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Role of governance on SME exports and performance

Vivek Kumar Dubey (Scholar, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeetham and School of Business, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Bangalore, India, and) (T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India)
Arindam Das (T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 28 October 2021

Issue publication date: 27 June 2022




This paper aims to investigate the effect of governance – a proxy for network effects on small and medium enterprises (SME) growth through access to new markets. Specifically, investigate how export intensity (EI) and performance are affected. This study also tests related theories, given the growth in the post-liberalization setting of a developing economy. Specifically, this study tests Uppsala and born global (BG) perspectives for internationalization and resource-based view for performance.


The authors collect secondary data for each SME over a 20 year period from a growth-oriented developing economy – India. This period is after the liberalization of the Indian economy. Thus, the authors test the hypotheses in this context. The authors expect that exports would surge for SMEs given the governance structures considered. The authors consider several governance modes and two types of product classifications, namely, products and services.


The authors find conditional support for the two models – indicating that governance structures do not consistently support finding new markets. Further, given the governance structure, EI is not consistently a means to improved performance. This is contrary to the expectations. However, at the same time, the authors do find evidence that governance matters and affects products and services differently.

Research limitations/implications

While the authors conduct research in India which has a variety of cultures and state policies, the authors still believe comparative study with multi-country data from developing countries might bring further insights. Further, primary data would also help to understand governance and motivational effects (the authors did not consider the later). Implications: The authors believe the research will have implications for policy since the authors find effects of governance. Hence, specific policies that improve the performance of a governance type could be adopted.

Practical implications

Although SMEs are affected by many factors, the authors find significant effects for important variables. Hence, the authors believe the government could use the study to design proper policies so that new markets could be discovered through different governance forms, through strategic investment and capacity building.

Social implications

SMEs are a key part of the social fabric of a society/country. The work deals with how SMEs could be helped. Hence, the authors believe the work has important implications for society. Further, as the work deals with large firm-SME interfaces, the authors also inform how these different governance structures are performing and where attention is needed.


The authors find that certain governance-type and SME-type work well together. Further, networks through the governance structures help find new markets – depending on SME-type. The authors find partial support for the Uppsala model and also for the BG model, again depending on the SME-type.



Dubey, V.K. and Das, A. (2022), "Role of governance on SME exports and performance", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 39-74.



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