Internetalisation : the Internet's influence on international market growth in the firm's outward internationalisation process

Mathews, Shane William (2009) Internetalisation : the Internet's influence on international market growth in the firm's outward internationalisation process. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

It has been suggested that the Internet is the most significant driver of international trade in recent years to the extent that the term =internetalisation‘ has been coined (Bell, Deans, Ibbotson & Sinkovics, 2001; Buttriss & Wilkinson, 2003). This term is used to describe the Internet‘s affect on the internationalisation process of the firm. Consequently, researchers have argued that the internationalisation process of the firm has altered due to the Internet, hence is in need of further investigation. However, as there is limited research and understanding, ambiguity remains in how the Internet has influenced international market growth. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore how the Internet influences firms‘ internationalisation process, specifically, international market growth. To this end, Internet marketing and international market growth theories are used to illuminate this ambiguity in the body of knowledge. Thus, the research problem =How and why does the Internet influence international market growth of the firm’ is justified for investigation. To explore the research question a two-stage approach is used. Firstly, twelve case studies were used to evaluate key concepts, generate hypotheses and to develop a model of Internetalisation for testing. The participants held key positions within their firm, so that rich data could be drawn from international market growth decision makers. Secondly, a quantitative confirmation process analysed the identified themes or constructs, using two hundred and twenty four valid responses. Constructs were evaluated through an exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling process. Structural equation modelling was used to test the model of =internetalisation‘ to examine the interrelationships between the internationalisation process components: information availability, information usage, interaction communication, international mindset, business relationship usage, psychic distance, the Internet intensity of the firm and international market growth. This study found that the Internet intensity of the firm mediates information availability, information usage, international mindset, and business relationships when firms grow in international markets. Therefore, these results provide empirical evidence that the Internet has a positive influence on international information, knowledge, entrepreneurship and networks and these in turn influence international market growth. The theoretical contributions are three fold. Firstly, the study identifies a holistic model of the impact the Internet has had on the outward internationalisation of the firm. This contribution extends the body of knowledge pertaining to Internet international marketing by mapping and confirming interrelationships between the Internet, internationalisation and growth concepts. Secondly, the study highlights the broad scope and accelerated rate of international market growth of firms. Evidence that the Internet influences the traditional and virtual networks for the pursuit of international market growth extends the current understanding. Thirdly, this study confirms that international information, knowledge, entrepreneurship and network concepts are valid in a single model. Thus, these three contributions identify constructs, measure constructs in a multi-item capacity, map interrelationships and confirm single holistic model of ‗internetalisation‘. The main practical contribution is that the findings identified information, knowledge and entrepreneurial opportunities for firms wishing to maximise international market growth. To capitalise on these opportunities suggestions are offered to assist firms to develop greater Internet intensity and internationalisation capabilities. From a policy perspective, educational institutions and government bodies need to promote more applied programs for Internet international marketing. The study provides future researchers with a platform of identified constructs and interrelationships related to internetalisation, with which to investigate. However, a single study has limitations of generalisability; thus, future research should replicate this study. Such replication or cross validation will assist in the verification of scales used in this research and enhance the validity of causal predications. Furthermore, this study was undertaken in the Australian outward-bound context. Research in other nations, as well as research into inbound internationalisation would be fruitful.

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ID Code: 29979
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Healy, Marilyn, Pike, Steven, Wickramasekera, Geemith, & Boyce, Gordon
Keywords: international markets, growth, Internet, firms
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2010 05:50
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:54

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