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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: bmm
A number of researchers suggest that the development of Internet technologies, especially the World Wide Web, provides new opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), because the Internet has the ability to assist SMEs to extend their activities into customer base in international markets. Although there is extensive research focusing on business-to consumer marketing, no significant studies have looked at business-to-business marketing, especially the manufacturing SMEs sector. This thesis examines how the Internet relates to manufacturing SMEs and reviews how manufacturing SMEs internationalise. In particular, this thesis concerns how industrial networks/relationships impact on the use of the Internet for manufacturing SMEs and their international operations. This thesis reviews relevant areas of literature in industrial network perspectives, internationalisation, capabilities and the Internet. A conceptual framework derived from the literature review is also presented. The conceptual development provides a framework for the subsequent research strategies. The empirical data consists of ten in-depth case studies from different types of manufacturing SMEs and industries within the UK. A cross-case analysis was then carried out which leads to the finalised framework. One of the key contributions of this thesis is the development of the SCIM (SME Capability for the Internationalisation of Manufacturing) framework. The framework provides an overview of an industrial network in relation to the manufacturing SMEs' capability development, and factors such as the Internet and industrial environment \ud that need to be considered for their international business decisions. The findings reveal key components that have direct impact upon manufacturing SMEs when engaging in network business activities. Moreover, the findings elaborate the influence of the Internet for manufacturing SMEs for their international business operations and internationalisation strategies. Finally, the implications for practice and directions for future research are highlighted. \ud
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