Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies

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Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies

Structural factors associated with the export performance of manufacturing firms Edward E. Marandu University of Botswana ABSTRACT This study investigates whether the structures of High performance Exporter firms differ from those of Low performance Exporter firms. Data were obtained from a survey of managers of 60 firms in Tanzania, an underdeveloped country. The study produces interesting contributions to our understanding of export causal relationships. The findings are both at variance and in conformity with existing theory. The findings are different because only a few ormity of the structural factors are associated significantly with export performance. This can be explained in terms of the ‘‘unsettled’’ industrial development and inward looking strategies of strate Tanzania which seem to reduce the explanatory power of conventional trade theories. The findings are in some ways consistent with theory in the sense that although many of the structural variables are not related significantly to performance, nevertheless most were in the nevertheless hypothesized direction or could be explai explained by alternative hypotheses. This implies that structural factors affecting export performance may be universal. Keywords: export performance, manufacturing, Tanzania, underdeveloped countries

Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies INTRODUCTION This is an empirical study concerned with investigating the association between export structure and the export performance of manufacturing firms. The investigation centers upon whether the structure of high performing exporter firms differs from th ers those of low performing ones. The study has t distinct characteristics. First, it takes a broad view of two the concept of structure. Second, theory development, a major weakness of the literature on , exporting, has been given a good amount of attention. This study has been inspired by the seminal work on strategy structure by the his strategy-structure business historian Alfred Chandler (1962) as well as subsequent publications by Channon ions (1973) and Rumelt (1974). These early publications appear to have stimulated the strategy strategystructure research tradition in exporting. However, most studies focused on the link between strategy and performance (Jaffe, 1974; Porter, 1980; Coop and Kleinschmidt, 1985; Amine Cooper and Cavusgil, 1986; Lee and Yang, 1990; Cavusgil and Zou, 1994; Stewart, 1997; Sharma, 2004). Only a few studies have investigated the link between structure and export nly performance. In the few studies that exist, structure is only implied. For example, Cavusgil . (1984) studied organizational characteristics and Stoian (2010) studied management determinants. One notable exception (Reid, 1987) covered both strategy and structure but still structure was not given the undivided attention it deserves. The effect of structure, per se, in attention exporting has not yet been investigated in detail. This study is intended to reduce this gap in knowledge by testing the proposit proposition that export structure has significant impact on export performance. LITERATURE REVIEW The objective of this review of literature is to develop a model on how structure and is other salient factors influence export performance. The model should help the reader understand the broader picture of the determinants of export performance, as well as provide a theoretical framework within which to conduct this specific study in a systematic manner. work The literature on export structure may be seen as tackling t two distinct themes: definitional aspects of structure, measurement of export performance and the link between export structure and export performance. What is structure? It is important to understand what structure is before attempting to measure it. Unfortunately, in the context of business, there is no single generally accepted definition of structure....
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