Causes of rigidity in SMEs' export commencement decision

Tan, Alvin, Brewer, Paul, & Liesch, Peter (2014) Causes of rigidity in SMEs' export commencement decision. In Drogendijk, Rian (Ed.) 40th Annual Conference of the European International Business Academy (EIBA): The Future of Global Organizing, 11-13 December 2014, Uppsala University, Stockholm, Sweden.


Today, small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) collectively contribute to the largest percentage of job creation in OECD countries. SMEs have become increasingly international since the turn of the century despite being smaller in size in comparison to large multinational firms, and notably, exporting is the most favoured mode of international market entry utilised by SMEs in their internationalisation strategy. Governments around the world have acknowledged the importance of export promotion and have employed policies that are targeted at increasing the export activity of SMEs. However, in many countries, the involvement of SMEs in export operations remains rather low. Within Australia, for example, only about one-third of local SMEs are exporting and this raises an important question as to why there is such a huge percentage of non-exporters.

Much scholarly research that focuses on this problem has concentrated on the broad concept of 'export barriers' that act as obstacles to a firm's export development. This paper takes a different approach to previous studies and proposes that a firm's resistance to commence exporting can be better understood through an analysis of the behavioural decision process during its pre-export state. Using a sample of Australian SMEs, the factors that are important in preventing a firm’s initial export commencement decision are categorised and discussed through the use of factor analysis.

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ID Code: 78820
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: firm internationalisation, export commencement decision, pre-export model, Uppsala model, lateral rigidity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > International Business (150308)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 22 Dec 2014 05:38
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2015 01:27

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