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The Internationalization Process of E-commerce SMEs: The Role of Social Capital
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract

Background:      The internationalization process of SMEs has in today’s increasingly globalized world been altered. The previous theories of incremental internationalization have been challenged by new modernized theories. Whereas new modern theories argue for the importance of social capital as a contributing factor for successful internationalization.

 

Problem:             Social capital is now used by SMEs as a tool to overcome barriers when internationalizing. While this theory is suggested by several researchers within the field the technological advancements, which is one main element for the increased globalization of firms, provide favorable breeding grounds for SMEs to operate in the e-commerce context. Thus, there are reasons for examining the role of social capital in the internationalization of e-commerce SMEs further.

 

Purpose:             The purpose of this thesis is to examine the internationalization process of e-commerce SMEs and the role of social capital.

 

Method:              The method for this qualitative study was to perform a multiple case study where the selected case companies had to fulfill criteria of internationalization, SME, and to be operating in the e-commerce industry. The data collection in the multiple case study was carried out through interviews. The analysis of the data was conducted by first analyzing the cases as stand-alone entities and secondly through cross-case analysis to find patterns across the cases.

 

Results:               The results indicated that the internationalization process of SMEs has been altered. Furthermore, it was found that social capital does act as a tool for lowering the barriers for internationalization. However, our result also showed that the case companies utilized their social capital differently. Thus, there seem to be no consistent result on how social capital influence e-commerce SMEs internationalization process.

 

Conclusion:                       This thesis concluded that the internationalization process in e-commerce companies is different from existing research and between cases. The role of social capital was found to have a positive role in the internationalization process. However, social capital does not have a crucial role in the success of an internationalization process, but it does present an advantage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
SME, E-commerce, Internationalization, Internationalization Process, Social Capital, Networks
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35718ISRN: JU-ihh-FÖA-1-20170370OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-35718DiVA: diva2:1104743
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-16 Created: 2017-06-01 Last updated: 2017-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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