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Published in the Irish Marketing Review, Vol.13, no.1, 2000, pp. 21-33.


There is much technological hype (see Gates, 1999) as to the consequences of operating within cyberspace (Gibson, 1994) in an e-commerce capacity, at a time of operationalising European economic union within "Euroland". Debates centre on the need to theorise cyberspace (Besser, 1995) and the individualisation offered from organisations in serving e-customers, both from business to business to consumer perspectives. There is however, limited investigation as to how small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are preparing for this electronic or euro transmogrification. This article seeks to redress this by providing insight into these issues and draws upon an empirical analysis of Irish SMEs conducted in October 1999 by Business Strategies Ltd. and Grant Thorton International. The survey forms part of a wider European based survey that has been conducted annually for the past seven years, although the focus of questions alters each year. Here the focus is on the results of the survey in relation to two areas;(1) the introduction of the euro and (ii) the use of computers and specifically the internet. Analysis suggests that generally Irish SMEs compare favourably to their European counterparts in both fields, but that SMEs must reassess their company strategies if they wish to remain competitive in the e-future. Discussion centres on the implications for marketing strategies to be operationalised and the need for SMEs to problematise personalistion in cyberspace and fully incorporate the death of distance (OECD, 2000) into strategy making.


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