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Information technology and the Internet have transformed business, but the transformation is not limited to conducting business online; it's also about integrating Internet and IT into every aspect of value creation, such as procurement, customer relations management and export. For the individual enterprise, e-commerce offers competitive advantages, including helping the enterprise perform value-chain activities efficiently by engaging in end-to-end electronic integration of entire sales. In spite of this, it appears that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to embrace and utilize the power of e-commerce in order to improve their performance, with most SMEs limiting their use to e-mail and Web site. This study has concentrated on two different countries, namely Iran and Malaysia. Selection of these two different regions for the purpose of conducting the study survey is that each has its own specific characteristics that could potentially provide significant and valuable results. The findings of this study, demonstrate the impact of e-commerce for the purpose of export in SMEs in developing countries. Country differences were found to have a significant impact on the relationship between implement of e-commerce by exporting SMEs. The finding of this study indicates that the degree of e-commerce implementation by export SMEs can influence their decisions about exporting channels. The results empirically demonstrate that the more exporting SMEs implement e-commerce for their business activities, the more they prefer direct exporting over indirect exporting. Also e-commerce readiness was found to be positively related to e-commerce implementation by SMEs. Finally, It is anticipated that the findings of this study will help to explain critical aspects of export SMEs' behavior in the current Internet age.
Date of Conference: 16-18 April 2010