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The simultaneous effect of firm capabilities and competitive strategies on export performance: the role of competitive advantages and competitive intensity

Halit Keskin (Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Hayat Ayar Şentürk (Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Ekrem Tatoglu (Gulf University for Science and Technology, Mishref, Kuwait) (Ibn Haldun Universitesi, Istanbul, Turkey)
Ismail Gölgeci (Department of Business Development and Technology, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Herning, Denmark)
Ozan Kalaycioglu (Eximbank, Istanbul, Turkey)
Hatice Tuba Etlioglu (Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 8 June 2021

Issue publication date: 26 October 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to determine the simultaneous effect of exporting firms' competitive strategies and capabilities on the achievement of competitive advantages and export performance under the boundary conditions of competitive intensity. In so doing, the study combines the alternative theoretical lenses of the resource-based view (RBV) and the structure–conduct–performance (SCP) paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were obtained from 281 Turkish manufacturer–exporter firms operating in different sectors and located in several regions of the country. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test our conceptual framework, which combined the effects of RBV-based and SCP-based factors on competitive advantages and export performance under the moderating influence of competitive intensity.

Findings

This study reveals that unique firm capabilities, specifically informational, relational, and marketing capabilities, and competitive strategies, including differentiation and cost leadership, provide export firms with a competitive advantage and improve their export performance in foreign markets. Furthermore, competitive advantages partially mediate the effects of competitive strategies and unique firm capabilities on export performance. Finally, unexpectedly, and contrary to most of the existing literature, we find that competitive intensity negatively moderates the link between service advantages and export performance.

Originality/value

This research offers a comprehensive view of manufacturer–exporter firms' export performance by accounting for the overlooked simultaneous effect of firm capabilities and competitive strategies through the mediation of competitive advantages and under the boundary conditions of competitive intensity.

Keywords

Citation

Keskin, H., Ayar Şentürk, H., Tatoglu, E., Gölgeci, I., Kalaycioglu, O. and Etlioglu, H.T. (2021), "The simultaneous effect of firm capabilities and competitive strategies on export performance: the role of competitive advantages and competitive intensity", International Marketing Review, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 1242-1266. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-09-2019-0227

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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