Government Export Promotion Programmes and Firms’ Export Behaviour: Exploring the Indirect Link. The Case of UK & Algerian Manufacturing Firms
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It has been recognised that exporting is an engine for growth at both country and firm levels. However, the challenging nature of international business often prevents companies from entering and surviving in international markets. In the Small and Medium-size Business context, lack of resource is normally the main reason behind the inability of firms to overcome export barriers. In recognition of the issue and for promoting exporting, the governments have been offering the so-called Government Export Promotion Programmes (GEPPs) to act as “resource supplements”. While there have been extensive practices, the mechanism and effectiveness of these programmes have not been thoroughly explored and analysed. In some academic studies, criticisms and doubts about these programmes have been raised. Against this background, the thesis investigates the working mechanism of these programmes and tests their effectiveness in terms of export initiation, performance and regularity. Using an extended version of the Resource Based View, two integrative and comprehensive conceptual models are developed in order to reveal the indirect impacts of GEPPs on export behaviour. The models are then tested with a total of 495 completed questionnaires collected from two sample countries; namely, Algeria and the UK. These were analysed through a multivariate analysis using a variance-based statistical technique known as Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling. The findings of this thesis are two-fold. First, with respect to the critical resources affecting export behaviour, the study finds that while both Algerian and UK firms’export intention are affected by management resources only, firms’ export performance and regularity are instead mainly influenced by management and organisational resources in the UK and management and relational resources in Algeria. Second, regarding the impact of GEPPs on export intention, the study confirms its indirect nature through the management resources in both countries. However, when it comes to their effect on export performance and regularity, the indirect effect was only established in the UK and mainly through management and organisational resources. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications in that the results have provided empirical evidence on the indirect impact of GEPPs and can serve as an indication in practice for both firm managers and policy makers in deploying key resources for different stages of internationalisation.
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