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Export performance research: Where should we go next?



Objective: Research into firm-level exporting, has been criticised for being excessively fragmented and inconsistent. The objective of this paper is to review extant research on export performance and propose a research framework which will go beyond the currently studied relationships and variables, and therefore formulate several recommendations for future research.
Research Design & Methods: In doing so, the review adopts a broader view of export performance, which accounts for the possibility of a negative development of export ventures.
Findings: The paper finds that institution-based, resource-based and industry-based views have been often used to address the determinants of export performance. While there are some complex interactions between host-country institutional factors, firm-level factors, and industry-level factors, these have been studied to a lesser extent. Also, the review highlights the need for a more nuanced and fine-grained understanding of export strategy, particularly embracing modern business models and devoting more attention to foreign market partners.
Implications & Recommendations: Scholars should be more sensitive to previously neglected variables which can enhance the understanding of export performance and lead to more comprehensive empirical studies.
Contribution & Value Added: The paper includes a conceptual framework proposing directions for future research, whereby a broader understanding of export performance is adopted, including also the possibility of export exits.


export, export performance, firm internationalisation, systematic review, future research directions


Author Biography

Piotr Trąpczyński

Associate Professor at the Poznań University of Economics and Business, Department of International Competitiveness at the Institute of International Business and Economics. His research interests include foreign direct investments and divestments, export performance and export exits, along with business models.

Henrik Mertens

Doctoral Candidate at the Poznań University of Economics and Business, holds a Master’s degree of the Alpen Adria University Klagenfurt, Austria. He has a track record of professional experience in business analytics and controlling. His research interests include foreign market relationships and performance.

David Peters

Doctoral Candidate at the Poznań University of Economics and Business, holds a Master’s degree of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. He has corporate work experience in the area of financial controlling. His research interests revolve around the linkages between the (de-)internationalisation of the firm and its performance.

Krystian Barłożewski

Assistant Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics, Department of International Management at the Collegium of World Economy. His research interests include internationalization performance and the impact of digital transformation on internationalization models and processes.


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