Chapter 1: Impact of export promotion programs on SME export performance: empirical evidence from an emerging nation
The literature on government export promotion programs (EPPs) and other antecedents of export performance is relatively rich. On one hand, a significant body of research over the decades (e.g. Cavusgil and Michael, 1990; Seringhaus and Rosson, 1990; Kotabe and Czinkota, 1992; Donthu and Kim, 1993; Czinkota, 1994; Katsikeas et al., 1996; Gencturk and Kotabe, 2001; Francis and Collins-Dodd, 2004; Gillespie and Riddle, 2004; Hutchinson et al., 2006; Brewer, 2009) has highlighted the benefit of using EPPs by exporting firms. On the other hand, the international marketing literature is replete with conceptual and empirical research that pertains to the factors that influence firm export performance (e.g. Bilkey and Tesar, 1977; Cavusgil and Nevin, 1981; Madsen, 1994; Cadogan et al., 2002; Cadogan et al., 2005; Morgan et al., 2004; Lee et al., 2007; Leonidou et al., 2007; Racela et al., 2007). However, researchers from both sides have paid little attention to the study of the true impact of EPPs and other government policies in shaping export business strategy and potentially influencing the export success of business firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In a conceptual paper Leonidou and colleagues (Leonidou et al., 2007) provide a critical review of the internal and external factors that stimulate small firms’ exporting activities and posit that government assistance ‘seriously encourage[s] firms to initiate and/or develop exports’ (p. 747).