The effect of ICT on trading companies in Sweden. A case study of four trading companies

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Over the years there has been an increasing amount of literature regarding the effect of information and communication technologies (ICT) on trade. These technologies cause disruption in the way that companies do business by increasing the amount of information available. By facilitating the sharing of information, ICT reduce information asymmetries between businesses. Furthermore, studies show that ICT can perform the same intermediary task as a trading company, possibly even more effectively and at a lower cost. This has led experts to believe that trading companies might lose their intermediary position through disintermediation. Despite this, the trading companies still prevail.This thesis aims to study the effect that ICT has on the continued relevance of the Swedish trading companies’ business models. By performing a case study and interviewing representatives from four Swedish trading companies we have managed to draw some conclusions regarding this effect. The study concludes that while information and communication technologies has affected the modern supply chain, the Swedish trading companies have not been disintermediated. The continued existence of trading companies is due to successful adaptation of their business models to fit the new context in which they exist. This adaptation has shown to be enabled by trust and the inherited flexibility of trading companies’ contact network.

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