Exploratory Investigation Into Globalization and Linkages Among ICTs and Usages Within SMEs Environments in Cambodia

Exploratory Investigation Into Globalization and Linkages Among ICTs and Usages Within SMEs Environments in Cambodia

Teck Choon Teo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7603-8.ch011
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This study examines the association between firm globalization; the embracing of ICT, more specifically the ICT tools; and the firm's performance. Globalization has a tremendous effect on people which leads them to a greater use of ICTs to enable users to navigate and communicate spontaneously to fulfill self-gratification. From the firm's perspective, globalization has differential effects on B2B and B2C e-commerce, though such global firms are more likely to do B2B but less likely to do B2C. The findings imply that ICTs espousal will augment international competitive advantages but not leveling the playing field for firms to compete with global firms in international markets.
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We are now witnessing the fourth industrial revolution, ICT (Information and Communications technology) is reshaping the way that we live, work, and communicate (Schwab, 2016). This technology and its transformation have incessantly plugged global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and unemployment which continue to plague nations (Heeks, 2008). ICT broadly includes as electronic technologies used to create, process, gather, distribute, and publish information in the form for example, of audio, data, text, video and images (Beckinsale & Ram, 2006; Kleine, 2015). These technologies include radio, television, mobile devices, personal computers, the Internet and digital communication networks. According to Walsham (2017), the concept of ‘ICT for development’ (ICT4D) is not new, with research in the field began in the early 1980s. It was largely MNCs (Multinational corporations) and other principal development actors who started to advocate for the use of ICTs to address development challenges (Heeks, 2008). Considering this, emphasis was placed on enterprises and civil societies’ use and the implementation of these technologies to realize development (Baller, Dutta, & Lanvin, 2016).

ICT enables the edifice of networks and relationships that are used to share information and resources. The augmented information dissemination literally facilitated and enhanced cultural enrichment, social network sites, e-commerce and the firm’s performance (Hoq, 2015; Nakasone & Torero, 2016). Moreover, these technologies support the economic growth and communication processes of small businesses (Donner, 2004, 2007), and benefit community members to be prudent in savings and gain financial independence (Chew, Ilavarasan, & Levy, 2010). By enabling SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) to conduct business online, ICT eradicates the barriers of geographic constraints associated with e-commerce, may it be B2B or B2C (Mothobi, Schoentgen, & Gillwald, 2017). The ensuing phase of ICT development and the widespread adoption of the Internet by business triggered profound interest for the potential of these new technologies in reduction of many barriers and improvements in business performance.

Conversely, Internet which broadly comprises a web of interconnected computer networks that transmit information through linked devices using Internet protocols (Stair & Reynolds, 2016), is arguably the foremost influencers of the ICT4D paradigm (Heeks, 2008). There is no other technology that can assert such a revolutionary impact on communication and socio-economic development (Breytenbach, De Villiers, & Jordaan, 2012; Ganju, Pavlou, & Banker, 2016; Huaroto, 2012). Hence, the Internet is an indispensable tool that accelerates development and human progress (United Nations, 2011). In developing countries, it was estimated that every ten percent rise in access to broadband connectivity would influence a 1.38 percentage growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) (Toure, 2015). Given the influence of ICT which can permeate socio-economic development has opened up huge investment in ICT4D initiatives in developing countries, particularly those SMEs that are marginalized or lacked equal opportunities to access ICTs. One such initiative that has been implemented globally is electronic inclusion intermediaries (e-IIs). E-IIs are considered one of the most successful ICT4D innovation in developing countries (Aji, Yusop, Ahmad, Azizi, & Jawad, 2016). The focus of e-IIs is to remove the barriers between users and information, and between users and communication resources (Garrido, Sey, Hart, & Santana, 2012a). It can conceivably make ICT more accessible and extend its benefits to users, specifically those who are marginalized (Alao, Lwaga, & Chigona, 2017). The e-IIs proffer physical spaces equipped with desktop computers and Internet connectivity to give equal opportunities for socio-economic development (Garrido, Sey, Hart, & Santana, 2012b; Gomez, 2014; Rissola & Garrido, 2013). Examples of e-IIs include Internet cafés, electronic offices, telecentres – which are also referred to as electronic centers (e-centers), public libraries, community technology centers, and digital hubs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Commerce: It also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, it refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. E-commerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are non-subsidiary, independent firms which employ fewer than a given number of employees. Small firms are generally those with fewer than 50 employees, while micro-enterprises have at most 10, or in some cases 5, workers.

Social media: It is computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities. Users engage with social media via computer, tablet or smartphone via web-based software or web application, often utilizing it for messaging.

ICT4D: Information and Communications Technology for Development is the practice of utilizing technology to assist poor and marginalized people in developing communities.

Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Business Intelligence: It is a combination of processes, products, and technologies that have the ability in supporting organization, and can have a direct key role in data management by storing, and analyzing the data collected from internal and external sources, and on decision making by creating knowledge, and finally on Business Performance management.

B2B: It is shorthand for business to business. The products and services of the business are marketed to other businesses.

Electronic Inclusion Intermediaries: Electronic inclusion intermediaries (e-IIs) are physical spaces equipped with desktop computers and Internet connectivity to give equal opportunities for socio-economic development which are also referred to as electronic centers (e-centers), public libraries, community technology centers, and digital hubs.

Organizational Development: It can be defined as an objective-based methodology used to initiate a change of systems in an entity.

B2C: It is shorthand for business to consumer. It is the process of selling products and services directly between a business and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services.

Web 2.0: The second stage of development of the Internet, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media.

Marketing 2.0: It refers to the new generation of marketing ideas emerging from the Internet era. The expression became popular in 2005 along with the idea of Web 2.0. It is a buzzword that forms part of the business jargon of corporate work environments pertaining to new means of marketing.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): It is one of many different approaches that allow a company to manage and analyze its own interactions with its past, current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

Information and Communications Technology: A broader term for Information Technology (IT), which refers to all communication technologies, including the internet, wireless networks, cell phones, computers, software, middleware, video-conferencing, social networking, and other media applications and services.

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