Aside from the impact on the relative efficiency of establishments within the sample, e
commerce use also impacts strategic goals. According to a model developed by Kraemer
(Kraemer et al., 1999), firms are asked about the impact and use of e commerce in two different
ways: use for internal process optimization (to reduce costs) and external market penetration (to
enter new businesses or markets). In the original model, Kraemer used a seven point scale to
measure the degree of impact of IT on the strategic goal of focus using four questions. The
model used in this paper is modified to use a five point scale and only two questions. Using the
results of four questions is not possible due to the lack of matching questions. The results for all
German firms are provided in Figure 15. While 34% regard e commerce as a significant factor
for both foci, 25% use e commerce technologies more or less without specific focus. The
potential of e commerce is seen more often in the areas of market penetration (31%) than in the
operational area (10%). An average of only 34% regard e commerce solutions as important to
support strategic goals across all industry sectors, and they cannot assess whether or not the
strategic use of e commerce has an impact on the efficiency of firms. To answer this question
and to test the results of the DEA analysis provided above, a closer look at the strategic goals of
efficient and inefficient firms is provided in Figures 16 and 17.
FIGURE 15 Strategic Goals of IT Usage as an Average of all Firms and Sectors
M arket Focus
Source: CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002; unweighted sample.
Significant differences are observable between efficient and inefficient establishments.
DEA efficient firms responded more often that e commerce was a significant factor for their
strategic goals than inefficient ones. Conversely, only 10% of efficient establishments are
unfocused users of e commerce, seeing no further impact on their strategic goals, while 3% of
DEA inefficient establishments reported an unfocused usage.