Publication Details

Hassan, M. & McCarthy, G. (2011). Influential organisational capabilities for SMEs’ export performance: An exploratory study. Annual Summit on Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (ASBES 2011) (pp. 593-613). Sarawak Malaysia: Global Research Agency.


Organisational capabilities that influence the export performance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been identified and discussed in previous studies which mostly have used SMEs in developed countries as their research sample. Thus, the empirical evidence from developing countries is still lacking. This exploratory study employs a resource-based view (RBV) perspective to understand how a set of organisational capabilities can influence the export performance of SMEs in Malaysia (a developing country). Based on in-depth interviews with CEOs or top level managers from twenty-three SMEs in Malaysia, the study found that capabilities to develop business networking, innovation capabilities, and capabilities to meet export standards are crucial for Malaysian SMEs’ export performance. Interestingly, the findings indicate that SMEs need to focus on developing their business networking in order to enhance both their innovation capabilities and their capabilities to meet export standards, which in turn leads to export performance improvement. This study provides some insights into SMEs’ export performance enhancement, particularly in developing countries.

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