Downloads - empirica

empirica.biz

Downloads - empirica

e-Business in the chemical, rubber and plastics industry1 IntroductionThis study focuses on the adoption and implications of e-business practice in thechemical, rubber and plastics (CRP) industries. It describes how companies in this sectoruse information and communications technology (ICT) for conducting business, assessesthe impact of ICT for firm performance in a context of global competition, and points atpossible implications for policy. The analysis is based on literature, interviews withindustry representatives and experts, company case studies and a telephone surveyamong decision-makers in European enterprises from the CRP industries. The studytakes into account results of earlier sector studies on the CRP industries, published by e-Business W@tch in 2003 and 2004. 3Study structureThe study is structured into six main sections. Chapter 1 explains the background andcontext why this study has been conducted: it introduces the Sectoral e-Business Watch(SeBW) programme of the European Commission, a conceptual framework for theanalysis of e-business, and the specific methodology used for this study. Chapter 2provides some general information and key figures about the CRP industries in Europe.Chapter 3 describes the current state-of-play in e-business in this industry, focusing onspecific ICT-related issues that were found to be particularly relevant to this sector.Chapter 4 assesses the impact of the developments described in chapter 3 on workprocesses and employment, innovation and productivity, and –at sector level– on valuechain characteristics. Chapter 5 presents company case studies. These have beenselected as practical examples and evidence for the issues discussed in chapters 3 and4. Chapter 6, finally, summarises the key findings and draws conclusions on policyimplications that could arise from the observed developments.Combining descriptive and analytical approachesThe study approach is exploratory, descriptive and explanatory, applying a broadmethodological basis: A qualitative case study approach (Chapter 5) is combined with adescriptive presentation of quantitative survey data (Chapter 3) and an economicanalysis of ICT adoption and its impacts (Chapter 4). This threefold approach is meant toproduce an in-depth understanding of current e-business practice in the industry, whilealso assessing the economic effects of this practice, for instance on firm productivity andinnovation. While the results from these different approaches are presented like selfsustainedpieces of research in separate chapters, they are intertwined and crossreferenced.3The previous study reports on the CRP industries are available at the Sectoral e-BusinessWatch website at http://www.ebusiness-watch.org/studies/on_sectors.htm.10

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines