Impact of E-Business Adoption and Factors of Globalisation on the Development of SMEs in Developing Countries

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Type of Academic Paper – Dissertation Proposal

Academic Subject – Business

Word Count – 1720 words



The following research is determined to study the impact of e-commerce or e-business adoption and globalisation on small and medium enterprises’ development, predominantly in developing countries. For this purpose, the research is particularly focused on understanding several external or macro-economic factors that influence SMEs to adopt e-business for their development and expansion in the future. In addition to this, the present research study is also aimed at studying all the potential benefits of e-commerce adoption by SMEs for their future growth and development within developing countries’ economies.  For the mentioned purpose, the case of small and medium enterprises in developing countries has been selected to examine the impact of e-business adoption on SMEs’ development. Additionally, appropriate and effective recommendations have also been discussed in this research study that could be implemented by the managers at SMEs to enhance organisational development using e-business adoption and considering factors of globalisation. 

Context of the Study

According to Rahayu and Day (2017, p.25), e-commerce or e-business mainly based on different information and communication technologies has acquired great importance in today’s world of business. It has increased trade efficiency across the globe and provides an opportunity for developing countries to be integrated into the global economy. Consequently, there has been a tremendous growth of e-business adoption by developed and developing countries in the last two decades. In the recent era of globalisation, e-commerce adoption is becoming essential for small and medium enterprises in developing countries to improve their development and success at the level of a globalised world. The adoption of e-business thus facilitated developed countries to trade and operate their business more efficiently s in developing countries. The success of technology acceptance has heavily relied on the factors that motivate organisations to adopt such technologies to increase their development and performance in the globalised business environment (Ghobakhloo, Arias-Aranda and Benitez-Amado, 2011, p.1238). Not surprisingly, SMEs in developing countries have successfully adopted e-business strategies in their business model and efficiently improved their development and performance. However, there is still scepticism in the application of e-commerce and its potential impact on firms in developing countries. Hence, the present study is designed to study the impact of e-business adoption on developing small and medium enterprises, particularly in developing countries.

Problem Statement

Several research and comprehensive literature emphasise the significance of e-business adoption in developed countries. However, there are a limited number of studies on the relevance of e-business adoption in developing countries that enhance the literature gap in this particular domain’s research scope. The following study is intended to fill the literature gap by focusing on e-business adoption by SMEs in developing countries. The present research also intends to improve the scope of the study in the area of technology adoption literature. 

Research Aim and Objectives

The present research’s primary aim is to study the impact of e-business adoption and factors of globalisation on the development of SMEs in developing countries. To achieve this primary aim, the following research objectives are formulated:

  • To understand the concept of e-business in a globalised world.
  • To identify the globalisation factors that can influence SMEs in developing countries to adopt e-business strategy.
  • To examine the impact of e-business adoption and globalisation factors on SMEs development in developing countries.
  • To provide recommendations to the managers how they can significantly adopt e-business approach in the developing countries.

Research Questions

Following research questions are formulated to achieve the above-mentioned research aim and objectives.

  • What is the concept of e-business in a globalised world?
  • What are the key factors of globalisation that can influence SMEs in developing countries to adopt e-business strategy?
  • How significantly e-business adoption and globalisation factors affect the development of SMEs in developing countries?
  • What recommendations can be proposed to the managers to adopt e-business strategy in developing countries significantly?

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Brief Literature Review

Ongori and Migiro (2010, p.93) stated that small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries are likely to adopt e-business strategies to enhance their development in the globalised business environment. E-business adoption has provided substantial benefits to SMEs through raised revenue and improved efficiencies. In the words of Ghobakhloo et al. (2012, p.36), e-business has a significant positive impact on the development of small enterprises as it provides a new way of business transactions to emerge as developed business that has the capability to embrace the new economy and face the enhanced future. On the other hand, Molla and Licker (2005, p.877) stated that e-business provides an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to overcome their geographical and logistical challenges regarding access to the market through considering several globalisation, including technological factors, environmental factors and organisational factors. In contrast, few researchers stated that e-business adoption negatively impacts the development of SMEs as the adoption of e-business acquired additional financial costs that may negatively influence SMEs’ development and performance (Gilmore, Gallagher and Henry, 2007, p.234). A lack of knowledge regarding e-business may also cause limitations in e-business adoption and may influence organisational development.

Research Methodology

Type of Investigations

In this particular research, the researcher will use the explanatory type of investigation to examine the relationship and impact of e-business adoption and globalisation factors on SMEs development in developing countries. The reason for selecting this type of investigation is that it enables researchers to test the research hypotheses.

Data Collection Method

In the current research study, the researcher is intended to use both primary and secondary sources of data to acquire relevant and sufficient data for the research to be conducted. The researcher will use questionnaires as primary means of getting fresh data. At the same time, the literature review will be conducted using different secondary sources, including books, journals, articles, review articles, etc.

Sampling Methods

Due to the accessibility constraints such as limited budget and time frame, the researcher is intended to adopt a convenience sampling technique of non-probability sampling method to acquire the appropriate sample size of the study and maintain the overall significance of the research. The researcher will select 120 respondents as a sample size for the survey questionnaire who will be SMEs’ managers in developing countries.

Data Analysis Plan

Based on the nature of the study that is quantitative research, SPPS software will be adopted by the researcher to analyse the statistical data and convert numerical data into words that can be further explained with the help of illustrations and graphs. The researcher will use the correlation and regression analysis technique to analyse the impact and relationship between e-business adoption and SMEs development in developing countries.

Hypothesis and Variables

In the present research, dependent and independent variables are identified, and hypotheses statements are formulated to analyse the relationship between both variables.

  • Dependent Variable (DV) – Development of SMEs
  • Independent Variables (IV) – E-business adoption and factors of globalisation
  • H01 – E-business adoption does not have a positive and significant impact on SMEs development
  • H1– E-business adoption has a positive and significant impact on SMEs development
  • H02 – Globalisation factors do not have a positive and significant impact on SMEs development
  • H2– Globalisation factors have a positive and significant impact on SMEs development

Ethical Considerations

Ethical issues relating to this particular research takes accounts of the discretion of the organisation’s data, and the researcher maintains the confidentiality of the SMEs whose managers will be encouraged to take part in research as participants. Their personal identity will be kept confidential, and the study will not reveal their names or companies confidential data. A consent form will be signed before delivering questionnaires to managers, and the purpose of the research will be stated clearly to avoid any misunderstanding. Moreover, participants will be provided with the flexibility to leave the study anytime they feel uncomfortable while giving answers to some questions. 

Research Limitations

A researcher has a limited budget to support the study, and thus small sample size will be taken to inquire about the topic. This limitation may influence the outcomes of current research. It may not provide an in-depth analysis of the identified research problem as the topic demands. The researcher also has limited time to complete the study that may also create restrictions in getting accurate results for the topic under study.

Research Plan

The following research is based on the limited time frame and time allocated for the research is illustrated in the table below: Task Weeks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1. Selection of topic for the research
2. Develop a Research Proposal
3. Complete Literature Research
4. Develop a Methodology
5. Evaluation and Analysis
6. Report Writing
7. Report Formatting


Ghobakhloo, M., Arias-Aranda, D. and Benitez-Amado, J., 2011. Adoption of e-commerce applications in SMEs. Industrial Management & Data Systems111(8), pp.1238-1269.

Ghobakhloo, M., Hong, T.S., Sabouri, M.S. and Zulkifli, N., 2012. Strategies for successful information technology adoption in small and medium-sized enterprises. Information3(1), pp.36-67.

Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D. and Henry, S., 2007. E-marketing and SMEs: operational lessons for the future. European Business Review19(3), pp.234-247.

Molla, A. and Licker, P.S., 2005. eCommerce adoption in developing countries: a model and instrument. Information & management42(6), pp.877-899.

Odori, H. and Migiro, S.O., 2010. Information and communication technologies adoption in SMEs: a literature review. Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship2(1), pp.93-104.

Rahayu, R. and Day, J., 2017. E-commerce adoption by SMEs in developing countries: evidence from Indonesia. Eurasian Business Review7(1), pp.25-41.

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