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A Cross-Country Comparison

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Forthcoming publication in THE INFORMATION SOCIETYA Cross-Country ComparisonAbstractIn terms of policy, the case studies suggest that enabling policies such as trade and telecommunications liberalization are likely to have the biggest impact on e-commerce, by making ICT and Internet access more affordable to firms and consumers, and incIntroductionConceptual FrameworkMethodologyDeterminants of E-commerce DiffusionGlobal EnvironmentGlobal CompetitionNational EnvironmentDemographic FactorsEconomic and Financial ResourcesInformation InfrastructureIndustry StructureOrganizational EnvironmentConsumer PreferencesNational PolicyLiberalizationE-Commerce PromotionE-Commerce LegislationAssessment of E-Commerce DeterminantsFindings and ConclusionsFIGURE 1FIGURE 2E-commerce Sales as % GDP With GDP per Capita, 2000.TABLE 1Income Distribution: Ratio of Richest 20% to Poorest 20%TABLE 2GDP and GDP per Capita, 2000TABLE 3Telecommunications Infrastructure Trends, 1995-2000TABLE 4TABLE 6Industry DriversFinanceWholesale/RetailITElectronics MfgAutomotive MfgPublic ServicesTABLE 7E-Commerce Legislation (laws/amendments)aEU legislationDrivers (D)&Enablers (E)Barriers (B)&Inhibitors (I)Environment and Policy Factors Shaping E-commerce Diffusion: A Cross-Country Comparison November 2002 Jennifer Gibbs, Kenneth L. Kraemer and Jason Dedrick Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations University of California, Irvine This research is part of the Globalization of E-Commerce Project of the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO) at the University of California, Irvine. The material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grand No. 0085852. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this maternial are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. ______________________________________________________________________________ Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations University of California, Irvine | www.crito.uci.eduForthcoming publication in THE INFORMATION SOCIETY Environment and Policy Factors Shaping Global E-Commerce Diffusion: A Cross-Country Comparison1 Jennifer Gibbs, Kenneth L. Kraemer and Jason Dedrick University of California, Irvine Last revised: September 6, 2002 This research is part of the Globalization and E-Commerce Project of the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO) at the University of California, Irvine. The material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0085852. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Address correspondence to: Kenneth L. Kraemer, Director, CRITO and Professor, Management & Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 3200 Berkeley Place, Irvine, CA 92697-4650 1E-Commerce Cross Country Comparison Keywords: e-commerce; technology diffusion; national ICT policy; information technologies; telecommunication infrastructure; IT education; IT economic impacts; e-government; ICT; EDI; globalization; Internet legislation. Abstract This article examines the key global, environmental and policy factors that act as determinants of e-commerce diffusion. It is based on systematic comparison of case studies from 10 countries—Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. It finds that B2B e-commerce seems to be driven by global forces, whereas B2C seems to be more of a local phenomenon. A preliminary explanation for this difference is that B2B is driven by global competition and MNCs that “push” e-commerce to their global suppliers, customers and subsidiaries. This in turn creates pressures on local companies to adopt e-commerce to stay competitive. In contrast, B2C is “pulled” by consumer markets, which are mainly local and therefore divergent. While all consumers desire convenience and low prices, consumer preferences and values, national culture, and distribution systems differ markedly across countries and define differences in local consumer markets. These findings support the transformation perspective about globalization and its impacts. In terms of policy, the case studies suggest that enabling policies such as trade and telecommunications liberalization are likely to have the biggest impact on e-commerce, by making ICT and Internet access more affordable to firms and consumers, and increasing pressure on firms to adopt e-commerce to compete. Specific e-commerce legislation appears not to have as big an impact, although inadequate protection for both buyers and sellers in some countries suggests that mechanisms need to be developed to ensure greater confidence in doing business on-line. Introduction One of the most significant economic trends of the past decade is the growing use of the Internet for conducting business. Many firms are being driven toward greater adoption of e-commerce by pressure to compete at the global level. In turn, the Internet and e-commerce are important vehicles propelling the process of globalization. 2E-Commerce Cross Country Comparison Globalization is generally regarded as the increasing interconnectedness of the world through flows of information, capital and people facilitated by trade and political openness as well as information technology (IT)2. Beyond this, however, the nature and impacts of globalization are highly contested (Held et al., 1999). Convergence theorists regard globalization as a universal process of homogenization in which countries tend toward a common way of producing and organizing economic life with resulting common social outcomes (Bell, 1973; Ohmae, 1990, 1995). Divergence theorists argue that national diversity in the pursuit of differing social and economic outcomes will prevail and prevent convergence from taking place (Berger & Dore, 1996; Boyer, 1996; Hirst & Thompson, 1996; Wade, 1996). Transformation theorists regard globalization as an uneven process involving elements of both convergence and divergence, in which countries around the world are experiencing a process of profound change as they try to adapt to a more interconnected but uncertain world (Giddens, 1991,


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