Engaging SMEs in e-commerce: the role of intermediaries within eClusters

David H Brown, Nigel J Lockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential for the emergence of digital enterprise communities enabled by one or more intermediaries, termed eClusters, has been predicted from empirical research in business communities of SMEs in the UK. The role of intermediaries, which will be pivotal to the formation of eClusters, is examined in this paper and forms part of a wider investigation into the nature of digital enterprise communities. One conceptualization of the role of intermediaries is the provision of a Trust Platform. As with IT outsourcing generally it is large companies that have been early adopters of application service providers' (ASPs) services with little penetration in the SME sector. It is the notion of community and emergent properties of an eCluster that could provide the 'key' to this market and lead to the evolution of community-centric ASPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalElectronic Markets
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • internet
  • e-commerce
  • community
  • eClusters
  • digital enterprise communities


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