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International and product diversification: How e‐commerce may help financial services firms to diversify

Stephen K. Callaway (John H. Sykes College of Business, The University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Commerce and Management

ISSN: 1056-9219

Article publication date: 29 April 2008




The aim of this paper is to investigate how e‐commerce may influence international and product diversification.


The current study elaborates the importance of resource‐based and resource dependence theory to illustrate how internal and external resources may enable firms to diversify. Prior studies on resource‐based theory, resource dependence theory, international diversification, product diversification, and IT capabilities have been presented to show gaps in the literature and identify avenues for future research.


This paper has established a theoretical perspective on the importance of external resources or infrastructure, as well as firm‐specific capabilities, on encouraging product and international diversification. A model has been developed and propositions given.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies on this topic will need to empirically test the model given in this paper, in order to manage all of the interconnected variables and mediators developed in this study.

Practical implications

Utilization of the internet may provide a means for firms to offer “one‐stop shopping” for customers, and may even encourage firms to diversify internationally. Furthermore, important firm‐specific IT capabilities of financial services firms may be extended geographically and by product line, and combined with utilization of the internet, may improve firm performance.


This study compares and contrasts the role of internal and external resources, and assesses whether they will demonstrate a greater effect upon international or product diversification.



Callaway, S.K. (2008), "International and product diversification: How e‐commerce may help financial services firms to diversify", International Journal of Commerce and Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 31-46.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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