How Does Management Perceive Exporting? An Empirical Study of SMEs


  • Ruben Fernandez Ortiz University of La Rioja
  • Jesus Arteaga Ortiz University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Antonio Mihi Ramirez University of Granada



exports, managerial perceptions, structural equations


During the last two decades, the phenomenon of company internationalization has acquired remarkable attention (Saboniene, 2009). Different aspects such as globalization, the dilution of trade barriers, or the significant increase in economic-business transactions in the euro zone have prompted many SMEs to consider international development as a core component of their managerial strategy (Saboniene, 2009; Shamsuddoha et al., 2009; Singh et al., 2010).

According to Simpson and Kujawa (1974) “The decision to export is a combination of the right stimulus and the right perception of the factors involved in the export process itself”. That sentence demonstrates the importance of managerial perceptions of exports to the creation of the environment necessary for the stimuli to have the desired effect. The importance of entrepreneurs and international managers has been dealt with in many studies, which have found a relationship between a positive and intense international development and the entrepreneur’s international attitude, motivation, orientation, experience and network (Andersson & Wictor, 2003). The relevance of the perception of exports in the field of business management can have a key impact on the exporting behavior of SMEs. In particular, it can determine the decision to implement an export policy, as well as the policies applied to consolidate exports.

This paper covers two main aspects. First, the extents to which managerial perceptions of exports affect the decision to export, and second, for these SMEs which are already exporters, we study the managerial perceptions that can help to consolidate their commitment to exports. To this aim, some scales based on structural equations to measure the perception of the advantages and disadvantages of exporting are developed and validated. Both analyses are carried out considering whether the SMEs involved are family businesses or not, so that the results obtained can also explain the potential impact of this fact.


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