Internationalisation and the internet in UK manufacturing SMEs

Internationalisation and the internet in UK manufacturing SMEs Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the influence of the internet on the internationalisation process and international customer relationship interactions of UK manufacturing small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The paper is positioned at the interface of the literature on international entrepreneurship and the internet. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the findings from multiple case studies of ten UK manufacturing SMEs from a variety of UK sectors, producing high‐, medium‐ and low‐tech offerings. In‐depth interviews with directors or managers of the SMEs were conducted. Individual and cross‐case analysis was carried out using coding frameworks to reduce and analyse the data and capture patterns in the findings. Findings – The findings reveal how the influence of the internet in the internationalisation process and international customer relationship interactions differed in the high‐, medium‐or low‐tech SME categories. The influence of the internet differed across three main dimensions: the way in which the SMEs invested in and used different internet applications for internationalisation and customer relationship support, the SMEs' perceptions of the internet as a tool to support communication with international customers; the SMEs' reliance on more personal and interactive forms of contact with international customers. Practical implications – The results demonstrate that the level of technological advancement of an SME's offerings has an important bearing on how these firms adopt the internet in their internationalisation process and gain advantages in their international customer interactions. The managerial implications of the study are relevant for manufacturing SMEs, their customers and government agencies involved with SMEs. Originality/value – This research is amongst the first empirical contributions to examine the themes of the internet, internationalisation and international customer interactions in UK manufacturing SMEs and to highlight the importance of the level of technological advancement of an SME's offerings in distinguishing the ways in which the internet is used by entrepreneurial small firms in their internationalisation process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development Emerald Publishing

Internationalisation and the internet in UK manufacturing SMEs

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/internationalisation-and-the-internet-in-uk-manufacturing-smes-NQ4g3kPpvD
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1462-6004
DOI
10.1108/14626001111155718
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the influence of the internet on the internationalisation process and international customer relationship interactions of UK manufacturing small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The paper is positioned at the interface of the literature on international entrepreneurship and the internet. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the findings from multiple case studies of ten UK manufacturing SMEs from a variety of UK sectors, producing high‐, medium‐ and low‐tech offerings. In‐depth interviews with directors or managers of the SMEs were conducted. Individual and cross‐case analysis was carried out using coding frameworks to reduce and analyse the data and capture patterns in the findings. Findings – The findings reveal how the influence of the internet in the internationalisation process and international customer relationship interactions differed in the high‐, medium‐or low‐tech SME categories. The influence of the internet differed across three main dimensions: the way in which the SMEs invested in and used different internet applications for internationalisation and customer relationship support, the SMEs' perceptions of the internet as a tool to support communication with international customers; the SMEs' reliance on more personal and interactive forms of contact with international customers. Practical implications – The results demonstrate that the level of technological advancement of an SME's offerings has an important bearing on how these firms adopt the internet in their internationalisation process and gain advantages in their international customer interactions. The managerial implications of the study are relevant for manufacturing SMEs, their customers and government agencies involved with SMEs. Originality/value – This research is amongst the first empirical contributions to examine the themes of the internet, internationalisation and international customer interactions in UK manufacturing SMEs and to highlight the importance of the level of technological advancement of an SME's offerings in distinguishing the ways in which the internet is used by entrepreneurial small firms in their internationalisation process.

Journal

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2011

Keywords: Internationalisation; Internet; Customer relations; UK manufacturers; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; United Kingdom; International business

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off