Strategy Formulation 50
4.3. Discussion and Analysis 51
4.4. Summary 52
Chapter 5: Conclusions, Limitations, and Recommendations 53
5.1. Introduction 53
5.2. Summary as per Research Objectives 53
5.2.1. Research Objective 1 53
5.2.2. Research Objective 2 54
5.2.3. Research Objective 3 55
5.2.4. Research Objective 4 55
5.2.5. Research Objective 5 55
5.3. Recommendations 56
5.3.1. Proposed e-business strategy 56
5.3.2. Strategy as per research objectives 56
5.4. Limitations of the study 57
Reference 58
Appendix 64
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Background of study
Global economy in the last years of the twentieth century and the firsts of the twentieth first century has witnessed a remarkable transformation with the development of e-business following the emergence of the internet. In today global economy almost every organization in the world employs e-business with the aim of boosting the performance of their business. According to Christine S. et al. (2013), e-business is can be defined as the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support of all the activities of business. E-business draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
In the age of ICT, the internet is used in at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle of organizational businesses. E-business has significantly affected the modern economic environment in many different ways. Firstly, e-business has affected the information technology as well as all the economic sectors. It has enhanced the productivity and the performance of businesses (Nicholas O., 2012). In addition, e-business also gives organizations the ability to identify the number of qualified people needed to advance their ICT or to calculate the amount of investments needed to provide business with access to the internet (Domenico C., 2012).
At the start of the Internet revolution, e-business was seen as a tool for cutting operating costs. Rapid technological progress in ICT along with their widespread diffusion have led to speculation about "frictionless" economies in which transaction costs are nearly zero, barriers to entry and contestability disappear, and markets clear instantly (Domenico C., 2012). Since in e-business, products and services will be sold directly to customers over computer networks such as the Internet, it will help to eliminate existing intermediates, and, therefore, help to lower production costs. In addition, e-business is able to reduce costs in many other areas including document preparation, reconciliation, mail preparation, telephone calling, data entry, and overtime and supervision expenses (Jeong H. et al, 2009).
Many organizations are already benefiting from the implementation of e-business as it streamlines their procurement process for increased efficiency. Moreover, e-business creates a new distribution channel for existing products, enhances promotion of products and services through directand interactive contact with customers. E-business is really a powerful tool to improve customer service and increase customer satisfaction.
To summarize, by cutting costs, increasing efficiency, improving customer service, and increasing customer satisfaction, e-business could become an important tool for development.
1.2. E-business in Vietnam
The impact of e-business on developing countries might be stronger than on developed countries due to the scope for reducing costs and increasing productivity and efficiency is much larger in the developing countries. Therefore, for organizations and businesses in Vietnam, e-business plays a decisive role for transformation and development of business performance. Especially, Vietnam’s joining WTO on 11 January 2007 has made Vietnam’s global economic integration become profound and comprehensive, and, therefore, created a favorable environment for the development of e-business.Organizations that have good partnerships with foreign partners are pioneers in encouraging e-business in Vietnam.Besides, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can acquire advanced applications of e-business effectively with the support of the government.
According to the Department of Information Technology E-Commerce, in 2011, more than 30 million people that nearly 35 percent of the country’s total population were accessing the internet in Vietnam every day. However, 60 percent of Vietnamese businesses still do not have the application of e-business in their business process (Saigon-gpdaily.com). E-business experts and professors at an e-business seminar held on Ho Chi Minh City in 25 November 2011 stated that they appreciated Vietnam’s internet growth even though a number of businesses and individuals were not applying the technology in their business practices. They also stated that e-business development in Vietnam is still very slow as just about 20 percent of Vietnam’s population use products and services related to e-business and most of them do not transact money online (Saigon-gpdaily.com).
Therefore, Vietnam’s government and businesses should pay a huge attention on implementing and developing e-business so that Vietnamese economy and its component can rapidly grow and have strength to compete with other economies in the world. According to Mr. Le DanhVinh, the Deputy Trade Minister of Vietnam, the development of e-business in Vietnam has very bright future. However, although the chance of developing e-commerce in Vietnam is very optimistic, there are also many challenges such as the lack of human resources for e-business, an under developed ICT infrastructure and particularly the unformed legal environment and policies, he added.
For these reasons, due to the limitation of knowledge and learning as well as the difficulties of studying time and material, the author decides to choose the topic of this study as “Recommending an E-business for the Company Operating in Vietnam – Case Study for Holcim Vietnam Ltd”.
1.3. Profile of HolcimVietnam Ltd
Holcim Group is a worldwide leading producer of cement and aggregates and other services like ready-mix concrete and asphalt. The Group is active in around 70 countries and employs approximately 78,000 people. The subsidy of Holcim in Vietnam was established in 1993 with the investment capital of USD 495 million as a joint venture in terms of 50 years. The head office of Holcim Vietnam Ltd (HVL) is located in Ho Chi Minh City. The company has also 4 main factories installed in surrounding areas with about 1400 staffs and employees.
Figure 1: HVL’s organization chart (hierarchy)
Source: HVL
HVL follows a functional-setting structure which is appropriate for Vietnamese business environment (Figure 1). This traditional structure provides each unit of the company with independent power and the ability to operate through the guidance and control of managers. In addition, each unit can also have sub-units that are responsible for smaller functions. For instance, the main responsibility of Sales and Marketing department is to create profit for HVL by selling and promoting the products. People who are members of sales team will directly communicate with, sell and deliver products to customers; while the marketing team is responsible for marketing plans including collecting information, making market report, promoting products, and doing market analysis.
Sustainable development is always the top priority in business agenda of HVL as it is the best way to ensure future value and development. The company focuses on implementing economic strategies along with environment protection and social responsibilities. By this, HVL can compete with other existing cement producers in the Southern market as well as reach to the global market. Additionally, the company also pays huge attention on developing the quality of cement and adjusting prices of cement products to appropriate with the Vietnam market. HVL’s executives and managers vision IT and E-business as the critical success factor for the development of the company. The efforts and investments in ICT field have made HVL become the pioneer in providing E-services to customers. The company has developed a strong internal network for the staff to exchange ideas with each other and set up websites in order to interact with customers more easily.
1.4. Research objectives
The following research objectives have been set out:
* To review the progress of e-business in Vietnam and critically discuss its potential impacts
* To analyze the application of e-business in HVL
* To identify the challenges HVL is facing when adopting e-business
* To identify the critical success factors for HVL when adopting e-business
* To recommend an e-business strategy for HVL
1.5. Scope of study
E-business now become a tool to achieve competitive advantage and is essential for every business that wants to success. The concept of e-business is a huge category; however, due to the limitations of geography and time as well as material ability of the author, the boundary of this study is also narrowed in certain scope.
* Firstly, this research is conducted in scope of Vietnam’s environment for e-business application
* Secondly, the study primarily focuses on applying e-business for HVL
Although the practical value of this study in evaluating the application of e-business will aid the managers in improving the company’s business performance, an adequate assessment on this issue is uncertain because of its limitations. Thus, value of this study is only relative and referential.
1.6. Research contribution
* To company business: Contribute to the company and provide recommendations for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of business performance.
* To industry: Being an outstanding example of e-business implementation for other companies to follow.
* To society: Demonstrate and highlight the importance of a new business model for the development of the whole economy.
* Contribution to knowledge: Provide the readers with additional knowledge in relation to e-Business in Vietnam
1.7. Research ethics
It is no doubt that the whole research process and all the tasks and works emerged from it are done by the effort of the author himself or with the support of technical tools and programs. All the data and information collected through any kinds of method and channel are surely precise and legal. In addition, the data and information that are sensitive and private will be used only for the purpose this research project. Lastly, there is definitely no copy or plagiarism used in this research. It is according to the University of Bolton Regulations and RE1 is submitted.
1.8. Structure of the research
Chapter 1: Introduction of e-business and an overview of e-business in Vietnam.
Chapter 2: Literature Review - E-business fundamentals. Provide review of former researches and studies on the impacts, challenges, CSFs and the formulation of e-business strategy.
Chapter 3: Methodology.
Chapter 4: Findings and Discussion. Illustrate the findings and results from the survey and make comments and discussion about it
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations. Draw the conclusion of the whole paper and propose a recommended e-business strategy for HVL
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1. Introduction
In this fast-moving modern economy, organizations around the world have been under increasing pressure of competing effectively in dynamic markets and changing customer preferences. As a result, there have been on-going competitions between organization to seek for inventions and technologies that improve competitiveness and effectiveness of business models (Paul A. P. & Claire W., 2009). The emergence of the internet is one of such breakthroughs that bring about many great benefits and makes many traditional organizations simultaneously increase sales and reduce operational costs (Wu J. N. et al, 2011). Global businesses are experiencing major transformation due to the happening of many internet-related technologies, commonly referred to as e-business solutions (Luisa A. et al, 2010). These technologies with the use of the internet can automate many tasks such as ordering, purchasing and inventory tracking; hence, can lower costs and increase the effectiveness of many functions and processes within the business (Talai O. et al, 2009). Adopting e-business model is becoming more and more important for achieving competitive edge over other rivals for organizations worldwide, so as enterprises in Vietnam. Therefore, this chapter will focus on thoroughly discussing and analyzing the implementation of e-business, all the theories and related subjects. A review of the progress of e-business in Vietnam and an examination of potential impacts of e-business on Vietnamese firms will be conducted. Critical discussion and analysis of the application of e-business will also be performed. The study will also focus on identifying the challenges and critical success factors for HVL when implementing e-business. Finally, the paper will provide some reviews of previous study by other researchers on approach to e-business strategy and formulation of e-business strategy.
2.2. E-business in Vietnam
Before discussing about e-business it is important to identify how the term is defined. E-business refers to any electronic transactions between two or more parties, processes, or stages which involve goods or services. The most popular models of e-business are business-to-business (B2B) transactions, business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions.
2.3.1. Awareness of need for adopting e-business
The internet officially appeared in Vietnam from 1997 bringing remarkable changes and transformation to Vietnamese economy (Apnic.net). Before the emergence of the internet, Vietnam’s economy grows in slow pace and most of Vietnamese enterprises and businesses produce poor and ineffective performance. Hence, finding a way to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the business is vital for Vietnamese enterprises. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Vietnam is aiming at business development, especially in SMEs area, through the implementation of e-business (vir.com.vn). Participating in e-business to boost business performance is an indispensable trend as its positive impacts and results have been proved by organizations around the world such as companies from US and Europe. Moreover, with regional advantage, the e-business transformation is expected to bring about many business opportunities for Vietnamese SMEs. Therefore, building a success model of e-business adoption has become the most important task for the national economic development of Vietnam. Aware of the importance of e-business and the need for providing favorable environment for Vietnamese enterprises to adopt e-business, Vietnam’s government has approved a plan on developing the internet in Vietnam since 8 February, 2002 (International Business Publications, USA). The objectives of this plan are to spread the importance of e-business over all the sectors of the economy, to develop internet infrastructure for the application of all kinds of e-business model, and to create a competitive environment for many enterprises engaging in e-business.
HVL is a company doing business in cement field as well as services related construction industry; hence, its business contains many different paper-based processes which can be replaced and improved effectively by the adoption of advanced e-business software systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer / Supplier Relationship Management (CRM / SRM), Document Management Systems (DMS), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Without the adoption of these advanced e-business software systems, it takes time, costs and huge efforts for HVL as well as other companies operating in cement filed to succeed in their business. Therefore, a transformation to e-business model is very essential for them to achieve long-term success.
E-business is not only brining benefits to cement industry but also many other industries. For example, Airlines Companies in the world are turning to e-business by focusing on selling tickets through their Web sites. The reason is because selling ticket online is the cheapest distribution channel. In recent years, the automotive industry has changed dramatically with the emergence of social e-commerce. The social side of shopping for your next car has always existed, in the form of recommendations from friends or family, but the growth of online retail has changed the landscape for buying and selling cars. In addition to customer reviews, car buyers now can check product information from both the websites and social media platforms. The industry most influenced by e-business might be banking and finance. With the help of the Internet, secure cost-effective payment system is being developed which will be able to support growing commercial activities on the network. In addition, many online services of finance advising and consulting have been formed with the emergence of the internet.
2.3.2. Slow growth
Aware of the importance of e-business applications development to exchange information and data in trading activities facilitation and management, from the first years of the twenty-first century, Vietnam businesses in many sectors started to establish business network combined with electronic data interchange applications according to international standards or standards that were defined by businesses themselves. However, recent e-business development in Vietnam is still very low according to opinions of e-business experts in the international e-business seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City in 25 November 2011 (Saigon-gpdaily.com). Currently, there seems to be an initial tendency towards caution and non-progress when it comes to developing a solid e-business system in Vietnam. Though e-business model has been implemented by some enterprises, e-business as a trend does not seem to be spreading as fast as the infrastructure behind it. In Vietnam, the e-business market for 2012 was worth approximately $500 million. In comparison to the GDP of Vietnam at $320 billion, e-business is barely noticeable (Techinasia.com). There might be some explanations for the slow growth of e-business in Vietnam. The first is the idea of using credit cards/electronic payment systems to conduct business has not been established in Vietnam as Vietnamese people still familiar with traditional face-to-face manner of conducting business. The second is the cost of adopting e-business is still rather high comparing to Vietnamese standard. Finally, though Vietnamese government has made many efforts to encourage e-business, the legal framework, policies, and regulations are not strong enough to sustain e-business development in Vietnam.
2.3.3. Bright future
Though facing with many difficulties, Vietnamese government as well as enterprises should look on the bright side as the booming of e-business in Vietnam in the near future. According to the country’s e-commerce development plan, the e-commerce sector of Vietnam will reach the advance level compared to other ASEAN countries’ in 2015, said by Mr. Lai Viet Anh, head of the Legislature Division of the E-commerce and Information Technology Department (vir.com.vn). Vietnam’s e-business market value (gross merchandised value) is expected to grow at an average 75 per cent per annum during 2011-2015 to reach $2.8 billion by 2015 (vir.com.vn). Mr. Do Minh Anh from TechinAsia has listed 4 main categories of e-business model which will grow rapidly in Vietnam in next coming years including Daily Deals with the presence of big players like NhomMua (nhommua.com), HotDeal (hotdeal.vn), Mua Chung (muachung.vn), CungMua (cumgmua.com), and Cuc Re (cucre.vn), General E-commerce with the presence of big players like Vat Gia (vatgia.com), Lazada (lazada.vn), Tiki (tiki.vn), En Bac (enbac.com), and Cho DienTu (chodientu.com), Vertical E-commerce with the presence of big players like Hula (hula.vn), Project Lana (webtretho.com), Liu Lo (liulo.com), Vinabook (vinabook.com), and Customer-to-Customer with the presence of big players like 5 Giay (5giay.vn), Rong Bay (rongbay.com), and Mua Ban (muaban.com.vn).
For the case study of HVL, the leaders and managers of the company should have faith on the application of e-business because many researches and studies in the world have showed that it takes time before the transformation to e-business can have effectiveness. According to the surveys of the Sectoral e-Business Watch (SeBW, 2009) – an organization bases in Germany which studies the adoption, implications and impact of electronic business practices in different sectors of the economy - ICT is crucial for product, service and process innovation of glass, ceramics and cement companies. The results of these surveys show that 42% of manager of glass, ceramics and cement companies state that the new products or services have ICT components (13% fully, 29% partly) and 75% stated that the new processes are supported by ICT (33% fully, 42% partly) (Source: “ICT and e-Business Impact Studies – 2009” by the SeBW)
2.3. Impacts of e-business
The impact of e-business on the organization as a whole has been studied at length (Sanders, 2007). Luisa A. et al (2010) argued that e-business implementation in recent years has helped many organizations serve their customers better. Study of Frank W. et al (2013) has revealed that e-business adoption has helped many German SMEs to boost their sales growth. It has been confirmed that e-business helps lowering cost, enhancing business process, increasing service quality and profitability (Ramakrishnan R. et al, 2012). The implementation of e-business technologies also provides competitive edge to the organization (Fang W., Vijay M., Sridhar B., 2003). Eva M. & Juan G. (2010) have found that overall IT capability from e-business implementation has positive link to organizational performance and has the potential of providing a significant competitive advantage to organizaitons. The impact of e-business could be different in various sub-functions of an enterprise (Qing Hu, Yang J., Yang L., 2012). E-business has significant impact on both manafacturers and resellers as it helps manufacturers to boost their brand, while also helps resellers to enhance overall customer satisfaction (Wade D. C., Lawrence M. S., Joe Z., 2004). Sanders (2007) stated that e-business has a postive impact on the development of customer base (a marketing function), whereas does not have strong impact on purchaing management. From the perspective of marketing management, e-business can be effectively used to generate and store huge data on customer spending behaviors and the ability to generate valuable information by analyzing such data could help obtain competitive edge for the organization (Ramakrishnan R. et al, 2012). Electronic commerce enhances promotions of products and services through direct, information-rich and interacting contact with customers (Sun, 2012). E-commerce creates a new distribution channel for existing products, owing to its direct supportof research on customers and the bi-directional nature of communication (Gunasekaran A. et al, 2002). In summary, e-business has significant impact on the overall organizational business performance and this impact is different in various sub-functions of the organization. E-business can have significant impact on HVL and cement industry through the application of advanced e-business software systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
H1: E-business has significant impact on the overall organizational business performance
H2: The impact of e-business is different in various sub-functions of the organization
2.4. Application of e-business
2.5.4. E-business application capability
E-business application capability is an extension of the traditional notion of IT capability which suggests the importance of deploying IT-based resources and other complementary resources (Wu J. N., Zhong W. J., Mei S. E., 2011). E-business application capability which reflects the “e-business competency” of a company is very important for achieving e-business success (Chi M. et al, 2010). Martin W. et al (2011) argued that IT capability is just one component of e-business application capability besides other capabilities of information, transaction, customization, and integration. They also stated that if an organization does not develop a strong e-business application capability, it cannot build an effective and efficent e-business system, and, therefore, leading to the failure of e-business adoption. Hence, e-business application capability is rooted in e-business development and success. Chi M., et al (2012) argued that application capability of e-business help firms improve e-business success by two reasons. The first is it help efficiently deploy and use e-business investment to develop a successful e-business system. The second is it enable all forces and departments within organizations to effectively use the e-business system in order to supply their activities and accomplish their tasks.
A primary objective of e-business use in business is to reduce costs by making business processes more efficient by replacing formerlypaper-based document exchangesand their manual processing by electronic exchanges, both between and within companies (Talai O., Daniel C. B., David I. G., 2009). SeBW conducted a survey in which they asked companies in glass, ceramicm, and cement industry to estimate whether they conducted "most", "a good deal", "some" or "none" of their business processes as e-business. Figure 1&2 below present the result of the survey. In total, about 70%of all companies in the glass, ceramic, and cement industries (by share of employment) said that at least some of their business processeswere conducted electronically in 2009. About 15% saw themselves as intensive users, saying that e-business accounted for "most" or "a good deal" of their business activity.
Figure 1: Share of business processes conducted as e-business by companies in glass, ceramic, and cement industries (2009)
(Source: “ICT and e-Business Impact Studies – 2009” by the SeBW)
Figure 2: Glass, ceramics and cement industry by size classes (2009)
(Source: “ICT and e-Business Impact Studies – 2009” by the SeBW)
H3: E-business application capability has significant impact on the success of e-business
2.5.5. Application of e-business
E-business/e-commerce is changing the way businesses being carried on as a whole as well as each of its components. It is very important to pay attention to how e-business supports functional activities in organizations (Scott W. & Elizabeth A. R., 2011).
E-business application in marketing
The emergence of electronic markets provides buyers and sellers the ability to make transactions without the necessity of being in the same place or at the same point in time. E-business makes all marketing activities such as advertise, promote, and publicize a product or service happen online (Hatem E., 2012). Tiago O. & Martins F. (2010) argued that the benefits of e-business for marketing management include changing and adding new information and content immediately. In addition, e-marketing allows you to find new markets and potentially compete worldwide with only a small investment (Gurau, 2008). Zhen Z. & Jing Z. (2011) listed main applications of e-marketing including create a new distribution channel for existing products, provide direct and interactive contact with customer, and enable customer to find detailed information online.
E-business application in purchasing
Electronic purchasing generates a wide range of new opportunities in the facilitation and mediation of business environment.Selected vendor catalogs are converted to buyer-specific catalogs, allowing buyers to make comparison between different suppliers and different products of the same category (Larry G., Edward R., Esther S., 2012). In addition, buyers have constant access to processing and checking the status of bids, as well as communicating with suppliers.
E-business application in production
Richard J. B. & Cheng K. (2008) argued that e-manufacturing can integrate customers, products and suppliers with the help of Internet Technology. With the implementation of e-manufacturing, the company can improve speed of response, save costs and times, improve communication, information and knowledge, and improve effeciency and productivity. E-manufacturing is chaning the nature and characteristics of manufacturing operations (Lee, 2003).
E-business application in human resources management
E-HRM is defined as a way of implementing HR strategies, policies, and practices in organizations through a conscious and directed support and/or with the full use of web-technology-based channels (Nihat E. & Muhat E., 2011). E-HRM is being used in various disciplines of HRM such as recruitment, selection, performance management and payroll administration (Rene S., Volken T., Sjoerd H., 2013). The successes of e-business adoption, HRM as well as the performance of the whole business depend heavily on the efficiency and effectiveness outcomes of e-HRM (Janet H. M. & Sandra L. F., 2013).
H4: E-business application has significant impact on many components of the organizational business
2.5. Identification of challenges and critical success factors (CSFs) of e-business implementation for HVL
2.6.6. Challenges
According to Louis A. L. & Elizabeth L. (2002), information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, security problems, and customer trust are three main challenges organizations facing when implementing e-business model.
ICT infrastructure
ICT infrastructure plays a decisive role to the effectiveness, efficiency, speed, and responsiveness of the application of e-business. A strategic plan for ICT infrastructure is essential for improving the company e-business capability (Mauro B., Norberto H., Fernando B. L., 2009). Many developing countries are facing the difficulties of internet access including the hardware and software, as well as the communications infrastructures (Patrick F. C & Peter R., 2002). Pires G. D. & Janet A. (2003) argued that from the e-business perspective, the presence and quality of the ICT infrastructure is a crucial precondition and asset. Therefore, the overall readiness for e-business is dependent on the available ICT infrastructure in terms of equipment, software, data communications networks and respective technical services and their rate of usage.
H5: ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
Security problems
Security problems are main challenge for the e-business implementation of organizations as the development of ICT has raised awareness of protecting sensitive and private information for both providers and customers. Due to the virtual environment of E-Commerce and the open of the Internet, security issues are emerging and have become the bottleneck of E-Commerce development (Zhang Y., Deng X., Wei D., Deng Y., 2012). Nabi (2005) argued that privacy and confidentiality is the key and core issue concern within e-business development. Two problems with adopting e-commerce include the extent to which privacy and security issues are conceptualized as distinct, and the lack of understanding of how they are related (France B., Janine S. H., Wanda J. S., 2002).
H6: Security problems pose a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
Customer trust
Before involving in any online transactions, customers often want to ensure that their personal and financial information will be protected. Hence, customer trust is decisive for the success of e-business. In other words, it is one of the fundamental requirements for establishing online exchange relationships (Palvia, 2009). Moreover, although e-business brings benefits to both suppliers and customers, it also has limitations, such as the physical separation between buyers and sellers, and between buyers and merchandise. Therefore, in order to remove the barriers, organizations must develop a trustworthy relationship to foster customer loyalty (Thompson S. H. & Jing L., 2007).
H7: Customer trust poses a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
2.6.7. CSFs
Sung (2006) highlighted good customer service, effective executive leadership, and search engine optimization (SEO) are the most important CSFs for the e-business implementation of the company among many success factors
Good customer service
Good customer service is the most common CSF cited by many in literature (Mahmood H. S. & Feroz A. S., 2006). Internet-based technology has provided customers with increasing choices of products and services. In addition, building good customer relationships is becoming more and more important for the business success. These changes have led to the need for improving customer satisfaction of organizations so that they can achieve customer loyalty as well as competitive advantage over their rivals. Kofi Q. D. et al (2005) argued that good customer service is a CSF for e-business because customers are the core of a business and that a company's success depends on effectively managing its relationship with them. Providing exeptional customer service is one of nine CSFs for e-business firms proposed by Chris D. and his collueages (2005).
H8: Good customer service is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
Effective executive leadership
Implementing e-business strategy is a long-term affair and it cannot be succeed with without sustainable commitment and leadership of the senior executives of the organizations. However, too often the organization’s e-business strategy is vaguely defined by executive management and left to the information systems or marketing department to implement (Gunasekaran A. et al, 2002). Technologists have the in-depth knowledge about specific technologies to meet the identified needs, therefore, executives have to take responsibility for understanding the implications of up-and-coming technologies and anticipating when these technologies tend to have effects on business strategy. Moreover, the nature of tasks within e-businesses differs in some important respects from those of traditional bricks and mortar firms; hence, may require an alternative set of leadership competencies (Penny H. L. & Richard S., 2002).
H9: Effective executive leadership is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
SEO
SEO is a useful tool to improve the ranking of the website of the company in results of research engine. In the race of ICT for development of e-business, it is important for enterprises, especially those adopting e-business models, to be aware the importance of having a well ranking in the search engines (Nursel Y. & Utku K., 2010). When shopping online, buyers often deploy search engine such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo to look up product information. Websites that have high ranking in these search engines result pages can greatly increase their chances to make their products and services available to customers. Hence, pay great focus on SEO tools is essential for organizations to improve the sales results.
H10: SEO is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
2.6. E-business strategy
E-business strategy refers to the way internet tools are selected and used to achieve advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a changing environment to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations (David B., Suzanne M., Matthew H., 2003). An e-business strategy should concern both the right choice of tools and solutions according to the specific aims, goals, and context of the application. Jackson J. et al (2003) argued that inappropriate direction of e-business strategy from executive management can lead to the lack lack of evaluation of opportunities or insufficient resourcing of e-businessinitiatives.
2.7.8. Approaches to e-business strategy
How e-business strategy should be approached has been such a topic for discussion in literature. Hackbarth & Kettinger (2000) propose a four-stage ‘strategic e-breakout’ model including initiation, diagnosis of the industry environment, breakout to establish a strategic target, and transition or plotting a migration path. This model stresses the need to innovate away from traditional strategic approaches by using the term ‘breakout’ to show the need for new marketplace structures. However, a weakness of this model is that it does not emphasize objective setting and control.
Deise et al (2000) present a novel approach to developing e-business strategy in which they suggest that the focus of e-business strategy will vary depending on the evolutionary stage of e-business. According to their suggestion, the focus of e-business strategy should be the enhancement of the selling channel, which then tends to be followed by value-chain integration and creation of a value network.
Mintzberg & Quinn (1991), Lynch (2000) argue that there are two different approaches to e-business strategy including prescriptive and emergent strategy. In the prescriptive strategy approach he identifies three elements of strategy – strategic analysis, strategic development and strategy implementation, and these are linked together sequentially. Since in this approach the strategy is prescribed in advance, the interrelationship between the three elements of strategy may be less clear. It is the emergent strategy approach where the three elements are more interrelated. In reality, organizations often deploy both of prescriptive and emergent strategy. While the prescriptive approach is suitable for long-term planning, the emergent approach might be better in short-term projects. A dynamic emergent strategy process, which is specifically used for e-business, has been proposed by Kalakota& Robinson (2000). Accordingly, organizations need to have focus on responsiveness with continuous feedback and prioritization of investment in new applications.
June Verner et al (2004) propose a Problem Frames approach for e-business systems, which with its strong emphasis on describing and decomposing problem contexts as they exist in the real world, is potentially a powerful tool for requirements analysis of e-business systems. Kalakota & Robinson (2001) argued that there are three ways to approach e-business strategy which are top-down analytical planning, bottom-up tactical planning, and continuous planning with feedback.
The economic environment of Vietnam is very different from other economies. In addition, the stages from developing to implementing e-business strategy hold many unpredictable consequences. Hence, the approach to e-business proposed by Deise, which focuses on enhancing the selling channel, integrating the value chain, and creating the value network, seems to be best suitable with the situation and the potential of HVL.
2.7.9. Developing e-business strategy
Bennet P. L. & Kathryn P. R. (2000) proposed five important steps to develop e-business strategy
Step 1: Define the dimensions of the e-business implementation strategy
Key dimensions of e-business implementation include technologies, systems, business activities, organization, infrastructure, and measurement. These dimensions must match both the scope of the vision and the type and nature of the detailed implementation project plan. Executives and leaders play a decisive role in this step as it is the road map and link between the vision, the success and the whole e-business strategy.
Step 2: Define alternatives
In this step, many alternative strategies must be considered such as revolutionary type, infrastructure-based, organization-based, and Incremental mixed implementation strategies. The strategy might address change to many business activities at the same time such as relocation, distribution of departments, and consolidation of functions. This step offers advantages of faster completion time and less general disruption over the entire time.
Step 3: Develop the e-business strategy
This step involves in creating the rows of the table described earlier, dividing the infrastructure area work into two or three phases, and moving the systems and technology. Between phases, it is very important to adjust dependencies, move activities, and keep the time period of each phase vague.
Step 4: Evaluate the e-business strategy
The implementation e-business strategy will be tested and tried, and may be changed during its processing. Hence, a proper attention to possible changes and impacts, such as reordering of priorities, speeding the project, new technology, resistance, diversions, and technology failure, is essential.
Step 5: Test the complete e-business strategy
Once all above steps have been done, it needs to test the complete e-business strategy. It is important to pay focus on testing the infrastructure and network, analyzing feedback from staffs, reducing the documentation required, and involving more directly staffs and managers to the e-business strategy process as they will have a stake in the outcome and commit themselves to their tasks.
2.7. Chapter summary
This chapter has provided thorough examination and analysis of theories and subjects related to e-business implementation. A review of e-business in Vietnam has showed that Vietnamese enterprises have been aware of the need for adopting e-business model in order to enhance business performance. Although recent growth rate of e-business in Vietnam is still rather slow, it will be booming in the next few years and become hot space for Vietnamese enterprises to compete. A critical discussion about the impact of e-business has showed that e-business implementation has significant and positive impact on the overall performance of businesses. The paper has also identified the possible challenges and CSFs for e-business application of the company. Accordingly, ICT infrastructure, security problems, and customer trust pose challenges, while good customer service, effective executive leadership, and SEO are CSFs for e-business application of the company. Finally, some reviews of literature about e-business strategy as well as existing approaches to e-business strategy have been provided. After all discussion and analysis the following hypotheses have been proposed
* H1: E-business has significant impact on the overall organizational business performance
* H2: The impact of e-business is different in various sub-functions of the organization
* H3: E-business application capability has significant impact on the success of e-business
* H4: E-business application has significant impact on many components of the organizational business
* H5: ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
* H6: Security problems pose a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
* H7: Customer trust poses a challenge for the e-business implementation of the company
* H8: Good customer service is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
* H9: Effective executive leadership is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
* H10: SEO is a CSF for the e-business implementation of the company
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1. Introduction
The main purpose of the dissertation was concerned with the investigation of application of e-business in HVL. This chapter will describe and justify the research methodology used to gather, organize and interpret the necessary information serving the purpose of the study. All the research methodology, research philosophy, strategy and methods as well as the techniques employed and data analysis instruments will be discussed and described. The paper will also evaluate both the quality and quantity of information that could be collected during the research and find out all the elements that could directly affect the accuracy of the collected information. At the end of this chapter, the limitations of the research will be also mentioned.
Saunders et al. (2009) classified research into six stages and labeled the model which presented them as “the research onion” (Figure 3)
Figure 3: The research onion
Source: Adapted from Saunders et al, (2009)
3.2. Research philosophy
Every research has to base on certain assumptions about the world and social issues. Such assumptions affect the way the experts execute the research and view its result. There are two main philosophies in business research: positivism and phenomenology.
3.3.1. Positivism philosophy
Positivism is a philosophy of science that holds the belief that all the scientific data founded on experience and tradition as well as all the logical and mathematical implements of such data are the only source for all form of knowledge in this world. According to Birger H. (2011), people who follow positivism philosophy tend to believe that reality is stable and can be observed and described from an objective viewpoint. Positivism philosophy operates on the assumption that scientific knowledge is the only valid knowledge and obtaining and verifying data that can be received from the senses is known as empirical evidence (Bryant C. G. A., 2011). Such belief of positivists makes them think that their approach to this world is to be external and observers. Traditionally, the goal of the positivism philosophy is to advanced scientific knowledge. It can be obtained through observing all the empirical evidence as based on all the observed realities and all kinds of inter-relationships (Amaratunga R. D. G. et al, 2008). Therefore, positivist’s research purpose is likely to be predictive rather than exploratory and positivism philosophy is generally associated with and referred to as the quantitative research. However, there is a major criticism of this philosophy as it does not consider the role of human beings in knowledge and scientific advancement. Anthony D. (2011) and many other studies argued that it should be human beings and their behaviors that lead to the accomplishment of any kinds of knowledge and scientific advancement.
3.3.2. Phenomenology philosophy
On the other hand, phenomenology philosophy understands that the business world is full of diversity and complicated situations (Karola S., 2009). This philosophy focuses on the relativism, the plurality and complexity of the social science, in which the researcher examines the direct experience taken at face value (Nancy F., 2012). People who follow phenomenology philosophy view the subject matter in a subjective mannerwith the assumption that the business world is complex and relative in mind. Hence, there is no clear-cut generalization for the research result. It is accepted that there are many answers to one question and all reflect the true condition of the social matter. Therefore, phenomenology leads to uncertainty in research results or generalizations, which is subject to criticism (Dowling M. & Cooney A., 2012). Moreover, as this philosophy is subjective in its approach to the subject matter it is difficult for the public to understand the findings without insightful understanding and knowledge of the researcher’s own values or mindset.
In this study, the author chooses to follow positivism philosophy to examine and analyze the application of e-business in HVL because of its many advantages. This philosophy is seen to be a philosophical ideology and movement, and it has a certain influence in human perception (Tomi G., 2001). Numerous positivists recognize that positivism is the decisive view on causation in strategy research which enables the researchers to understanding the world by description, prediction, explanation, and control (Hiorland B., 2005). Moreover, the disadvantages of phenomenology are rather significant when comparing to positivism as the phenomenology easily leads to the difficulties in analyzing data because of highly qualitative feature.
3.3. Research approach
The approaches of induction and deduction have existed for many years, and have been developed by the influence of different movements and theories (Zhang Y. & Wu X., 2010).
Peter H. V., et al (2007) argued that deduction is an approach in which a conceptual and theoretical structure is developed and then tested by empirical observation; thus particular instances are deducted from general influences; while in deduction, the hypothesis is tested or created via data analysis. In deductive reasoning process, the researcher goes through general statements to reach the logical conclusion (Wilson, J. 2010). In other words, the specific conclusion is developed from the general principle. Deduction is more consistent with the positivism philosophy.
The first step in the inductive approach is to collect data from participants and to analyze that data. The next step is to develop a theory as a result of the analysis. Inductive approach has a more flexible structure than the deductive approach. This allows the researcher to make changes as the research progresses (Saunders et al, 2009).
With the topic of apply e-business for the company operating in Vietnam, the author believes that inductive method is the most appropriate strategy. Having chosen positivism as the main philosophy for the thesis, the researcher applies deductive method to ensure consistency between the overall philosophy and methodology.
3.4. Research strategy
Considering the various alternatives, the purpose of this section is to indicate what type of study should be undertaken to provide acceptable answers to the research problems and research objectives. There are seven main research design alternatives including experiment, survey, case study, action research, grounded theory, ethnography, and archival research (Thomas K. J. & Filter M. J., 1998).
Since the study requires the engagement of empirical investigation, observation, questionnaires and interviews, a case study strategy will be used as the most consistent tool forthis research. Perry C. (1998) argued that case study strategy involves an attempt to describe relationships that exist in reality, very often in a single organization. Case study strategy may be positivist or phenomenology in nature, depending on the approach of the researcher, the data collected and the analytical techniques employed. Reality can be captured in greater detail by an observer-researcher, with the analysis of more variables than is typically possible in other alternatives.
3.5. Research method
Quantitative and qualitative are two main methods to approach the collection of information in doing research. Quantitative and qualitative methods are used widely in business and management research to differentiate both data collection techniques and data analysis procedures. Each type of these methods is supposed to deal with different type of data. It is very important to understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each method as it helps choosing the most appropriate research method.
Quantitative research is an inquiry into an identified problem, based on testing a theory, measured with numbers, and analyzed using statistical techniques (Katheleen K. A. et al, 1988). When following quantitative approach, researchers focus on counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed. Quantitative analysis enables researchers to discover which phenomena are likely to be genuine reflections of the behavior of language or variety and which are merely chance occurrences (Gary H. M. & Charles M. J., 1993).Quantitative research design is an excellent way of finalizing results and proving or disproving a hypothesis (Kaplan D. & Dennis D., 1998). In addition, experiments using quantitative method also filter out external factors, if properly designed, and so the results gained can be seen as real and unbiased (David M., 1998).
On the other hand, qualitative research is more exploratory in nature. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The strength of this approach lies in the fact that it has as holistic focus, allowing for flexibility and the attainment of a deeper, more valid understanding of the subject than could be achieved through a more rigid approach (Alan B., 1984). Margarete S. (2009) argued the importance of creating new criteria for establishing academic rigor when adopting such method.
In this study, the author decides to choose quantitative method to be the main approach for doing the research since it is best suited with the nature of the research problem, research philosophy, and research strategy mentioned previously. In addition, qualitative method would be used in some case where it is needed.
3.6. Research data collection
3.7.3. Data source
The primary data shall be collected through survey conducted in the main office and in four factories of HVL. The support from executives and staffs of HVL will be decisive for the success of the survey.
3.7.4. Collection method
* The secondary data will be collected through below methods:
* Access the official website of HVL (www.holcim.com.vn) to collect needed data and information about the development, application and recent usage statistics of e-business implements.
* Put some keywords about the development, application and recent usage statistics of e-business implements on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
* Study and consult books, reports, and published articles that are relating and suitable for the purpose of the research.
* The primary data, as mentioned above, will be collected through the questionnaires and interviews of the survey.
Questionnaire
Questionnaire is selected to be the first and foremost data collection instrument. A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Questionnaire is very useful method to collect information from a large portion of a group. Another advantage of questionnaire is bias reduction as when completing a questionnaire, there are no verbal or visual clues from an interviewer that may influence the person surveyed. In addition, the results of the questionnaire can be easily imported into a database and statistically analyzed with the help of Statistics Programs such as SPSS (Eden L. et al, 2010).
In this survey, 150 questionnaires will be randomly distributed to HVL’s 50 staffs and 100 customers at the main office and four factories (10 staffs and 20 customers of each location). These questionnaires will be written in Vietnamese only and be distributed and collected by the author himself.
Design of questionnaire
The questionnaire layout consists of two pages with appropriate questions. The author will provide a focus on designing the questions scientifically and visually to help respondents easily read the questions and choose their answers. Other problems with the layout of the questionnaire such as typos, font size, paper color and quality are also received proper consideration so that it can make a good impression on respondents.
Questionnaire content
There will be a prior statement at the beginning of the questionnaire that ensures the safety of respondents’ private information so that they do not hesitate to participate in this survey. There is also a thankful statement to the respondent for taking time to complete all the questions at the end of the questionnaires.
Here is the proposed structure of the questionnaire:
* Part A – Questions 1-4 are about the demographics of respondents
* Part B – Questions 5-8 are about the impacts of e-business on HVL
* Part C – Questions 9-12 are about the application of e-business in HVL
* Part D – Questions 13-16 are about the challenges of implementing e-business for HVL
* Part E – Questions 17-20 are about the CSFs of implementing e-business for HVL
Interview
The interviews will be conducted with the senior executive of HVL. The interview questions are based on theories on the subject of formulating and implementing e-business strategy published by David Chaffey (2009). All 5 questions are open-ended, and required face-to-face interview.
3.7. Sample size
A sample was a subset of the population being studied, which included the process of selecting a few (samples) from a bigger group (the sampling population) to become the basis for estimating or predicting a fact, situation or outcome regarding the bigger group. Samples should be as large as possible, in general the larger the sample the more representative and the more generalizable the results of the study were likely to be. Minimum, acceptable sample size for descriptive research would be 10% of population (Gay and Diehl, 1992).
In this study, the questionnaires will be distributed to 50 staffs and 100 customers of HVL.
3.8. Data analysis method
The data assembled through questionnaires will be transformed and expressed in numeric form and plotted on graphs and charts with the help of SPSS Student version 18.0. SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) is one of the most popular systems to summarize and analyze questionnaire results, which integrates a series of computer programs which provides the various ways of computer to product a wide range of reports, graphics and models together with documentation.
3.9. Reliability and Validity
3.10.5. Reliability
Reliability is defined as the extent to which a questionnaire, test, observation or any measurement procedure produces the same results on repeated trials. In short, it is the stability or consistency of scores over time or across raters. Reliability determines how consistently a measurement of skill or knowledge yields similar results under varying conditions. Carmines & Zeller, 1979 identify three types of reliability referred to in quantitative research, which relate to the degree to which a measurement, given repeatedly, remains the same, the stability of a measurement over time and the similarity of measurements within a given time period. The retest method will be used by the author in this research. The retest method is a statistical technique used to estimate components of measurement error by repeating the measurement process on the same subjects, under conditions as similar as possible, and comparing the observations.
3.10.6. Validity
In science and statistics, validity is the extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement is well-founded and corresponds accurately to the real world. Test validity is also the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. Even if a test is reliable, it may not provide a valid measure. It is argued that qualitative data is more valid than quantitative data.
3.10. Research limitations
Having limitations during the process of research is inevitable. The data and information gathered through the study cannot cover all the opinions of executives and staffs from HVL, however, the results and outcomes of this study should be considered significant enough for literary and practical application.
3.11. Chapter summary
In summary, so far all the research philosophy, research approach, and research strategy, data collection source and data collection method, and data analysis method have been thoroughly examined and discussed. Accordingly, this study will follow a positivism research philosophy and a combination between inductive and deductive approaches. The research will primarily focus on quantitative method, however, still deploy qualitative method when needed. Finally, questionnaire will be the main data collection instrument for this study and the achieved results will be analyzed by using SPSS Student version 18.0.
Chapter 4: Findings, Discussion and Analysis
4.1. Introduction
This chapter presents, analyses, and discusses the research findings from the survey questionnaires and interviews (see Appendix) of this study as described in section 3.6 of chapter 3 – Methodology. This chapter consists of three parts. The first part will analyze the gender, age, experience and qualifications of respondents. The second part will make some analyses and discussions on data gathered from the survey questionnaire by using SPSS Student version 18.0. The last will conduct a summary of the results.
4.2. Findings from the Survey
4.3.1. Demographic Data
In this section, the demographic information of the respondents will be presented and analyzed in order to show the distribution of the respondents by their gender, age, experience, and qualifications. The questionnaires are popularized to 50 staffs and 100 customers of HVL.
* The distribution of respondents by gender
Table 4.2.1.1: Gender
Gender |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Male | 84 | 56.0 | 56.0 | 56.0 |
| Female | 66 | 44.0 | 44.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 150 | 100.0 | 100.0 | |
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Figure 4.2.1.1: Gender
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.1.1 and Figure 4.2.1.1 illustrate the distribution of the survey questionnaire respondents according to gender. It shows that the majority, that is, 84 (56%) of the respondents are male. The fact that there are more men in the sample than women once again shows that gender differences with regard to interest in ICT and e-business do indeed exist. Former studies have showed that women are less likely to use ICT and e-commerce products and services (Chiu Y. B. et al, 2004; Garbarino E. & Strahilevitz M., 2004; Yang B. & Lester D., 2005). Dittmar et al (2004) stated that although the gender gap in usage rates may be closing, it is clear that women use the internet differently and carry different attitudes toward computer technology in general.
* The distribution of respondents by age
Table 4.2.1.2: Age
Statistics |
Age |
N | Valid | 150 |
| Missing | 0 |
Mean | 33.75 |
Median | 33.00 |
Mode | 30 |
Minimum | 25 |
Maximum | 51 |
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Figure 4.2.1.2: Age
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.1.2 and Figure 4.2.1.2 show the result of the question about age of respondents. According to that, the average age of respondents is 33.75 (Mean = 33.75). The youngest staff participating in this survey is 25 years old (Minimum = 25). The eldest staff participating in this survey is 51 years old (Maximum = 51). Mode = 30 means that respondents with the age of 30 appear with highest frequencies. The result for the question about age is quite reasonable as the internet has been introduced in Vietnam not so long; hence, younger staffs tend to have more interest in e-business than elder staffs.
* The distribution of respondents by experience
This question is about the experience of respondents; hence, there are two different questions used for staffs of HVL and its customers. With the staffs of HVL, the question asks about their time of working for the company; while with the customers, the question asks their experience in buying and using products in cement field.
* Experience of HVL’s staffs
Table 4.2.1.3: Experience of HVL’s staffs
Time working in the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Less than 1 year | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 12.0 |
| 1-4 years | 17 | 11.3 | 34.0 | 46.0 |
| 4-7 years | 14 | 9.3 | 28.0 | 74.0 |
| 7-10 years | 7 | 4.7 | 14.0 | 88.0 |
| > 10 years | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50 | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100* | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
The above table illustrates that many staffs of HVL have 1-4 years working experience (17; 34%) and 4-7 years working experience (14; 28%). 12% of respondents (n=6) have less than 1 year of working experience; 14% of them (n=7) fall within the bracket of 7-10 years of working experience; while 12% of respondents have most experience with more than 10 years working for HVL (n=6).
Generally, most of the staffs participating in this survey have worked for HVL for quite a long time. Therefore, they are in very good position to know about the situation of HVL and voice their opinion of them in the adoption of e-business for HVL.
* Experience of customers
Table 4.2.1.4: Experience of HVL’s customers
Time buying and using products in cement field |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Less than 1 year | 34 | 22.7 | 34.0 | 34.0 |
| 1-4 years | 29 | 19.3 | 29.0 | 63.0 |
| 4-7 years | 15 | 10.0 | 15.0 | 78.0 |
| 7-10 years | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 89.0 |
| > 10 years | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table above presents that 34% of customers of HVL are buying and using products in cement field in less than 1 year. Many of them have bought and used cement products for 1-4 years (29%). 15% of customers have 4-7 years in buying and using cement products. The percent for both 7-10 years and more than 10 years being customers in cement field is 11%.
Most of customers who participate in this survey are fresh users in cement field. However, it does not mean they are not appropriate for the survey because they must have acknowledged the potential of the cement field along with the emergence of e-business, which can bring huge opportunities for them.
* The distribution of respondents by educational level
Table 4.2.1.5: Educational level
Your highest level of education |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Primary school | 7 | 4.7 | 4.7 | 4.7 |
| Secondary school | 21 | 14.0 | 14.0 | 18.7 |
| Completed high school | 28 | 18.7 | 18.7 | 37.3 |
| Undergraduate university | 66 | 44.0 | 44.0 | 81.3 |
| Postgraduate university | 28 | 18.7 | 18.7 | 100.0 |
| Total | 150 | 100.0 | 100.0 | |
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Figure 4.2.1.3: Educational level
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.1.5 and Figure 4.2.1.3 illustrate the distribution of respondents by level education. 7 respondents state that they have completed primary school (4.7%). 21 respondents choose the answer “secondary school” as their level of education (14%). 28 respondents state that they have completed high school (18.7%). 66 respondents answer that their educational level is undergraduate university (44%). 28 respondents have their answer as “postgraduate university” (18.7%).
In general, the level of education of respondents is quite high which has significant effect on the survey because the higher educational level they are, the better point of view they can give about approaching, creating, and formulating e-business strategy.
4.3.2. Application of e-business in HVL
* Impact of E-marketing on the business performance of HVL
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.2.1: Findings from staffs about the impact of E-marketing
E-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 27 | 18.0 | 54.0 | 54.0 |
| Disagree | 8 | 5.3 | 16.0 | 70.0 |
| Neutral | 7 | 4.7 | 14.0 | 84.0 |
| Agree | 4 | 2.7 | 8.0 | 92.0 |
| Strongly agree | 4 | 2.7 | 8.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
54% of staffs strongly disagree that e-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL (n=27). 16% of them disagree with the statement (n=8), 14% are neutral in opinion that HVL’s business performance is significantly impact by e-marketing (n=7), 8% agree and the same proportion strongly agree with the statement (n=4).
* Finding from customers
Table 4.2.2.2: Findings from customers about the impact of E-marketing
E-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 4 | 2.7 | 4.0 | 4.0 |
| Disagree | 8 | 5.3 | 8.0 | 12.0 |
| Neutral | 12 | 8.0 | 12.0 | 24.0 |
| Agree | 23 | 15.3 | 23.0 | 47.0 |
| Strongly agree | 53 | 35.3 | 53.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.2.2 shows that 4% of customers strongly disagree, 8% disagree, and 12% are neutral with the statement. 23% of customers agree and 53% of them strongly agree that e-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL.
* Comment
At a quick glance, it is rather improper that the staffs that are internal component of the company do not see the impact of e-marketing on the company, while the customers who are external component of HVL could see it. However, we should keep in mind that the aim of marketing process (also e-marketing) is to know and understand the behavior of customer so that organizations can serve them better and make them be more satisfied with products being offered. Therefore, it is not surprising that customers can see the impact of e-marketing more significantly than the staffs of HVL. Nevertheless, these results also reflect the fact that HVL should involve more departments in the implementation of e-marketing strategy because it is very important for increasing the effectiveness and the performance of e-marketing process as David A. S. (2009) argued that marketing strategy is something that affects every part of an organization and is about using everything that a business does to create value for customers, employees as well as stakeholders.
* Impact of Supply Chain Management (SCM) on the business performance of HVL
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.2.3: Findings from staffs about the impact of SCM
Supply Chain Management (SCM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 3 | 2.0 | 6.0 | 6.0 |
| Disagree | 5 | 3.3 | 10.0 | 16.0 |
| Neutral | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 28.0 |
| Agree | 19 | 12.7 | 38.0 | 66.0 |
| Strongly agree | 17 | 11.3 | 34.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Most of staffs agree with the statement as 34% strongly agree (n=17) and 38% agree (n=19) that SCM has significant impact on the business performance of HVL. 12% of them are neutral (n=6), while 10% disagree (n=5) and 6% strongly disagree (n=3) with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.2.4: Findings from customers about the impact of SCM
Supply Chain Management (SCM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 6 | 4.0 | 6.0 | 6.0 |
| Disagree | 9 | 6.0 | 9.0 | 15.0 |
| Neutral | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 26.0 |
| Agree | 29 | 19.3 | 29.0 | 55.0 |
| Strongly agree | 45 | 30.0 | 45.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.2.4 illustrates that the majority of customers agree that SCM has significant impact on the business performance of HVL as 45% of them strongly agree and 29% agree with the statement. On the other hand, 6% of them strongly disagree, 9% disagree, and 12% are neutral with the statement.
* Comment
The results are quite reasonable as SCM plays an important role in the effectiveness and efficiency of operations within the company as well as the satisfaction of customers. According to Kevin B. H. et al (2007), SCM has a tremendous impact on the bottom line because it can decrease the use of large fixed assets such as plants, warehouses and transportation vehicles in the supply chain. Hence, it is not a surprise that both staffs and customers of HVL can see the impact of SCM on the business performance of the company.
* Impact of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on the business performance of HVL
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.2.5: Findings from staffs about the impact of CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 9 | 6.0 | 18.0 | 18.0 |
| Disagree | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 22.0 |
| Neutral | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 26.0 |
| Agree | 13 | 8.7 | 26.0 | 52.0 |
| Strongly agree | 24 | 16.0 | 48.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
There are 9 staffs that strongly disagree with the statement (18%), while 2 staffs disagree (4%) and 2 staffs are neutral with the statement (4%). Many staffs agree that CRM has significant impact on the business performance of HVL (n=13; 26%) and the majority of them strongly agree with the statement (n=24; 48%).
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.2.6: Findings from customers about the impact of CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 15 | 10.0 | 15.0 | 15.0 |
| Disagree | 8 | 5.3 | 8.0 | 23.0 |
| Neutral | 10 | 6.7 | 10.0 | 33.0 |
| Agree | 24 | 16.0 | 24.0 | 57.0 |
| Strongly agree | 43 | 28.7 | 43.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.2.6 shows that most of customers agree that CRM has significant impact on the business performance of HVL as 43% of them strongly agree and 24% agree with the statement. 10% of customers are neutral, while 8% of them disagree and 16% strongly disagree with the statement.
* Comment
Most of customers and staffs of HVL agree that CRM has significant impact on the business performance of the company. It is not surprising because CRM impacts enterprises both internally and externally. CRM provides crucial data like customer satisfaction efficiency service by the frontline crews. CRM software is also able to generate the needed reports for product development or new concepts. David J. F. & Wendy L. C. (2010) argued that CRM is not only useful for coping up with customer concerns and issues but also helpful for bringing better association between different departments of the company in developing products, planning marketing strategy and so on.
4.3.3. Challenges HVL facing when adopting e-business
* ICT Infrastructure
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.3.1: Findings from staffs about ICT infrastructure
ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 1 | .7 | 2.0 | 2.0 |
| Disagree | 1 | .7 | 2.0 | 4.0 |
| Neutral | 9 | 6.0 | 18.0 | 22.0 |
| Agree | 14 | 9.3 | 28.0 | 50.0 |
| Strongly agree | 25 | 16.7 | 50.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Most of staffs agree with the statement as 50% strongly agree (n=25) and 28% agree (n=14) that ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business. 18% of them are neutral (n=9), while 2% disagree (n=1) and 2% strongly disagree (n=1) with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.3.2: Findings from customers about ICT infrastructure
ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 5 | 3.3 | 5.0 | 5.0 |
| Disagree | 3 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 8.0 |
| Neutral | 12 | 8.0 | 12.0 | 20.0 |
| Agree | 27 | 18.0 | 27.0 | 47.0 |
| Strongly agree | 53 | 35.3 | 53.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.3.2 illustrates that the majority of customers agree that ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business as 53% of them strongly agree and 27% agree with the statement. On the other hand, 5% of them strongly disagree, 3% disagree, and 12% are neutral with the statement.
* Comment
Since the issues such as access to Internet services, including the hardware and software, as well as the communications infrastructures, remain serious obstacles to e-business in many developing countries, the author finds that the results of this question are quite reasonable.
* Security Problems
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.3.3: Findings from staffs about security problems
Security problems pose a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 22.0 |
| Disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 44.0 |
| Neutral | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 66.0 |
| Agree | 9 | 6.0 | 18.0 | 84.0 |
| Strongly agree | 8 | 5.3 | 16.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
22% of staffs strongly disagree that security problems pose a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business (n=11). The same proportion disagree and are neutral with the statement, 18% of them agree (n=9) and 16% strongly agree with the statement (n=8).
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.3.4: Findings from customers about security problems
Security problems pose a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 11.0 |
| Disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 22.0 |
| Neutral | 21 | 14.0 | 21.0 | 43.0 |
| Agree | 27 | 18.0 | 27.0 | 70.0 |
| Strongly agree | 30 | 20.0 | 30.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.3.4 shows that most of customers agree that security problems pose a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business as 30% of them strongly agree and 27% agree with the statement. 21% of customers are neutral, while 11% of them disagree and the same amounts of respondents strongly disagree with the statement.
* Comment
It is quite a shock result that a huge number of HVL’s staffs do not think that security problems pose a challenge for the company when adopting e-business. It might be because those staffs do not have full knowledge of e-business. On the other hand, most of customers know that security is a big problem for e-business. This is not surprising because security is the major problem they are facing when purchasing and using products and services online.
* Customer Trust
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.3.5: Findings from staffs about customer trust
Customer trust poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 4.0 |
| Disagree | 3 | 2.0 | 6.0 | 10.0 |
| Neutral | 4 | 2.7 | 8.0 | 18.0 |
| Agree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 40.0 |
| Strongly agree | 30 | 20.0 | 60.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
There are 2 staffs that strongly disagree with the statement (4%), while 3 staffs disagree (6%) and 4 staffs are neutral with the statement (8%). Many staffs agree that customer trust poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business (n=11; 22%) and the majority of them strongly agree with the statement (n=30; 60%).
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.3.6: Findings from customers about customer trust
Customer trust poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 7 | 4.7 | 7.0 | 7.0 |
| Disagree | 7 | 4.7 | 7.0 | 14.0 |
| Neutral | 5 | 3.3 | 5.0 | 19.0 |
| Agree | 21 | 14.0 | 21.0 | 40.0 |
| Strongly agree | 60 | 40.0 | 60.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.3.6 shows that 7% of customers strongly disagree, 7% disagree, and 5% are neutral with the statement. 21% of customers agree and 60% of them strongly agree that customer trust poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business.
* Comment
It is good to see that most of HVL’s staffs acknowledge the challenge posed by customer trust that they are facing. Since customer trust is decisive to the success of any businesses, HVL must identify it as the top priority of the company. Most of customers also agree that customer trust is a challenge for e-business adoption, which is quite obvious because customer will hardly purchase or use a product that they do not trust in.
4.3.4. CSFs for HVL when adopting e-business
* Customer Service
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.4.1: Findings from staffs about customer service
Good customer service is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 4.0 |
| Disagree | 4 | 2.7 | 8.0 | 12.0 |
| Neutral | 7 | 4.7 | 14.0 | 26.0 |
| Agree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 48.0 |
| Strongly agree | 26 | 17.3 | 52.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
There are large proportion of HVL’s staffs agree that good customer service is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business as 52% (n=26) of them strongly agree and 22% (n=11) agree with the statement. 14% (n=7) of staffs are neutral, while 8% (n=4) disagree and 4% (n=2) strongly disagree with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.4.2: Findings from customers about customer service
Good customer service is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 5 | 3.3 | 5.0 | 5.0 |
| Disagree | 9 | 6.0 | 9.0 | 14.0 |
| Neutral | 13 | 8.7 | 13.0 | 27.0 |
| Agree | 30 | 20.0 | 30.0 | 57.0 |
| Strongly agree | 43 | 28.7 | 43.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.4.2 illustrates that the majority of customers agree that good customer service is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business as 43% of them strongly agree and 30% agree with the statement. On the other hand, 5% of them strongly disagree, 9% disagree, and 13% are neutral with the statement.
* Comment
Both staffs and customers of HVL mostly agree that good customer service is a CSF for e-business adoption of the company. This is not surprising result since they all see the role of customer in the success of business in the former question about “customer trust”.
* Executive Leadership
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.4.3: Findings from staffs about executive leadership
Effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Yes | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 4.0 |
| No | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 16.0 |
| 3 | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 38.0 |
| 4 | 24 | 16.0 | 48.0 | 86.0 |
| 5 | 7 | 4.7 | 14.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Most of staffs agree with the statement as 14% strongly agree (n=7) and 48% agree (n=24) that effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business. 22% of them are neutral (n=11), while 12% disagree (n=6) and 4% strongly disagree (n=2) with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.4.4: Findings from customers about executive leadership
Effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 21 | 14.0 | 21.0 | 21.0 |
| Disagree | 14 | 9.3 | 14.0 | 35.0 |
| Neutral | 25 | 16.7 | 25.0 | 60.0 |
| Agree | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 71.0 |
| Strongly agree | 29 | 19.3 | 29.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.4.4 shows that 21% of customers strongly disagree, 14% disagree, and 25% are neutral with the statement. 11% of customers agree and 29% of them strongly agree that effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business.
* Comment
Most of the staffs of HVL think that effective executive leadership is very important for e-business adoption, while the opinions from the customers are not really consistent. The reason for this might be because the question is more appropriate for people within the company rather than for customers.
* SEO
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.4.5: Findings from staffs about SEO
SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 23 | 15.3 | 46.0 | 46.0 |
| Disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 68.0 |
| Neutral | 1 | .7 | 2.0 | 70.0 |
| Agree | 5 | 3.3 | 10.0 | 80.0 |
| Strongly agree | 10 | 6.7 | 20.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Most of the staffs strongly disagree with the statement (n=23; 46%). 22% of them (n=11) also disagree that SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business. 2% of them (n=1) are neutral, while 10% agree (n=5) and 20% strongly agree (n=10) with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.4.6: Findings from customers about SEO
SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 11 | 7.3 | 11.0 | 11.0 |
| Disagree | 12 | 8.0 | 12.0 | 23.0 |
| Neutral | 18 | 12.0 | 18.0 | 41.0 |
| Agree | 17 | 11.3 | 17.0 | 58.0 |
| Strongly agree | 42 | 28.0 | 42.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.4.6 shows that most of customers agree that SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business as 42% of them strongly agree and 17% agree with the statement. 18% of customers are neutral, while 12% of them disagree and 11% strongly disagree with the statement.
* Comment
Most of customers think agree with the statement, while it is surprising that most of staffs do not consider SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business. It might be because they do not really know what SEO is. This result reflects the fact that there are the existences of some HVL’s staffs who lack of proper knowledge of e-business.
4.3.5. Impact of e-business on HVL
* Impact on Marketing Process
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.5.1: Findings from staffs about impact of e-business on marketing process
E-business has significant impact on marketing process of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 2 | 1.3 | 4.0 | 4.0 |
| Disagree | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 16.0 |
| Neutral | 8 | 5.3 | 16.0 | 32.0 |
| Agree | 9 | 6.0 | 18.0 | 50.0 |
| Strongly agree | 25 | 16.7 | 50.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
There are large proportion of HVL’s staffs agree that e-business has significant impact on marketing process of the company as 50% (n=25) of them strongly agree and 18% (n=9) agree with the statement. 16% (n=8) of staffs are neutral, while 12% (n=6) disagree and 4% (n=2) strongly disagree with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.5.2: Findings from customers about impact of e-business on marketing process
E-business has significant impact on marketing process of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 3 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 |
| Disagree | 5 | 3.3 | 5.0 | 8.0 |
| Neutral | 16 | 10.7 | 16.0 | 24.0 |
| Agree | 25 | 16.7 | 25.0 | 49.0 |
| Strongly agree | 51 | 34.0 | 51.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.5.2 illustrates that the majority of customers agree that e-business has significant impact on marketing process of the company as 51% of them strongly agree and 25% agree with the statement. On the other hand, 3% of them strongly disagree, 5% disagree, and 16% are neutral with the statement.
* Comment
Both staffs and customers believe that e-business can help HVL increase the effectiveness of marketing process. This result is consistent with the result of the question about the application of e-marketing discussed above.
* Impact on Supply Chain
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.5.3: Findings from staffs about impact of e-business on supply chain
E-business has significant impact on supply chain process of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 6 | 4.0 | 12.0 | 12.0 |
| Disagree | 9 | 6.0 | 18.0 | 30.0 |
| Neutral | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 52.0 |
| Agree | 13 | 8.7 | 26.0 | 78.0 |
| Strongly agree | 11 | 7.3 | 22.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50 | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
There are 6 staffs that strongly disagree with the statement (12%), while 9 staffs disagree (18%) and 11 staffs are neutral with the statement (22%). Many staffs agree that e-business has significant impact on supply chain process of the company (n=13; 26%) and 22% of them strongly agree with the statement (n=11).
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.5.4: Findings from customers about impact of e-business on supply chain
E-business has significant impact on supply chain process of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 8 | 5.3 | 8.0 | 8.0 |
| Disagree | 13 | 8.7 | 13.0 | 21.0 |
| Neutral | 18 | 12.0 | 18.0 | 39.0 |
| Agree | 25 | 16.7 | 25.0 | 64.0 |
| Strongly agree | 36 | 24.0 | 36.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100* | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.5.4 shows that most of customers agree that e-business has significant impact on supply chain process of the company as 36% of them strongly agree and 25% agree with the statement. 18% of customers are neutral, while 13% of them disagree and 8% strongly disagree with the statement.
* Comment
The fact that most of customers agree that e-business brings huge impact to supply chain process is reasonable because they can easily realize the convenience of purchasing and shopping online. On the other hand, there are not many staffs agree with the statement, which is inconsistent with the result from the question about the application of SCM.
* Impact on Customer Service
* Findings from staffs
Table 4.2.5.5: Findings from staffs about impact of e-business on customer service
E-business has significant impact on customer services of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Agree | 16 | 10.7 | 32.0 | 32.0 |
| Strongly agree | 34 | 22.7 | 68.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 50* | 33.3 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 100 | 66.7 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 100 customers.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.5.5 illustrates the answer of HVL’s staffs about the question about the impact of e-business on customer service. Accordingly, 68% of them strongly agree (n=34) and 32% of them agree (n=16) with the statement.
* Findings from customers
Table 4.2.5.6: Findings from customers about impact of e-business on customer service
E-business has significant impact on customer services of the company |
| Frequency | Percent | Valid Percent | Cumulative Percent |
Valid | Strongly disagree | 6 | 4.0 | 6.0 | 6.0 |
| Disagree | 12 | 8.0 | 12.0 | 18.0 |
| Neutral | 21 | 14.0 | 21.0 | 39.0 |
| Agree | 16 | 10.7 | 16.0 | 55.0 |
| Strongly agree | 45 | 30.0 | 45.0 | 100.0 |
| Total | 100 | 66.7 | 100.0 | |
Missing | System | 50 | 33.3 | | |
Total | 150 | 100.0 | | |
*: This result is processed also with the inclusion of 50 staffs.
(Source: SPSS Student version 18.0)
Table 4.2.5.6 shows that 6% of customers strongly disagree, 12% disagree, and 21% are neutral with the statement. 16% of customers agree and 45% of them strongly agree that e-business has significant impact on customer services of the company.
* Comment
This is quite positive result when all staffs of HVL acknowledge the important of e-business on customer service, while the findings from customers are reasonable.
4.3.6. E-business Strategy Formulation
The interview was conducted with Mr. Nguyen Cong Minh Bao – the senior manager who is responsible for sustainable development of HVL. Here are the findings from his answers for the interview questions (see Appendix for more the full list of the interview questions)
What are the e-business aims and long-term targets of HVL?
* To improve customer service and interaction
* To increase brand awareness and awareness of the company
* To expand geographic reach
* To expand into new markets
* To increase revenue and market share
* To reduced operating costs
* To be seen as an innovative and progressive company through being an E-commerce leader
* To compete with bigger rivals on more even terms
How does HVL formulate its e-business strategy?
Assemble a cross functional team of internal staff and managers, possibly assisted by one or more independent external experts, to formulate the strategy.
Which factors and issues HVL need to consider when formulating its e-business strategy?
* Customer demands and current trends
* The business environment
* Information flows within the company
* Legal systems
* Human resources and their skills, knowledge, and experience
Apart from that, the company is more likely to pursue e-business projects that:
* Maintain focus on the business goals
* Understand existing processes and include appropriate links
* Ensure the company’s infrastructure is ready for the change e-business will bring.
Which e-business model does HVL follow?
Business-to-Customer (B2C)
What type of e-business applications that is feasiable for HVL?
* E-marketing
* E-purchasing
* E-manufacturing
* HRIS (Human resource information system)
* E-CRM
* E-SCM
How does HVL implement its e-business strategy?
* Developing an implementation plan with accountabilities and time frames
* Obtain e-business resources and funding
* Use technology effectively to support e-business work
* Align individual objectives with both strategy and operational objectives
* Have managers’ involvement at all levels
4.3. Discussion and Analysis
Applications of e-business
HVL can deploy many types of e-business application to improve and boost its business performance. HVL can use many e-marketing tools and channels such as search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), web display advertising, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising, blog marketing, viral marketing and mobile marketing to immediate publish and advertise the information of its cement products and services to customers, which is not limited by geography or time. This is confirmed by the fact that 35.3% of HVL’s customers in the survey strongly agree and 15.3% of them agree that e-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL.
The company can adopt e-purchasing solutions through its website platform to automate and extend manual buying and selling processes. HVL can also implement e-manufacturing by using advanced and emerging information technologies to provide automated, data-driven productivity optimization. Moreover, HRIS system can help HVL’s managers run and control the workforce more effectively and efficiently.
There are 74% of HVL’s staffs and 87% of customers agree that e-CRM is significantly important for HVL. For this reason, the company should pay proper attention to e-CRM implementation as it helps to be more efficient to communicate with customers as well as to fulfill their needs.
E-SCM is another e-business application that HVL needs to focus on as there are 72% of staffs and 74% of customers agree that e-SCM will bring significant impact to the performance of the company. The implementation of e-SCM can bring about many advantages to HVL like increase the visibility of its cement products and services to and from customers, increase the accuracy and the source of information, and reduce costs and workloads.
Challenges of e-business adoption
Customer trust seems to be the biggest challenge for HVL when adopting business because Vietnamese customers in the cement field have been using and familiar with traditional ways of doing business for a long time. In addition, Vietnamese people have social prejudice that the businesses doing online are often not trustworthy. Hence, it is not surprising that 82% of HVL’s staffs and 81% of its customers in the survey agree that customer trust a big challenge for HVL when adopting e-business.
Although there are only 34% of staffs and 57% of customers agree that security is also a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business, the company should pay huge attention to this problem because if it cannot deal with security problems during transactions via internet it will inevitably lose the trust of customer, which consequently come the failure of the business.
ICT infrastructure is also a challenge when adopting e-business. As HVL is a new player in the field of e-business, ICT infrastructure is the basic need it has to fulfill to be successful in e-business transformation. This statement is supported by 78% of staffs and 80% of customers of HVL.
Above are just major challenges that HVL has to deal with when adopting e-business. Besides, the company also has to take into consideration other problems such as how to take advantage of the internet as well as the social media, provide enough channel, platform and service for all kind of need and customer, legal and regulatory challenges, behavioral and educational challenges, and other miscellaneous challenges.
CSFs of e-business adoption
During the process of adopting e-business, good customer service is considers CSF because of two reasons. The first is good customer service helps to improve customer satisfaction and increase customer trust. The second is customer service improvement is one of the major targets when transforming into e-business model of the company. There is no surprise that 74% of staffs and 73% of customers of the survey agree with this opinion.
Implementing e-business strategy is a long-term affair and it cannot be succeed with without sustainable commitment and leadership of the senior executives of the organizations. Since technologists have the in-depth knowledge about specific technologies to meet the identified needs, executives have to take responsibility for understanding the implications of up-and-coming technologies and anticipating when these technologies tend to have effects on business strategy. Therefore, the organization’s e-business strategy should not be vaguely defined by executive management and left to the information systems or marketing department to implement. Apart from that, the nature of tasks within e-businesses differs in some important respects from those of traditional bricks and mortar firms; hence, may require an alternative set of leadership competencies. It is not surprising that 62% of staffs and 40% of customers agree that effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business.
SEO is a useful tool to improve the ranking of the website of the company in results of research engine. In the race of ICT for development of e-business, it is important for enterprises, especially those adopting e-business models, to be aware the importance of having a well ranking in the search engines. Therefore, pay great focus on SEO tools is essential for HVL to improve the sales results. However, maybe due to the lack of knowledge about e-business, only 30% of HVL’s staffs in the survey agree that SEO is a CSF for the company when adopting e-business, but still most of the company’s customers (59%) agree that SEO is very important for e-business adoption.
E-business strategy formulation
The very first and important step of formulating e-business strategy is setting e-business aims and long-term targets. By transforming to e-business model, HVL is looking for improving customer service and interaction, increasing brand awareness and awareness of the company, expanding geographic reach, expanding into new markets, increasing revenue and market share, reducing operating costs, and competing with bigger rivals on more even terms.
After that, HVL needs to assemble a cross functional team of internal staff and managers, possibly assisted by one or more independent external experts, to formulate the e-business strategy. With recent forces and potential, a B2C e-business model is best suitable for HVL. The company needs to consider some factos and issues like the trends in customer needs, the fluctuation of e-business market, the economic and political environment, and the legal frameworks for e-business in Vietnam. More important, HVL needs to focus on providing its staffs and workforce with proper knowledge, skills of e-business.
To successfully implement e-business strategy, HVL’s executives and managers need to develop an implementation plan with accountabilities and time frames, obtain e-business resources and funding, use technology effectively to support e-business work, align individual objectives with both strategy and operational objectives and have managers’ involvement at all levels.
4.4. Summary
This chapter has so far provided the findings, analysis, and discussion of the survey. The following conclusions have been drawn based on these analyses and discussions:
* The application of e-business can take place in many processes and departments of the company and can boost the performance of each opponent as well as the whole business of HVL.
* There are a number of staffs of HVL that lack of basic knowledge and understanding of e-business and ICT.
* ICT infrastructure, security problems, and customer trust are main challenges that HVL has to face when adopting e-business.
* Good customer service, effective executive leadership, and SEO are very important and decisive to the success of e-business adoption of the company.
* E-business can have significant impact on the business performance of HVL
* The first step in formulating e-business strategy is to set e-business aims and long-term targets. HVL aims at improving customer service and interaction, increasing brand awareness and awareness of the company, expanding geographic reach, expanding into new markets, increasing revenue and market share, reducing operating costs, and competing with bigger rivals on more even terms. To formulate the e-business strategy, the company should assemble a cross functional team of internal staff and managers, possibly assisted by one or more independent external experts. HVL’s executives and managers need to develop an implementation plan with accountabilities and time frames, obtain e-business resources and funding, use technology effectively to support e-business work, align individual objectives with both strategy and operational objectives and have managers’ involvement at all levels so that the company can be successful in transforming into e-business.
Chapter 5: Conclusions, Limitations, and Recommendations
5.1. Introduction
The main aim of this research is to critically discuss and identify the factors impact on the adoption of e-business in HVL and base on that to recommend an e-business strategy for the company. Through the proposed hypotheses, dimensions of components are built and evaluated to determine the factors influencing the adoption of e-business in HVL, and also a theoretical framework is developed and tested. The theoretical framework is built under the theories of e-business whereby the factors, which commonly used in previous studies, are selected and applied in this study (presented in Chapter 2). Besides research methodologies (presented in Chapter 3) are used to build measure and test theoretical framework through the delivery and collection questionnaire by hand with participants are 50 staffs and 100 customers of HVL. Survey results are used for findings, discussions and analysis with the help of software SPSS Student version 18.0 (presented in Chapter 4).
Chapter 5 is a summary of the research results, and offers conclusions from the study, especially recommendations from this research for the adoption of e-business in HVL. Chapter 5 includes three main parts: (1) Summary, (2) Recommendations, and (3) Limitations of study.
5.2. Summary
The internet officially appeared in Vietnam from 1997 bringing remarkable changes and transformation to Vietnamese economy (Apnic.net). Before the emergence of the internet, Vietnam’s economy grows in slow pace and most of Vietnamese enterprises and businesses produce poor and ineffective performance. Hence, finding a way to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the business is vital for Vietnamese enterprises. Vietnam is aiming at business development, especially in SMEs area, through the implementation of e-business.
E-business can bring significant advantages to enterprises. E-business implementation in recent years has helped many organizations serve their customers better. It has been confirmed that e-business helps lowering cost, enhancing business process, increasing service quality and profitability. The implementation of e-business technologies also provides competitive edge to the organization. Overall IT capability from e-business implementation has positive link to organizational performance and has the potential of providing a significant competitive advantage to organizaitons. The impact of e-business could be different in various sub-functions of an enterprise.
The application of e-business can take place in many processes and departments of the company and can boost the performance of each opponent as well as the whole business of HVL. E-marketing, e-CRM, and e-SCM are the applications that have significant impact on the business performance of HVL
ICT infrastructure, security problems, and customer trust are main challenges that HVL has to face when adopting e-business. Specifically, ICT infrastructure and customer trust are considered challenges by most of staffs and customers who are respondents of the survey as 78% of staffs and 80% of customer agree with ICT infrastructure and 82% of staffs and 81% of customers agree with customer trust. On the other hand, security problem is not seen as a challenge by staffs of HVL as 44% of staffs disagree, while 57% of customers agree.
On the other hand, good customer service, effective executive leadership, and SEO are very important and decisive to the success of e-business adoption of the company. Only customer trust sees the same results from staffs and customers of HVL as agree that good customer trust is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business. With executive leadership, most of HVL’s staffs agree while most of customers disagree. In contrast, with SEO, most of staffs disagree and most of customers agree that SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business.
The first step in formulating e-business strategy is to set e-business aims and long-term targets. HVL aims at improving customer service and interaction, increasing brand awareness and awareness of the company, expanding geographic reach, expanding into new markets, increasing revenue and market share, reducing operating costs, and competing with bigger rivals on more even terms. To formulate the e-business strategy, the company should assemble a cross functional team of internal staff and managers, possibly assisted by one or more independent external experts. HVL’s executives and managers need to develop an implementation plan with accountabilities and time frames, obtain e-business resources and funding, use technology effectively to support e-business work, align individual objectives with both strategy and operational objectives and have managers’ involvement at all levels so that the company can be successful in transforming into e-business.
5.3. Limitations of the study
The interview section of the survey should have been conducted with more senior executives of HVL but due to time limitation the researcher has only conducted the interview with Mr. Nguyen Cong Minh Bao – the senior manager who is responsible for sustainable development of HVL.
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Appendix
Questionnaire
Part A: General Information
1. Gender
A. Male
B. Female
2. Age: ________ (in years)
3.
3.1 Time working in company (For staff only)
A. < 1 year
B. 1-4 years
C. 4-7 years
D. 7-10 years
E. > 10 years
3.2 Time buying and using products in cement field (For customer only)
A. < 1 year
B. 1-4 years
C. 4-7 years
D. 7-10 years
E. > 10 years
4. Your highest level of education
A. primary school
B. secondary school
C. completed high school
D. undergraduate university
E. postgraduate university
Part B: Application of E-business in HVL
Based on your opinion, please TICK in the box towards the following attributers.
Scale: 1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Neutral 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree
B | Application of E-business in HVL | 1 = SD | 2 = D | 3 = N | 4 = A | 5 = SA |
1 | E-marketing has significant impact on the business performance of HVL | | | | | |
2 | Supply Chain Management (SCM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL | | | | | |
3 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has significant impact on the business performance of HVL | | | | | |
Part C: Challenges that HVL facing when adopting e-business
Based on your opinion, please TICK in the box towards the following attributers.
Scale: 1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Neutral 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree
C | Challenges that HVL facing when adopting e-business | 1 = SD | 2 = D | 3 = N | 4 = A | 5 = SA |
1 | ICT infrastructure poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
2 | Security problems pose a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
3 | Customer trust poses a challenge for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
Part D: CSFs for HVL when adopting e-business
Based on your opinion, please TICK in the box towards the following attributers.
Scale: 1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Neutral 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree
D | CSFs for HVL when adopting e-business | 1 = SD | 2 = D | 3 = N | 4 = A | 5 = SA |
1 | Good customer service is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
2 | Effective executive leadership is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
3 | SEO is a CSF for HVL when adopting e-business | | | | | |
Part E: Impacts of E-business on HVL
Based on your opinion, please TICK in the box towards the following attributers.
Scale: 1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Neutral 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree
E | Impacts of E-business on HVL | 1 = SD | 2 = D | 3 = N | 4 = A | 5 = SA |
1 | E-business has significant impact on marketing process of the company | | | | | |
2 | E-business has significant impact on supply chain process of the company | | | | | |
3 | E-business has significant impact on customer services of the company | | | | | |
Interview Questions
1. What are the e-business aims and long-term targets of HVL?
2. How does HVL formulate its e-business strategy?
3. Which factors and issues HVL need to consider when formulating its e-business strategy?
4. Which e-business model does HVL follow?
5. What type of e-business applications that is feasiable for HVL?
6. How does HVL implement its e-business strategy?

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