روابط الکترونیکی برای آمادگی الکترونیکی: فرهنگ و فساد در بین المللی B2B الکترونیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23706||2014||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5110 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2008, Pages 83-91
The role of electronic networks in B2B relationships has been growing exponentially. From massive internet B2B exchanges to tiny RFID chips, B2B is increasingly becoming e-B2B. Whilst e-B2B has been explored intra-nationally, its international counterpart is less well documented; as has been the role that culture might play in the development of international e-B2B relationships. In this paper we address this important issue of international e-business relationships. Specifically we explore the interconnection between national e-readiness and cultural values, and address the research question: How do cultural values impact a nation's readiness to engage in e-business? Drawing upon international surveys we link cultural values with national e-business infrastructure. Our findings suggest an intriguing link between cultural values and a nation's readiness for e-B2B. From these results we develop managerial recommendations and extrapolate research opportunities.
The role of electronic networks in B2B relationships has been growing exponentially. From massive internet B2B exchanges to tiny RFID chips, B2B is increasingly becoming e-B2B (cf. Economist, 2006). For example, over the past few years a plethora of trans-national exchanges have emerged, from open, public exchanges such as Covisint (www.covisint.com), through delimited, consortia exchanges such as Aeroxchange (aeroxchange.com), to the closed, private exchanges such as those run by Wal-Mart and Dell. These latter companies, as well as the likes of Boeing and Target, mandate suppliers to embed goods and components with RFID chips to create an electronically managed trans-national supply chain (Brass, 2006). Despite this, the specific trans-national aspect of e-B2B although arguably it's sine qua non, has perhaps received less formal academic attention than other aspects of e-commerce. Conceptual endeavors in this field do exist in the works of Samiee (1998), Avlonitis and Karayanni (2000), Porter (2001) and Karavdic and Gregory (2005). Furthermore, technical issues such as trans-national e-enabled supply chains ( Iyer, Germain, & Frankwick, 2004), enterprise resource planning ( Burn & Colin, 2005) and multi-lingual web sites ( Tiessen, 2004) have begun to be explored. However, less attention has been given to the question of what makes industrial firms in other countries ready or not for e-B2B relationships, and what will make these relationships work best. A number of authors have begun to explore the barriers to trans-national e-commerce relationships (e.g. Eid, Trueman, & Ahmad, 2002). A range of objective, technical issues such as network-infrastructure and computer literacy have become apparent (cf. Reddy & Iyer, 2002), as well as a number of subjective factors, such as culture (Yap, Das, Burbridge, & Cort, 2006) and trust (Aljifri et al., 2003 and Olson and Olson, 2000). Several institutions have tried to capture countries' amenability or readiness for e-commerce relationships, including the International Trade Forum and the Economist Intelligence Unit (cf. Rao, 2003). However these indicators, by focusing primarily on national, objective measures only tell part of a more complex story. Before international B2B marketers can understand a potential relationship partner in another country, they need to have a good basic comprehension of the society itself, with regard to issues ranging from relationship-values to wider national culture. Put simply, before a B2B marketer can judge a potential partner's readiness for an e-relationship, they need to have a good grasp of the partner's country's e-readiness — both in terms of “hard”, infrastructure issues to “soft”, value issues. In this paper we address the important issue of international e-business relationships. Specifically we empirically explore the interconnection between national e-readiness and cultural values, and address whether cultural values impact a nation's readiness to engage in e-business. Drawing upon a number of large international surveys we link a country's subjective values with national-level, objective e-business infrastructure. Our findings suggest an interesting link between cultural values and a nation's readiness for e-B2B. From these results we develop managerial recommendations and extrapolate research opportunities.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We proposed a relationship between cultural values and objective country-level readiness to engage in trans-national B2B e-commerce. Using measures from the World Values Survey and Corruption Perception Index and the Economist e-readiness survey we found a strong link. Specifically, a nation's e-readiness appears to be strongly influenced by the cultural values held by its citizens. First, a lack of inter-personal and inter-institutional trust, as manifested in corrupt behavior acts as a severe crimp on the development of reliable e-business practice. Simply, corruption in a society not only hampers a nation's e-readiness but also severely corrodes e-business, whilst in contrast the absence of corruption significantly enhances the development of e-commerce. From this we might speculate that is not sufficient to have the technical infrastructure and training in place for international e-commerce to flourish. Technical infrastructure is a necessary but not sufficient condition; nations need to pay attention to the soft aspect of e-business as well as the hard, technical aspects. Second, perhaps unsurprisingly, the development of e-commerce is related to a country's progression from survival values to those of self-expression. This parallels the shift from early-industrial society to the post-industrial society, and is clearly partly related to economic development. Nations need a critical level of economic and social development before they not only can afford, but will be motivated to build the infrastructure needed for e-commerce. We might hypothesize that this economic barrier is likely to decline sharply in the coming decades, as the cost of technological infrastructure falls. Third, the development of a nation's readiness to engage in international e-commerce is related to the development of secular–rational values. Anti-liberal values seem to hamper a nation's e-readiness. For example the internet appears to be very threatening to highly authoritarian cultures; indeed such cultures have seen a draconian clamp down in free use of the web, as exemplified by the likes of Pakistan, Iran, and China (Biever, 2007). One might surmise that this is partly because of the fact that nations with traditional values tend to be highly nationalist and relatively insular; this obviously mitigates the openness and global nature of e-commerce. These results are illustrated in the discriminant plot — Fig. 3. The countries of North America and Western Europe have the highest average scores for e-readiness (8.38 and 7.87 respectively), also score high on values of self-expression, moderately on secular values, and low on corruption (recall that higher scores indicated lower corruption). In contrast, the Asia Pacific countries that fall in the middle of the pack in terms of e-readiness (5.56), score moderately on self-expression values, moderately secular values and moderately on corruption. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa have the lowest e-readiness (4.74 and 4.42 respectively), score poorly on self-expression and secular values, but high on corruption. Finally, Central and Eastern Europe which similarly scores rather poorly on e-readiness (4.85), similarly scores lowly on self-expression values, and very high on corruption; however these countries, due to their communist legacy score high on secular values. Thus, scoring high on any one of the three dimensions does not necessitate a high e-readiness; rather e-readiness necessitates progress on all three dimensions before a country is ready for the seeds of e-readiness to flourish. In terms of policy, one may infer the following in developing an international strategy for e-business. First, North America and Western Europe present the lowest overall risk for developing e-B2B relationships: these countries have the technological infrastructure to support e-business, favorable political and economic conditions and a skilled workforce. Moreover, being low in corruption, and having cultures that favor secular and self-expression values government or third party interference is unlikely. Asia Pacific seems the next best bet for the development of successful e-relationships. Central and Eastern Europe present the unique challenge of having high corruption which is clearly caustic to the development of stable international e-relationships. It is perhaps unsurprising that the majority of viruses, trojans and various internet extortions (denial-of-service attacks etc.) emerge from the ex-Soviet bloc. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are still in the process of building the physical, economic, and political infrastructures necessary to provide a stable e-business platform. Transnational e-relationships with some countries in these regions represent a relatively high risk for management. Even if individual companies can overcome the technical issues the extraneous country factors render such ventures challenging. For example, it is revealing to note that it is often only one variable that's seems to be affected by this in the e-readiness mix. For example, when one considers the e-readiness of South Africa (a total score of 5.74 out of 10 in Table 1), it is obvious that the nation's real problem is that of connectedness (where it scores a dismal 2.70). Despite scoring well on such factors as Legal Policy and Supporting Services, the country's poor connectedness, which is also highly weighted, drags it down to an overall level of e-readiness that places it only in the middle of the competitive field. The Economist Intelligence Unit white paper (2006, p. 17–18) lays the blame squarely at the feet of an ineffective telecoms liberalization effort which condones one of the world's last effective fixed-line monopolies. This in turn is the result of the current government's political agenda — its dependence on and alliance with the trade union movement has hamstrung its efforts to privatize and liberalize telecommunications. Undoubtedly this has had an effect not only on e-business within the country, but on the decisions of B2B marketers in other parts of the world on whether to seek e-relationships there or not. So what lessons do these findings have for managers considering developing trans-national B2B e-relationships? First, they should not be swayed merely by the technology — the level of corruption within a society can severely retard the efficacy of trans-national e-commerce. Second, culture has a significant impact on a country's ability to engage in international e-commerce. Moreover as culture changes more slowly than technology, the soft values in a society may be an even better predictor of the success of an e-B2B relationship then the hard infrastructure. One potential criticism of the research design is that the endogenous and exogenous variables are conflated. However, closer inspection reveals that the e-readiness construct is exclusively comprised of objective, country-level statistics and do not measure subjective values which constitute culture and corruption. However, there are limitations to the work presented here. For example, the data used in the research is aggregate-level data which generalizes about a particular country. B2B marketers will find that many of their relationship partners in other lands are exceptions to these broad rules. The data is also taken at a point in time, and while we have used very recent data, situations can change rapidly, particularly in the area of e-readiness. We are also using data that was not collected for our specific purpose — we had no control over its collection, and while we believe that the collection procedures were sound, we cannot vouch for them. A number of possible future research avenues flow from this work. We hope that our research emphasizes the fact that there are considerable analytical opportunities that exist in the exploration of publicly available data. When data from various credible and independent sources can be combined, and then analyzed, this provides opportunities for B2B scholars and insights for practitioners. The data and the analysis also provide a strong backdrop to a more detailed case analysis of a particular country. For example, if our regression equation were used to calculate the e-readiness of a particular country, the impact of changing values and corruption levels could then be used to predict how e-readiness might change in the future, and whether the climate for these types of changes are currently in place. Obviously, this type of research is amenable to longitudinal extension — by tracking changes in the key variables over time, scholars will be able to map the effects of these, not only on e-readiness but on a host of other variables of interest. Finally, future research might include a range of developmental control variables, such as climate and GDP, to more exactly partition out the impact that values have on e-readiness.