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Growth and development of the MSMEs with aid of free websites
Research Proposal, B00768759
Word count: 2955
The Content of the Research Proposal
Growth and development of the MSMEs is analysed with aid of free websites.
Best practices in becoming global: information technology enables even the smallest business to create a global presence. E-business element as ultimate goal achieving instrument: internationalization and survival.
This work proposes to explore and research within several dimensions of the problematic topic of growth and development of MSMEs and the corresponding obstacles faced in obtaining growth and development:
- 1) Growth of SME’s with e-commerce,
- 2) Use of e-business to internationalize SMEs, eventually to lead to their survival,
- 3) Solution of problematic struggle of SMEs in difficult economic environment or even at peace, when financial institution, government and other mechanism fail to sustain, therefore auto-sustainability to be activated by use of free websites,
- 4) The research is to comprehend SMEs in various industries, irrespective of age or global presence.
As the author will present hereby, various researchers already outlined that business performance is in the direct connection with the information technology added to the entrepreneurial process (Saridakis et al., 2018) and ease the large market communication along with visibility to consumers for a non-stop schedule as the online environment can support 24/7 activity. Therefore, use of information technology brings business to a higher level, increasing performance in the value chain, product information intensity industry and market responsiveness (Saridakis et al., 2018).
The entrepreneurial process might be difficult for some of the entrepreneurs; nevertheless analysts admit in common voice that small and medium businesses have an impressive add up to the innovation, employment, and competitiveness e.g. (Boncea, 2014) and counts toward the general economy, employment and diminishing the poverty amongst economic environment in all countries, irrespective development level of the latters, at the global scale (Boncea, 2014).
A particular clarification from the author is that irrespective of the entire literature or the paperwork hereby, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be understood and read as the lately accepted notion, respectively, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
2. Significance of the Research
The significance of the research has its ground on the old debated literature and research studies brought along with the information technology revolution, based on the fact that recently there is a lack of studies and updates of the crucial role the e-business plays nowadays, combining with the lack of knowledge and use of the electronic instruments from the MSMEs strategic managers.
According to the author it is a great achievement to pursue the investigation of electronic instruments aiding MSMEs in the growth and development process, counting for some of them, as per the case discovered, towards their globalization and, more important, their survival, not diminishing the importance to the future business environment and local – sustainable development of a nation, and, moreover, to the international benefits.
Therefore, micro, small and medium enterprises need to move to the electronic level, gaining competitive advantage and increasing the efficiency and social responsibility, starting with domestic expansion and continuing with global presence on the large scale markets, irrespective of the enterprise age (Naldi and Davidson, 2014). Nevertheless, the material hereby it will be a massive help towards all entrepreneurs facing obstacles in their growth and development, as per Saras Sarasvathy effectuation theory (Read et al., 2017).
In a research conducted by Ashusrt et al., 2012 it is enhanced the idea that there are more entrepreneurs in need of engaging the e-business than those who already have than this approach. The success of the entrepreneurs embracing e-business may be at the opposite level to those that have been slow in their attempt of using internet-based technologies (Ashurst et al, 2012, citing Bengtsson et al, 2007), like ability to combine ‘business and technical skills’, the ‘entrepreneurial orientation’ of the owner-manager and they provided strong evidence that information technology resources is directly inter-connected with development of the respective company (‘any business transaction or service conducted over the Internet’, (Ashurst et al., 2012, citing Ross et al., 2001), namely the more it is used, the better and quicker is the e-business development, conducting to growth and development of the MSMEs.
3. Research Literature Review and Background
In respect of the literature for the topic of MSME’s and the use of information systems within the business development process the information provided are massive as wells as the studies, researches and/or critical views, due to the fast expansion of the internet and the globalization. Nevertheless, there are no recent studies conducted to emphasize the aid of the free websites in the growth and development of the MSMEs for their globalization and, ultimately, their survival.
Furthermore there is a growing literature on the successful e-business, organizational skills and the entrepreneurs or their managers within the entrepreneurial process (Ashurst et al., 2012), and the idea is concentrated over these resources towards competitive advantage, respectively ‘strategic management implies use of core competencies’ at maximum level, and critical capabilities as such are information technologies, flexibility and trust-building capabilities (Ashurst et al., 2012).
Another research conducted by Saridaki et al, 2018 revealed the relationship between ‘the stages of e-commerce development and the revenue growth’. The sample used was within UK MSMEs, a large portion of the enterprises and results concluded with how important is the use of ‘own website, a third-party website and/or a social profile’ playing a critical role towards revenue growth in comparison to the entrepreneurs with no e-commerce development. The results showed that business performance increased significantly for those using e-commerce, no matter if the websites used were simple or complex, also design or the ‘high information intensity types’ of the industry (Saridaki et al., 2018).
In his studies about the online marketing industry, including footwear and accessories (Asworth, 2012) reveals the results oh his qualitative case approach from a social constructionist perspective, with strong horizontal and vertical credibility outlining that e-commerce plays the most important role in strategic marketing. The use of proper skills and technology is critical to organizational development and that ‘many enterprises have survived online for over 10 years’ (Ashworth, 2012).
‘Entrepreneurial growth’ in comparison with ‘total growth’ is studied by Naldi and Davidsson (2014), and explains growth through developments into ‘new geographic markets’, investigating also the impact of knowledge acquisition from global and domestic markets. The outline is that the age of the enterprise impacts international knowledge acquisition, nevertheless has a positive change on growth in young firms and it is presumed that depends on how the international knowledge is managed (Naldi and Davidsson, 2014).
Social networks were also researched in depth along with information technology usage when it comes to enterprise performance (Eggers et al., 2017). The studies revealed a link between the entrepreneurial orientation, social network and MSMEs development and results lead to conclusion that whilst usage of social network is not relevant to sustainable growth it does paly an important role of mediating the relationship between ‘entrepreneurial orientation and MSMEs growth (Eggers et al., 2017).
Another study enforces the theory that e-business value contributes to growth and is directly related to ‘IT resources, strategic planning, and entrepreneur’s culture’ and helps the enterprise to come to ‘outstanding business performance’ (Bi et al., 2017), The studies were conducted on 310 Australian MSMEs with fast growth and over various industries. Studies provided were initial empirical evidence, nevertheless they are of significant implications for the author’s hereby documentation and over all business practices (Bi et al., 2017).
Also, in Korea, amongst the MSMEs and their sustainable growth the role of the information technology was analysed, using interview method. The findings showed that there are two kinds of ‘open innovation’ required, respectively ‘knowledge strategy’ and ‘business model’. Case studies offer excellent qualitative analysis (Jin et al, 2015 citing Yin, 2008) in firm studies, therefore, here in particular, it was pointed out that MSMEs should make the difference between ‘temporarily sustainable development’ and ‘infinite sustainable development’ (Jin et al., 2015). One of the most important findings is that trough social networking sites, the customers’ demand and expectations have increased in the respective markets (Jin et al, 2015, citing Yun and Ryu, 2012).
Another approach in e-commerce towards entrepreneurial process and vision of growth, either domestic or global is through state funded business counselling (Widersted and Mansson, 2015). The results of such studies showed that companies receiving ‘counselling vouchers’ had a higher growth in comparison with the rest not obtaining the counsels. Although the authors admit the necessity of an improved strategy for identifying potential comparison for further impact evaluations, there remains the facts of causal effect of the business counselling, even more than that to the extend of their growth and survival; the data were at micro-level on state support offered to the enterprises (Widerstedt and Mansson, 2015).
In respect of rural economies, in UK, the studies of Van der Loo et al (2015) showed that they have a huge growth potential but many obstacles are stopping the expansion. The studies were conducted on food and drink producers and the conclusion reflected the need for a digital solution in overcoming these obstacles of growth (Van der Loo et al., 2015).
The research conducted by Qingyi and Ning (2015) provided an insight on the comparison between the small enterprises and large companies when it comes for the same competitive advantage. With theoretical analysis and empirical research a link is established between e-commerce and sales growth, therefore the results showed that ‘investments in information technologies is the most important factor to achieve success’ and also that ‘internet availability has a positive effect on the trade volume of e-commerce’ (Quingyi and Ning, 2015).
In another order of ideas, the local and global enterprises are aligned for the economic integration and global market achievement in order to complete borderless and more free flow productions and sales for altogether goods and services, all for the ultimate conclusion that profits will increase (Coulibaly et al. 2018). When comparing the enterprises from the rest of the world to the BRICS block defined by economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, that are said to be ‘wealthier by 2050’ (Coulibaly et al, 2018) than the current major economies, the authors used a ‘comprehensive globalization index’ variable and an ‘opportunity total entrepreneurship activity’ variable and the results were confirming the hypothesis that implementation of ‘innovation-driven policies’ will enhance and develop the circulation of the production factors, increase the benefits of the financial and regional commerce contracts and sustain economic development in developing countries all over the world and for the countries of the BRICS especially (Coulibally et al., 2018).
Another researcher found a linkage between the micro, small and medium enterprises and their development and growth through e-business implementation and explains that both academics and policy makers have manifested a keen interest into measuring the flexibility in implementation. Some ‘stage models’ were proposed to the MSMEs to quantify the implementation process and although the models were found to be problematic and the MSMEs do not use them in linear manner, also, due to te fact that MSMEs are very different in their entrepreneurial process, the models were not relevant. Therefore another model was proposed, respectively the ‘e-business triangle model’ that also helped to classify the activities as per support activities, primary activities, integrated activities and analytics activities and, furthermore, the studies reveal the surveys applied into the two industried referred to, respectively trade and services (Panca et al., 2017)
Following the previous paths, another research depicted the potential of e-business from the lack of competencies point of view (Ashurst et al., 2012) results concluding that lack of competencies were the major obstacle in the entrepreneurial process, slowing down considerable or even blocking the developments of the enterprise.
The founder of Alibaba Grroup, Jack Ma, had a pertinent point of view in regard of cross-border electronic-commerce helping MSMEs from developing countries to ‘reach global markets’ (Dogwei, 2016). The vision of Alibaba is to build ‘future infrastructure’ of commerce, implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the World Trade Organization in order to help MSMEs growth. Futhermore, the founder of Alibaba Group extended the vision to the fact that for the MSME’s operating on the platform, Alibaba provides microloans, that so it helps MSMEs to expand their business globally and survive. The idea is that cross-border e-commerce ‘has the potential to become a prominent form of international trade’, respectively represents the future of the global trade (Dongwei, 2016).
Also amongst UK MSMEs studies were conducted to the extend of how much competitive advantage can use of e-business bring and case studies were examined to compare form the ‘old traditional’ modus operandi and the ‘new e-commerce’ modus operandi and appropriate business strategies (Pavic et al., 2007). Findings discovered that new modus operandi come with problematic issues, nevertheless the benefits were acknowledged. Furthermore, the authors compiled the results of an academic literature review and nine case studies and developed a prototype of an e-business model. Later, it was named ‘Competitive advantage trough e-business’ and give solutions to e-business integration via planning with prior identification of the possible e-business application areas (Pavic et al., 2007).
4. Research Questions (main and sub)
Can free websites significantly contribute to the growth and development of the MSMEs and ultimately conduct to their survival?
5. Research Aim and Objectives
Research questions as research objectives
How can e-business be effective to the MSMEs?
To establish the necessity of implementing IT software to unblock the growth and development of the MSMEs.
To what extend the free websites can bring growth and development?
To determinate whether it is vital for survival of all MSMEs.
Can the tool be generalised to all industries and various MSMEs, irrespective of local or internationalize?
To develop an explanatory theory that the tool is with broad-spectrum applicability for the eventual growth and development, and, ultimately, their survival and/or internationalization.
6. Research Methodology
The author proposes to approach the pragmatism philosophy and will use a mixture of methods as qualitative (unstructured interviews and / or participant observation and quantitative (as surveys and structured and / or unstructured questionnaires).
The methods will randomly be addressed to domestic and international MSMEs and for sampling enterprises will be chosen on the basis of the development area, employees, field of activity and various ages of the enterprises.
The questionnaires will include approaches of the main needs the enterprises can face, problems encountered and what stops and / or holds them back in the growth and development process.
The data will be processed individually according to the compatibility with the research aim and objectives.
7. Project Plan/Gantt Chart
The author proposes the below Gantt Chart:
It is expected that research to confirm the feasibility of the strategy, and, most likely an expected solution for the tool, as the free websites creation, to be used, whether tailored or generalised on industries (Shi, 2010) and to achieve the ultimate goal, as previously detailed in the document hereby. The present paperwork could set out the start of a vast research and widely accepted global context, comprising the set out industries and determining more industries to be added in the future and having included local MSMEs and already internationalized ones.
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