Culture Influencing E-Commerce
Globalization and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet facilitate e-commerce activities across nations. These activities demand a new conceptualization of online consumer behavior that transcends national boundaries and takes into consideration cross-cultural effects. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of how national culture influences consumer intentions to transact online by including an examination of the cultural dimensions of a Dutch psychologist - Geert Hofstede - drawing upon his categorization of national societies. The research method is a study of two national cultures - American and Chinese. The United States and China were chosen as examples since they represent nearly reverse positions on three important cultural dimensions. The U.S. represents the highest level of individualism, moderate to low level of power distance, and is short-term oriented. On the other hand, Chinese culture is explicitly collective, demonstrates a high level of power distance, and has a long-term orientation (Hofstede, 1980). The paper's major contribution is to incorporate cultural dimensions - individualism/collectivism, power distance, and long-term orientation - into studying cross-cultural e-commerce adoption.The paper discusses several insights from a theoretical study that contribute to the cross-cultural e-commerce literature. Finally, results of the research on cultural aspects of e-commerce are delivered. (original abstract)
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