Darlington Onojaefe and Wilfred I. Ukpere *
The deployment of new technologies such as the Internet is changing the way that businesses work, but success is not universal. It is evident that a wider range of skills is needed than just technical skills, and a wider vision is needed than just the vision of one business. For small businesses especially, they must be seen in the context of their communities, for their relationship with public sector departments and other supporting and regulatory bodies, and as partners to much larger businesses that may or may not choose to do business with them. The appropriation of ICT in support of business development provides an emerging body of research that seems to be useful in understanding the prospects for success of small businesses that may themselves be emerging from and striving to serve communities. In this way, a wider range of competencies is needed that will deal with relationships and partnerships, as well as simple internal operational issues. As the nature of partnerships changes, so the mix of required competencies varies from one circumstance to another. A model is presented that shows some of the critical relationships between the Internet (on the one hand) and the stakeholders of a business and the relationships with them (on the other). This model is the foundation for current research that is looking at the success and unsuccess of e-commerce in the financial services industry.
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