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Internet and business: how and why

It’s become a given: markets both foreign and domestic are commanded, in part, through a strong online presence. Of course, behind the Internet presence there always needs to be a serious product, an effective organisation and a real business. But being online, being able to dialogue with potential customers and new markets in real time and keeping an eye on the competition via the web are key factors for companies wanting to break free from their limited local markets. They are also factors that will also have a rapid impact on that company’s corporate culture and on the way it interacts with the outside world.

For this reason, a better understanding of how the Internet enters an organisation and, above all, how that organisation makes use of it is crucial to understanding how the organisation will evolve and what the future holds.

Charmaine Glavas and Shane Mathews (of Queensland University of Technology; Brisbane, Australia) have done just that by exploring the relationship between the characteristics of international entrepreneurship and the use of the Internet in international business processes.

The underlying assumption is that Internet capabilities truly are necessary in business. “However,” as explained in the study How international entrepreneurship characteristics influence Internet capabilities for the international business processes of the firm, published in May issue of the International Business Review, “international entrepreneurship characteristics which are seen as a precursor to leveraging Internet capabilities are still vague.” To understand what this means and how it actually manifests itself, the authors looked at eight case studies of small and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism industry in order to compare their level of entrepreneurship and their ability to use the web in business processes. What emerged is a snapshot that can be of use in other industries and for other types of businesses, as well. As well as one surprise: the ability of an organisation to take on the risks of international markets and the degree of success it will have are not necessarily the conditions that lead to an effective use of the Internet. In other words, the Internet is necessary, but it’s not nearly enough on its own.

How international entrepreneurship characteristics influence Internet capabilities for the international business processes of the firm

Charmaine Glavas & Shane Mathews

International Business Review, May 2013.