Title: Which organisational capabilities matter for SME export performance?

Authors: Antonella Zucchella; Roger N. Strange; Serena Mascherpa

Addresses: Faculty of Economics, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy ' Department of Business & Management, University of Sussex, UK ' Faculty of Economics, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Abstract: As a result of the increasing tendency towards a global economy, international business involvement is becoming particularly relevant for smaller companies. Exporting constitutes the most popular, quickest and easiest way for many small firms to internationalise. The aim of the paper is to provide a comprehensive picture of the determinants of SME export performance, by investigating the potential relationship between organisational capabilities and both objective and subjective measures of performance. Based on the literature review and mainly embedded in the resource-based view of the firm, we uncover a collection of organisational capabilities that are especially salient to these firms and their growing international involvement. The suggested conceptual model is tested with a sample of Italian exporting SMEs using regression analysis. The results show that entrepreneurial and innovative capabilities are the most influential antecedents of both objective and subjective measures of international performance. Finally, we discuss the managerial implications of our findings.

Keywords: organisational capabilities; SME internationalisation; export performance.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2019.100812

European Journal of International Management, 2019 Vol.13 No.4, pp.454 - 478

Received: 18 Sep 2017
Accepted: 16 Apr 2018

Published online: 03 Jun 2019 *

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