Based on harmonised and uniquely linked firm-level datasets for a large group of European countries, this study investigates the role of different information and communication technology (ICT) capacities in the internationalisation of small- and medium-sized firms (defined as having 10–249 employees). Both the decision to export and the export intensity are explored in this respect. The different ICT capacities are captured by online presence (having a website), online transactions (e-sales activities) and proportion of employees with broadband internet access or post-upper secondary ICT education. The results show a significant and positive relationship between the ICT capacities and the engagement in exporting activities of small- and medium-sized firms, although the kind of ICT capacity of importance seems to vary across countries. In countries where the ICT usage in firms is less developed, mainly basic capacities such as online presence are related to the decision to export. There are also indications that the export intensity is more strongly related to advanced ICT capacities than the pure decision to export.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 21, 2016
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