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Green business strategy and export performance: An examination of boundary conditions from an emerging economy

Nilay Bıçakcıoğlu (Department of International Business and Trade, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey)
Vasilis Theoharakis (Sheffield University Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Mustafa Tanyeri (Department of Business Administration, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 17 July 2019

Issue publication date: 10 January 2020



Building upon the insights of the resource-based view and contingency theory, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the boundary conditions of green business strategy on the export financial performance of firms from an emerging economy.


A quantitative study was conducted to test the conceptual model. In total, 224 questionnaires were collected from exporting manufacturing companies and were analyzed using full information maximum likelihood.


The results of the study demonstrate that green business strategy has a strong and positive relationship with export financial performance. Also, environmental orientation and cost leadership play a significant and positive moderating role in this relationship. However, green product differentiation is complementary with green business strategy only when a cost leadership strategy is also maintained.

Practical implications

The study has practical implications since it identifies green business strategy as an important lever for emerging export managers. More specifically, they have to be aware of the challenges when they operate outside the cost leadership boundaries and should actively seek to develop the environmental orientation of employees and managers.


This study reveals the relationship between green business strategy and export success for emerging country exporters that are understudied and face unique challenges. In particular, the authors explore the contingency factors that strengthen or weaken the relationship and provide additional insight to the question: “when does it pay to be green?” for exporters from emerging economies.



Bıçakcıoğlu, N., Theoharakis, V. and Tanyeri, M. (2020), "Green business strategy and export performance: An examination of boundary conditions from an emerging economy", International Marketing Review, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 56-75.



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