Edited by Mika Gabrielsson and V. H. Manek Kirpalani
Chapter 11: Do Born Global SMEs Reap More Benefits from ICT Use than Other Internationalizing Small Firms?
Noemi Pezderka, Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Ruey-Jer (Bryan) Jean INTRODUCTION The emergence and spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) gave rise to speculations about their potential impact in many walks of life. Interestingly, despite the rapidly growing literature on e-commerce, research on the internet’s impact on firm internationalization is comparatively limited. In a recent review of 45 empirical studies, Morgan-Thomas (2009) identifies two major streams within the ‘online internationalization’ literature, (a) the internationalization of e-commerce corporations and (b) the impact of the internet on the internationalization of non-internet-based firms. The present study focuses on firms which belong to the latter category. The beginning of empirical international business (IB) research on ICT issues dates back to the seminal work of Hamill and Gregory (1997, p. 9) predicting a ‘revolutionary impact on the conduct of international trade’. Macro-level studies, correlating internet access with international trade growth (for example, Freund and Weinhold 2004) seem to confirm this prediction. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence about the export opportunity-enhancing nature of the internet in developing countries (for example, Wheeler et al. 2004) was supported by empirical results indicating a higher propensity to export among firms with internet access in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Clarke 2008). Yet, these results merely indicate that ICT, more precisely the internet, plays an important role in facilitating international trade without conveying a specific link about their contribution to export performance. As pointed out by Anna Morgan-Thomas (2009), given the internet’s unprecedented potential to reach foreign customers (Schlegelmilch and Sinkovics 1998;...
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