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Performance implications of export assistance: the mediating role of export entrepreneurship

Published: 14 October 2021
 by  Emerald

Abstract: Purpose Although both institutional export assistance and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) contribute separately and positively to export performance, the interplay between them has received little attention. This study examines the role of international EO in deriving performance benefits from governmental and nongovernmental export assistance. Design/methodology/approach In this longitudinal study, two surveys were administered at two different times: In 2011, 705 Bangladeshi apparel exporters were surveyed, and in 2019, a subsequent survey of 198 firms in multiple industries was conducted. The aim of the surveys was to assess the relationships between governmental and nongovernmental assistance, EO and export performance. Findings The results of the first survey show that, while nongovernmental assistance influences performance directly and via EO, governmental assistance has only direct effects. Furthermore, the negative influence of government assistance on EO reduces the total effects and renders them nonsignificant. The results of the second survey demonstrate that government EPPs have both direct and indirect positive and significant effects on market performance, indicating a partial mediation, whereas quasi-governmental assistance has positive and significant direct effects as well as negative but nonsignificant indirect effects. Nongovernmental EPPs have both direct and indirect significant effects on international performance, indicating a partial mediation. Research limitations/implications The study has important implications for researchers studying export assistance and its impact on firm performance. Instead of adopting a parochial view of government assistance, this study categorizes such assistance into three types – government, quasi-government and nongovernment. Furthermore, this study bridges the export assistance and international entrepreneurship literature by including EO. Practical implications Entrepreneurs must emphasize the use of government assistance in order to enhance export performance. However, to promote both entrepreneurship and performance, they must emphasize nongovernment assistance. Exporters should also capitalize on the assistance extended by various quasi-governmental agencies to bolster export performance. Originality/value Given the performance advantage of export assistance, this study highlights the contribution of the private sector in promoting export entrepreneurship while shedding light on the pernicious role of (quasi-)governmental assistance in export entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Export assistance / International entrepreneurial orientation / Export performance

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