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Leveraging Internet capabilities for international business relationships: a comparison between Australian, Chilean and Taiwanese exporting SMEs

Shane Mathews (Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Keith J. Perks (University of Brighton Business School, Brighton, UK)
Constanza Bianchi (School of Business, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Penalolen, Chile) (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Hsiu-Li Chen (Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Charmaine Glavas (Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 22 February 2021

Issue publication date: 23 April 2021

412

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how Internet capabilities influence international business relationships using the resource-based view and capabilities perspective. Many studies highlight the importance of the Internet in helping smaller firms internationalize. However, few studies actually test how this is happening. The central purpose of this research was to examine and test the impact of Internet capabilities on international information availability, international strategic orientation and international business relationships in a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia, Chile and Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a structural equation modeling process so as to test the Internet capabilities on international business networks. The empirical research is based on an analysis of a sample of internationalizing SMEs in three export-intensive markets in Australia (215), Chile (204) and Taiwan (130) to test a conceptual model.

Findings

The results demonstrate that Internet capabilities have a distinct effect on the development of international business relationships for SMEs in the three countries. That is, Internet capabilities have a positive impact on a firm's international business relationships, but this varies across Australian and Taiwanese and Chilean SMEs.

Originality/value

These studies give empirical validation on the way in which smaller firms are using Internet capabilities for leveraging networks in internationalization and how this varies across countries. The results demonstrate that Internet capabilities have a distinct and positive impact on the development of international business relationships for SMEs in the three countries. However, there are specific differences between countries in how the Internet is being leveraged for the development of international business networks. Something currently not highlighted in the body of knowledge.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper was prepared with the assistance of the Research and Development Program, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology.

Citation

Mathews, S., Perks, K.J., Bianchi, C., Chen, H.-L. and Glavas, C. (2021), "Leveraging Internet capabilities for international business relationships: a comparison between Australian, Chilean and Taiwanese exporting SMEs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 380-398. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-12-2018-0385

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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