The Information System of Lebanese Exporting SMEs
Keywords:I.S., SMEs, export, and management practices
Objective: This article focuses on the information system practices used by managers of Lebanese SMEs involved in export. This topic is particularly relevant in Lebanon as these companies significantly impact the country’s economy, representing 28% of the national product and 40% of GDP. This research article explores I.S.’s contribution to the emergence of a dynamic export market for Lebanese SMEs. The article begins by defining key concepts, such as SMEs, export, and I.S., and reviewing relevant studies. The central question is why and how managers of SMEs involved in export use I.S.
Method: The method adopted is qualitative analysis. A sample of small and medium-sized exporting firms is carefully selected, allowing for analyzing the causes and means of exporting without presenting all small and medium-sized exporting firms statistically. Data collection is done in real-life situations through semi-structured interviews. The adopted interview guide is based on open-ended and closed questions.
Result: Contrary to what is found in the literature, Lebanese exporting companies manage to maintain their share in the external market with a simple and hybrid I.S. However, the effectiveness of this system relies on the proficiency and technical know-how of the export team, necessitating supplementary measures such as workshops tailored to the educational background of executives and staff.
Conclusion: The study highlights that the internal and external IS evolves with the size of the SMEs, decision-making power, and adopted strategy. The larger the size, the more decentralized the decision-making power; the adopted strategy is external growth, and the external I.S. is indirect and developed. However, at every level, we found that internal I.S. always relies on direct relationships, the extent of which also grows with the size, decision-making power, and strategy of the company.
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