Electronic commerce and internationalisation in New Zealand SMEs
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This research focuses on internationalisation and e-commerce in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a significant part of the New Zealand economy. Based on interviews in ten SMEs, this study explores the internationalisation process and adoption of e-commerce in these enterprises. Both phenomena are examined separately to explore relevant issues, followed by consideration of the interrelationship between the two phenomena. Ten case studies of New Zealand SMEs engaged in international business were conducted. Qualitative data was collected in semi-structured interviews with key members of each SME. The interview data were supplemented with secondary data sources, including publicly available information on the firms and their activities. A within-case and cross-case analysis was performed based around the three research foci identified above. The research findings reveal that while there is a high level of confidence among the SMEs studied for internationalisation, e-commerce adoption in these firms was at a medium level of maturity. Facilitators and inhibitors of both internationalisation and e-commerce adoption are presented. A major contribution of the study is the consideration of the mutual effects between the two phenomena, in order to raise awareness of internationalisation and e-commerce in SMEs and their significance for SMEs’ competitiveness.