Globalization and Entrepreneurship

Globalization and Entrepreneurship

Policy and Strategy Perspectives

The McGill International Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Hamid Etemad and Richard Wright

The contributors to this collection provide a wealth of new analyses of both traditional and emerging aspects of entrepreneurship, from a variety of national perspectives and from a variety of disciplines. Globalization has begun to dismantle the barriers that traditionally segregated local business opportunities and local firms from their international counterparts. Local markets are becoming integral parts of broader, global markets. As globalization proceeds apace, entrepreneurs and small businesses will play a more prominent role on the global business arena. The volume is divided into three sections. The first looks at the internationalization process itself while the second focuses on factors facilitating this process in small and medium-sized firms. The last section examines emerging dimensions in management policy.

Chapter 10: E-Commerce and the Internationalization of SMEs

Kittinoot Chulikavit and Jerman Rose

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, international business


Kittinoot Chulikavit and Jerman Rose INTRODUCTION Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in most of the economies of the world. In the last decade researchers have increasingly been interested in how SMEs contribute to economic growth and development (Rovere, 1996; von Potobsky, 1992). While the term ‘SME’ is widespread, there is no generally agreed definition that isolates this type of organization (Yusof and Aspinwall, 2000; von Potobsky, 1992). A variety of definitions for SMEs can be seen among different countries (von Potobsky, 1992), industries and government agencies (Yusof and Aspinwall, 2000). Some researchers have defined SMEs on quantitative criteria while some others have used qualitative criteria (von Potobsky, 1992). Quantitative criteria involve factors such as: sales figures, social assets, number of employees, number of customers, value of the equipment, capital investment, production, levels of energy consumption, and so on. But because these quantitative limits differ from country to country, even something so apparently concrete as a quantitative limit causes misunderstandings. Qualitative criteria, on the other hand, are related to behavioral attributes such as how SMEs are run, how decisions are made, how authority is given, and so on. Since it is the behavior of SMEs that is key to the relationship between emerging electronic commerce and export behavior, we will focus on some of the established qualitative descriptions of SMEs. Using this approach, we have in mind firms exhibiting production flexibility, adaptability to changing markets (von Potobsky, 1992), ownership, independence (O’Farrell and...

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