Uppsala Model

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INTRODUCTION
1
Graduate Business School
School of Economics and Commercial Law
Göteborg University
THE INTERNATIONALIZATION PROCESS
OF E-COMMERCE COMPANIES
A CASE STUDY ON BOKUS, BOXMAN,
DRESSMART & LETSBUYIT
Marcus Ekström and Christine Persson
INTRODUCTION
2
Graduate Business School
School of Economics and Commercial Law
Göteborg University
International Management
Masters Thesis 1999:22
THE INTERNATIONALIZATION PROCESS OF
E-COMMERCE COMPANIES
A CASE STUDY ON BOKUS, BOXMAN,
DRESSMART & LETSBUYIT
Marcus Ekström and Christine Persson
INTRODUCTION
3
Graduate Business School
School of Economics and Commercial Law
Göteborg University
ISSN 1403-851X
INTRODUCTION
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ABSTRACT
This thesis was initiated because of the new and fast growing environment that attracts more and more companies to do business electronically – the Internet. The question that was raised was how e-commerce companies are internationalizing into new countries, and why they go about in a certain way. Using the Uppsala-model and its operationalizations as a theoretical framework, four case studies were conducted. The companies studied were Bokus, Boxman, Dressmart, and LetsBuyIt.

In the study it was concluded that the Uppsala-model and its operationalizations could not alone describe and explain the internationalization process of the case companies. These companies seem to operate in a hyped environment and three factors, capital, external knowledge, and homogenization influencing them to behave in another manner than suggested by the Uppsala researchers, were found.

The main findings were that the companies moved very quickly from country to country, and that they took rather radical and direct first initiatives when entering foreign markets. The study also showed that the case companies internationalized to countries with increasingly higher rates of psychic distance. Other more rational factors such as Internet penetration and market potential also influenced the choice of countries entered. Keywords: Internet, e-commerce, internationalization process, Uppsalamodel, establishment chain, psychic distance, Bokus, Boxman, Dressmart, and LetsBuyIt

INTRODUCTION
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FOREWORD
The concept of "the new economy", launched by the sociologist Manuel Castells, is the object of almost daily debates in the media: is
there really something radically new or is it the same old economy dressed in slightly different clothes?
Regardless of what the answer will be on macro level, there is no doubt that the introduction of IT and recently the Internet has drastically changed the environment for the individual company. Hence, new ways of doing business have been, and will be, invented. This is clearly mirrored in this thesis on the internationalization processes of the four leading Swedish e-commerce companies. The phenomenon of internationalization has long been a topic of great interest and relevance to those interested in the field of management - both researchers and students as well as practitioners. The results of this thesis make it clear, we will all have to re-think what we thought we knew.

GRI, 00-01-07
Jan-Erik Vahlne
INTRODUCTION
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
During the past months we have had the opportunity to investigate an extremely interesting and yet fairly unexplored topic – the internationalization process of e-commerce companies. Along the way we have met several knowledgeable and helpful persons

to whom we are of course very grateful.
We would here like to express our gratitude to our interviewees Jerker Nilsson at Bokus, Anders Karlberg at Boxman, Annika Järund and Martin Geber at Dressmart, and Michael Freudenthal at LetsBuyIt - you made this thesis possible by letting us come under the surface of your companies. We would also like to give our special thanks to Christina Arnell and Lena Karlsson at Andersen Consulting for your continuous feedback and the fruitful discussions we have had on the topic.

Special thanks also to our...
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