An investigation of the perceived barriers to exporting across stages of export development
Exporting continues to have a positive effect on a country's economy and the economic prosperity of the firms involved. As a result, export expansion and development programs are commonly undertaken to help firms initiate or expand exporting. The aim of such approaches is to provide firms with the motivation, information, and resources required to recognise and exploit international opportunities. One way to develop the export potential of firms is to help reduce the export barriers they face. Research that has attempted to identify the barriers that inhibit exporting has been extensive and wide ranging, however most research has not attempted to take account of firm differences and relate these differences to exporters' problems. The export behaviour literature suggests that differentiating firms by their stage of export development is one of the most effective ways of grouping firms for export development purposes. However, there have been very few studies that have correlated export barriers with exporting stages. This study attempts to address part of this gap in the literature by empirically examining the differences between a group of small Canterbury manufacturing firms exporting problems and their stages of export development. The results of the study suggest that small Canterbury manufacturing firms identify with a range of export development stages. Between each of these stages there are recognisable differences in terms of export experience and practices. Analysis of the individual export barriers revealed that certain barriers alter in importance across export development stages (dynamic barriers) while others remain stable (static barriers). The dynamic barriers were best represented by four underlying dimensions; competitive disadvantages, management reluctance to develop exports, knowledge and experience problems, and financial impediments. The degree of difficulty associated with each of these export barrier dimensions depended on a firms stage of export development. The static barriers were primarily made up of those problems that were beyond a firm's locus of control. These included the likes of high transportation and travel costs.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsexport barriers; export development; export marketing; small firms; small business; grouping firms; Canterbury
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