Organisational learning and export performance of emerging market entrepreneurial firms : The roles of RBV mechanism and decision-making approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Henry F.L. Chung
  • Zhujun Ding
  • Xufei Ma

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-278
Journal / PublicationEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to integrate the resource-based view (RBV) with organisational learning theory by investigating the role of the RBV mechanism in the preceding performance-current performance linkage. The authors further examine the role of the decision-making approach on the RBV-prior-current performance paradigm. Using China as the research setting, they empirically test the theoretical model based on 229 firms selected from a nation-wide survey. 
Design/methodology/approach – This study has used China as the research setting. The authors empirically test the theoretical model based on 229 firms selected from a nation-wide survey. 
Findings – This study reveals that prior export performance is a key determinant of current export performance, and this effect is enhanced by product certification (an internal RBV mechanism) and the intention to make an initial public offering (and external RBV mechanism). Moreover, the internal RBV-prior-current performance paradigm is positively moderated by the delegated decision-making approach, while the external RBV-prior-current performance paradigm is negatively moderated by this decision-making approach. 
Research limitations/implications – The results related to RBV and prior organisational learning also extends the extant literature and offer implications in two important ways. One, this research advances existing research that has only considered the direct effect of organisational learning on current performance (Lages et al., 2008). In addition to its direct effect, this study suggests that the interplay of organisational learning and resource commitment also provides important determinants of export performance. These new results imply that future research should not only explore the effect of organisational learning theory but also that of firm resource in the research on the prior-current performance dyad (Lages et al., 2008). Two, this study also advances the theoretical development of the export venture resource and management commitment research by revealing two new factors (Cavusgil and Zou, 1994). As a result, when conducting exporting activity from an emerging economy, exporting firms should consider committing their resources on acquiring international certification and seeking external funding. These new findings provide new guidance on the choice of the type of resource commitments and their roles in the prior-current performance conceptualisation when operating in the emerging markets. 
Practical implications – The results also contribute to the conceptualisation of the decision-making literature in the context of emerging economies (Garnier, 1982; Kao, 1993; Redding, 1993; Solberg, 2000), where an owner decision-making approach is associated with a number of negative effects (Kao, 1993; Redding, 1993). This study suggests that an owner decision-making approach can actually help firms to implement the effect of external RBV’s influence in the prior-current performance framework. As a result, the findings imply that researchers and managers of EMEFs should now consider including the effect of decision-making governance when exploring the interactive effect of RBV and organisational learning in export performance research (Lages et al., 2008). 
Originality/value – This three-way interaction results have implications for the development of organisational learning theory, the RBV, decision-making, export performance and emerging market literature.

Research Area(s)

  • Delegated ‘professional’ and non-delegated ‘owner’ decision-making approach, Foreign venturing exporting, Organizational design, Organizational learning theory, Performance, Resource-based view (RBV)

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