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Entrepreneurial perceptions and bias of SME exporting opportunities for manufacturing exporters: A UK study

Vassilios Stouraitis (Swiss School of Management, Rome, Italy)
Pattana Boonchoo (Thammasat Business School, Bangkok, Thailand)
Mior Harris Mior Harun (International Business, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Markos Kyritsis (Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah Colleges, Sharjah, UAE)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 27 July 2017

Issue publication date: 30 October 2017




Success in export ventures has been linked to managerial capabilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of exporting motivators on managerial perceptions of UK manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by investigating the links between export motivators and decision bias (i.e. predictable behavior).


Based on the Uppsala and resource-based view perspectives (using a sample of the UK’s independent manufacturing SMEs and utilizing a survey, correlation analysis, and factor analysis), this study finds and describes the effect of the most recurrent motivators and clusters of motivators from the literature on the SMEs’ decision to export by investigating the dimensions (research, external, reactive).


This study finds that export motivators can be separated into specific dimensions leading to potential selection bias. In addition, the importance of size, knowledge of foreign markets, and unsolicited orders show an association with the perceptions of motivator stimuli toward specific dimensions (research, external, reactive).

Practical implications

Government policy and SME export strategy need to understand managerial perceptions and bias better in order to allocate resources efficiently toward stimulating exporting.


The literature and empirical work on the topic have been fragmented and conflicting focusing on specific motivators but not necessarily explaining the selection or origin of motivators even less on SMEs. Dimensions have not been taken into account as clusters of motivators.



Stouraitis, V., Boonchoo, P., Mior Harun, M.H. and Kyritsis, M. (2017), "Entrepreneurial perceptions and bias of SME exporting opportunities for manufacturing exporters: A UK study", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 906-927.



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