Globalization of E-Commerce

Impacts of Electronic Commerce on the Global Networked Economy
- A Multi-Country Study

The Internet and electronic commerce are bringing countries together to create a global networked economy. Internet technology is said to have no regard for national borders, but the people and companies that use the technology function within very different national environments. This research program examines the global diffusion of Internet-based e-commerce, how national environments and policies influence e-commerce use within countries, and the economic and social impacts of e-commerce. It addresses the following general issues:

  • How do global trends such as technology innovation and economic liberalization influence international diffusion of the Internet and e-commerce?
  • What national environmental factors and policies influence the diffusion of e-commerce use within individual countries?
  • What are the social and economic impacts of e-commerce, and how are they affected by national environments and policies?

This project examines the impacts of e-commerce on a multi-country basis. It includes selected country case studies looking at the growth of e-commerce nationally, and also in more detail in three critical industry sectors: manufacturing industry, financial services, and retail. These studies serve as a basis for identifying key environmental and policy factors that influence the diffusion and impacts of e-commerce.

In addition, data is being collected on e-commerce globally in over 40 countries on e-commerce revenues and on environmental factors, such as income, education, telecommunications infrastructure and others, that might have an impact on e-commerce application. This data is being used to identify trends and to analyze the relationship between environmental factors and use. More detailed data is being gathered on the three industry sectors for comparative purposes. The combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies facilitates the study of new, fast-changing e-commerce innovation in a very fluid market environment.

The project is being carried out by a team of researchers from around the world. The effort is led by the CRITO Institute of University of Irvine, California, but involves collaboration with experts from Brazil (Paulo Bastos Tigre, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), Denmark (Kim Andersen, Copenhagen Business School), China (Zixiang Tan, Syracuse University and Wu Ouyang, Center for Information Infrastructure and Economic Development), France (Eric Brousseau, University of Paris X), Japan (Dennis Tachiki, Tamagawa University Tokyo), Mexico (Juan J. Palacios, University of Guadalajara), Singapore (Poh Kam Wong, National University of Singapore), Taiwan (Tain-Jy Chen, National Taiwan University), the United States (John Leslie King, University of Michigan) and Germany (Wolfgang Koenig, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main).

The potential outcomes of the research include: (1) better understanding of the relationship between national environments and the use and impacts of e-commerce (2) benchmarks for future studies of national and global trends, (3) business metrics for global e-commerce markets; and (4) insights for policymakers who seek to maximize the benefits of e-commerce.

The Institute of Information Systems, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are the national resarch partners for Germany. The project is supported by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation till 2004. For further information contact Roman Beck.