The motivation of suppliers as well as buyers for e-marketplace participation is closely linked to the perceived outcome of participation, not only in terms of the benefits of joining an e-marketplace, but also in terms of the possible consequences of not joining. The key issue, therefore, is why organizations decide to buy and/or sell goods or services in e-marketplaces. We develop a theoretical framework for the categorization of motivational factors, resulting in four different types of motives. We then apply the framework to a dataset consisting of 41 case studies covering 20 industries in 12 countries. We conclude that buyers and suppliers have different motives for engaging in e-marketplace activities. Although e-marketplaces are a way of increasing the efficiency of supply chain activities, this is not necessarily done with the sole aim of exploiting suppliers: buyers also use e-marketplaces to find new or alternative suppliers. Similarly, even though demands from existing customers have spurred their initial decision to participate in e-marketplaces, many suppliers also use the marketplaces to search for new customers. When expressing their motives for engaging in e-marketplace activities, buyers tend to emphasize proactive and planning-oriented features, whereas suppliers are driven by external forces.
Electronic Markets, 2004, Vol 14, Issue 4, p. 270-283
e-business; e-marketplace; nature of decision-making; motives; case study