What motivates firms to develop Internet-enabled interfirm communication? We draw upon the work of Alavi et al. (2005-2006) and propose that the use of the Internet in interfirm communication is influenced by a firm's firm orientation and its internal communities of practice. Based on data collected from 307 international trade firms in the Beijing area, we find that Internet-enabled interfirm communication is directly driven by internal community of practices and customer orientation, and indirectly by competitor orientation and learning orientation. The internal community of practice is affected by learning orientation and competitor orientation, but not by customer orientation. The present study contributes to the literature by providing empirical investigation on firm's strategic communications from the perspective of firm orientations, delineating how different firm orientations vary in impacting firm's strategic communications, and exploring the bridging effect of communities of practices on the influences of firm orientations on knowledge management initiatives.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work of Professor Fujun Lai was supported by a Major Program Fund of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 71090403/71090400). The authors are listed alphabetically. All contributed equally to the preparation of this paper.
- Community of practice
- Competitor orientation
- Customer orientation
- Firm orientation
- Internet-enabled interfirm communication
- Learning orientation