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IT Adoption and the Internationalization of SMEs
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

International business offers challenges and opportunities to smaller firms. However, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face international competition even in their home markets, they have no choice but to seek international opportunities. In this way, the Internet could help SMEs engage in international business more efficiently.Information technology (IT) is a catalyst for firms' international activities and IT adoption has been widely discussed; however, the barriers to adopting IT do not gain the same attention. The current study thus deals with two research streams: a) the Internet’s influence on SME internationalization and b) the barriers to adopting IT internationally faced by SMEs. The research problem is to investigate the potential influences of the Internet on SME internationalization and the barriers to the adoption of IT for SMEs.To answer the research problem and based on reviewing the relevant literature, these two research streams were divided into four research questions and a qualitative and exploratory study designed. This study was conducted among three SMEs that were homogenously selected among Iranian manufacturing firms and its findings are based on the perceptions of the three interviewed SME owner/managers.The study shows that IT has a positive impact on the scope and speed of internationalization and significantly impacts the extent of SME internationalization. Further, the ways in which SMEs use the Internet to improve the scope and speed of internationalization are shown. The study also concludes that the Internet has a positive impact on the exploration and exploitation of international opportunities by SMEs. Regarding barriers to IT adoption, the study finds that cost is not as important as suggested by previous studies, while several obstacles such as trust, security, and international legal issues are perceived to be important in the international business context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, SME internationalization, IT adoption, International Entrepreneurship, International Entrepreneurship, IT adoption
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59354Local ID: fe41962f-7e4a-4e94-af3a-7bcbc88926cfOAI: diva2:1032741
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Electronic Commerce, master's level
Validerat; 20120611 (marikav)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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