Explores two theoretical constructs evident in the exporting area of the international marketing literature: export stimuli and export barriers. Takes account of the manner in which these explanatory variables can predict export behaviour among small and medium‐sized firms. Discussion centres primarily on the tenet that a significant degree of dormant export potential tends to lie at the pre‐export phase of export development; that is, encouraging non‐exporters to become exporters is perhaps a more fertile area of interest for government than attempting to increase the export activity of marginal exporters. Uses classificatory schemas as a basis for conceptualizing export stimuli and export barriers for non‐exporters, so as to provide a platform to establish the ingredients of these constructs. Conducts an evaluation of the advances in empirical research regarding export stimuli and export barriers in the form of a critique.
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