Firms’ Resources and Capabilities: Their Influence on Export Performance
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AbstractImprove the firms’ effectiveness in export markets is essential to ensure the survival, growth and competitive advantage of exporting firms. Within export markets, firms face a dynamic environment, with a strong competition and rapid technological changes. Through the acquisition and development of internal resources and capabilities, exporting firms can respond more effectively to the competitive and turbulent environment of foreign markets, and thus achieve a superior performance. This is the central subject of this research, which seeks to identify the key resources and capabilities of exporting firms that contribute to increase their effectiveness in export markets. More specifically, this study: (1) develops a scale to measure innovation capability of exporting firms, identifies its key dimensions and tests the impact of all these dimensions on export venture performance; (2) examines the effect of technological turbulence on the development of organizational management dynamic capability, and investigates if organizational management dynamic capability contributes to leverage operational capabilities for innovation (i.e., innovativeness, innovation strategy and technological capability) in order to increase export market effectiveness; and (3) analyzes the influence of firms’ export commitment and innovativeness on the development of their marketing capabilities (i.e., pricing, new product development, marketing communication and distribution), and tests the effect of all these factors on export market effectiveness.
An online survey was administrated to exporting manufacturing firms operating in Portugal. The results demonstrate that innovation capability of exporting firms is a higher-order construct formed by four dimensions: innovativeness, technological capability, innovation strategy and new product development capability. All four dimensions are positively and significantly related to export venture performance. The findings also demonstrate that technological turbulence has a significant influence on the development of organizational management dynamic capability, which, in turn, has a significant impact on firms’ operational capabilities for innovation, specifically innovativeness, innovation strategy, and technological capability. However, only innovation strategy and technological capability have a significant direct effect on export market effectiveness. Finally, export commitment has a significant influence on the degree of firms’ innovativeness, which, in turn, has a significant impact on the development of marketing capabilities. In other words, marketing capabilities development depends directly on the level of innovativeness and indirectly on firms’ resources committed to export activity. Export commitment and two marketing capabilities, specifically new product development and marketing communication, have a direct effect on export market effectiveness.
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the project PEst-OE/CED/UI4016/2011, and Center for Studies in Education, Technologies and Health (CI&DETS).