An investigation into the issues influencing the adoption of e-business within the Portuguese subsidiaries of the pharmaceutical industry
Electronic business (e-business) is rapidly spreading across many industry sectors. It is likely that business to business and business to consumer communication will be increasingly conducted via the Internet. However, while the potential of the Internet is recognized, the conditions for successful e-business using the Internet remain to be explored in many industry sectors and different parts of the world. Firms that adopt this innovative way of selling and delivering products and services as well as managing customer relationship must undertake technological and strategical changes. Issues such as organizational readiness, the suitability of the industry sector, the nature of the transactions in terms of security standardization, the effect of culture and the requirements for changed organizational infrastructure must be considered, addressed and locally adapted. Firms in the same industry adopt e-business at different rates. Why do some companies actively adopt e-business while others take a more cautious attitude? The pharmaceutical industry provides a rich platform for the exploitation of e-business as a means of improving the reply and reducing the costs of the business process and communication among its stakeholders. This research analysed issues that may influence and explain the varying attitudes and behaviours in the adoption of e-business within the Portuguese subsidiaries of the pharmaceutical industry. This study is set out to fill a gap in knowledge not covered by previous research in the area of e-business and the local subsidiaries of the pharmaceutical industry. The conceptual lens proposed in this research introduces the cognitive mapping and the notion of institutional theory of organizational communication (ITOC) to the ICT field in order to understand the perspectives and social relationships amongst the key actors involved in the process of e-business adoption. The adopted conceptual lens helps us to examine a longitudinal case study undertaken in four Portuguese subsidiaries of multinational pharmaceutical companies. A total of 24 interviews were conducted. The findings of this research’s analysis drawn upon the cognitive mapping were validated by comparison using existing theories and the institution theory of organizational communication (ITOC) was found to provide a coherent explanation of the results of the empirical work.
- PhD