The critical success factors affecting the adoption of inter-organization systems by SMEs

Hsin Pin Fu*, Tien Hsiang Chang Prof, Cheng-Yuan Ku, Tsung Sheng Chang, Cheng Hsin Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purposes of this study were to formulate a hierarchical table of factors that influence adoption of an inter-organization system (IOS) by enterprises and to apply multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) tools to find the weights of these factors and to objectively identify the critical success factors (CSFs) for the adoption of IOSs by small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach-This study first used a literature review to collect the factors that affect an enterprise’s adoption of an IOS and then constructed a three-level hierarchical table of these factors, based on a technology-organization-environment framework. Fuzzy analytic hierarchy processing was used, based on the returned questionnaires, to determine the weights of the factors. The concept of VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) acceptable advantage was used to objectively identify the CSFs of SMEs that have adopted an IOS. Findings-This study identifies six CSFs of SMEs that have adopted an IOS: Industry knowledge and experience, the degree of application of information technology within the industry, system safety, the organizational infrastructure, customer relationships and ease of use. In addition, four findings are proposed. Practical implications-The work has studied, in depth, the factors that influence the adoption of an IOS by SMEs and identified four practice implications that provide a useful guideline for SMEs when they plan to adopt an IOS. Originality/value-The identification of CSFs is also an MCDM problem. However, very few previous articles have used MCDM tools to identify the CSFs. This study adopted MCDM tools to objectively identify these CSFs and determine their appropriate weights. The results can help the managers of SMEs allocate their resources, according to the weighting of these CSFs, when they are making plans to adopt an IOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-416
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 27 May 2014


  • Business-to-business marketing
  • Critical success factors
  • Electronic commerce


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