Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith
Chapter 12: Managerial Determinants of Export Performance: Direct and Moderating Effects
Carlos M.P. Sousa and Emilio Ruzo INTRODUCTION Research has continually identified management as the principal force behind the initiation, development, sustenance and success of a firm’s export effort, because of its direct responsibility for and involvement in export decisions (Cavusgil, 1984; Miesenböck, 1988; Sousa et al., 2008). As a result, a large body of research (e.g. Leonidou, 1998; Katsikea and Skarmeas, 2003; Beamish et al., 1999; Sousa and Bradley, 2008a; Lages et al., 2008) explores the organizational and managerial factors that affect export performance. In contrast, the influence of personal variables has attracted little attention, and in particular, the role of the manager’s individual values on the export performance of the firm has been largely ignored (for an exception see Sousa et al., 2010). This gap in the literature is surprising if we accept as valid the argument that some managers are better than others, and that managers’ attitudes affect the firms’ outcomes. The key factors that influence performance outcomes are the psychological characteristics of managers (Carpenter et al., 2004), because they provide a pointed causal link to managerial behavior (Finkelstein et al., 2008). Indeed some studies (e.g. Axinn, 1988) found managers’ attitudes and perceptions toward exporting to be the most significant indicator of export performance. In order to enhance our understanding of the influence that management attitudes have on the export performance of the firm, we must bear in mind that attitudes are based on values (Homer and Kahle, 1988). People assess events and take decisions using values...
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