Firm Innovativeness and Export Performance: Environmental, Networking, and Structural Contingencies

Nathaniel Boso, Vicky M. Story, John W. Cadogan, Milena Micevski, Selma Kadić-Maglajlić

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Much scholarly work has explored the benefits firms accrue front innovation activities. Although some research has shown that firm innovativeness is associated with enhanced export success, the conditions under which firm innovativeness activities are most and least beneficial are not well understood. The authors take a contingency perspective and use social capital theory to investigate how internal channel networking capability and structural factors as well as external environment factors affect the innovativeness-export performance relationship. Analysis of samples of exporting firms from Ghana and Bosnia and Herzegovina indicates that innovativeness is most beneficial for firms operating in competitive and dynamic export markets; those in less competitive and static markets do not benefit from their innovation activities to the same extent. Stronger networking capabilities and a more organic structure also enhance the innovativeness-export performance relationship. The findings imply that the management of firm innovativeness is not a straightforward task in which greater emphasis on innovation activities is always beneficial for firms; rather, exporting organizations must match firm innovativeness levels to external environmental conditions and internal capabilities and structures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Marketing
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)62-87
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Channel networking capability
  • Export market environment
  • Export performance
  • Firm innovativeness
  • Organic structure

Cite this