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Stimulating Internationalization through digitalization: Digital competence in Swedish manufacturing SMEs
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Digital competence used to be a confusing concept, until recently when some researchers coined a comprehensive definition of digital competence and formulated a conceptual framework in an SME context. However, the framework was only at a conceptual level and required to be tested with the empirics of a qualitative or quantitative study. By an abductive qualitative approach, this research explored existing theories on digital competence and formulated a new digital competence framework in Swedish manufacturing SME perspective. Moreover, with cross-sectional study design, this research explored the role of digital competence in the internationalization process of six Swedish manufacturing firms, which is unprecedented in academic literature. Our findings indicate that digital competence is an evolving concept which develops gradually with technological advancements and requires a combination of three integral components: i) Digital technologies (basic and advanced level digitalization), ii) Automation of organizational processes, iii) Human resources who have the latest digital skills and are duly motivated to use these skills. This research affirms that after attaining digital competence Swedish manufacturing SMEs can sustain a competitive advantage in their international markets and it successfully facilitates in the firm’s internationalization process.

Abstract [sv]

Digital kompetens brukade vara ett förvirrande koncept fram till nyligen när vissa forskare utarbetade en omfattande definition av digital kompetens och formulerade en konceptuell ram i ett små och medelstora sammanhang. Ramverket var dock endast på en konceptuell nivå och krävdes att testas med empiriken i en kvalitativ eller kvantitativ studie. Genom ett abduktivt kvalitativt tillvägagångssätt undersökte denna forskning befintliga teorier om digital kompetens och formulerade en ny digital kompetensram inom svenskt tillverkningspolitiskt perspektiv. Vidare undersökte denna undersökning rollen som digital kompetens i internationaliseringsprocessen av sex svenska tillverkningsföretag, vilket är enastående i den akademiska litteraturen. Våra resultat tyder på att digital kompetens är ett utvecklande koncept som utvecklas gradvis med tekniska framsteg och kräver en kombination av tre integrerade komponenter: i) Digital teknik (grundläggande och avancerad digitalisering), ii) Automatisering av organisationsprocesser, iii) Personal som har de senaste digitala färdigheterna och är vederbörligen motiverade att använda dessa färdigheter. Den här forskningen bekräftar att svenska tillverkare små och medelstora företag efter att ha uppnått digital kompetens kan upprätthålla en konkurrensfördel på sina internationella marknader och framgångsrikt underlättar företagets internationaliseringsprocess.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 62
Keywords [en]
Internationalization, Internationalization process, Digitalization, Digital Competence, Swedish, Manufacturing, Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, Industry 4.0, Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, Automation, Digital Skills, Motivation
Keywords [sv]
Internationalisering, internationaliseringsprocess, digitalisering, digital kompetens, svensk, tillverkning, små och medelstora företag, små och medelstora företag, industri 4, 0, fjärde industrirevolutionen, 4IR, automation, digitala färdigheter, motivation
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-387820DiVA, id: diva2:1330569
Subject / course
Business Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Business and Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-26 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Master Thesis 2019 Muhammad Akash Bin Nasir(3307 kB)29 downloads
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