Title: International marketing strategy and export performance in Spanish SMEs: a contingency approach

Authors: Maria Cristina Stoian; Alex Rialp; Josep Rialp

Addresses: Business Economics Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Edifici B, Campus de la UAB – Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain. ' Business Economics Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Edifici B, Campus de la UAB – Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain. ' Business Economics Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Edifici B, Campus de la UAB – Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the degree of standardisation/adaptation of the overall international marketing strategy influences the export performance in SMEs, taking into account the moderating effect of internal and external variables. Drawing on a contingency approach of international marketing strategy standardisation/adaptation, a conceptual model is proposed and tested with a sample of Spanish exporting SMEs using structural equation modelling (SEM). Based on the findings, a more standardised international marketing strategy benefits larger SMEs and those firms which perceive the environmental differences between the home-host markets as important barriers for the export activity; whereas a more adapted international marketing strategy appears to be preferable for smaller SMEs as well as for companies which belong to low-technology industries or do not see the environmental differences as high export barriers.

Keywords: marketing strategies; Spain; international marketing; export performance; contingency approaches; standardisation; adaptation; moderating effects; internal variables; external variables; SEM; structural equation modelling; environmental differences; home-host markets; export barriers; low-technology industries; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; international entrepreneurship; internationalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.045205

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.15 No.2, pp.213 - 236

Available online: 31 Jan 2012 *

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