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From intangible resources to export performance: Exploring the mediating effect of absorptive capabilities and innovation

Orlando Lima Rua (Porto/ISCAP/CEOS.PP/CEI/UNIAG, Porto, Portugal)

Review of International Business and Strategy

ISSN: 2059-6014

Article publication date: 20 November 2018

Issue publication date: 26 November 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influence of intangible resources on export performance, considering the mediating effect of absorptive capabilities and innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a quantitative research approach by conducting a quantitative study based on survey data from 247 Portuguese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the textile industry.

Findings

Findings suggest that: Intangible resources has a positive, significant and direct influence on absorptive capabilities and on export performance; intangible resources has not a significant and direct influence on innovation and on the opposite direction absorptive capabilities has a positive, significant and direct influence on it; innovation has a positive, significant and direct influence on export performance, contrary to absorptive capabilities that has not a significant and direct influence; and innovation has a mediating effect on the relationship between intangible resources and export performance, and the same does not happens on the relationship between absorptive capabilities and export performance.

Practical implications

This paper presents further evidences of the strategies that textile industry’s small firm managers should pursue, and policymakers should promote within the scope of the strategies associated to the system of tax benefits under negotiation for Portugal 2030.

Originality/value

While previous authors have attempted to analyse certain aspects of this process (connection between intangible resources and export performance), this research developed a framework that combines these ones with the mediating effect of absorptive capabilities and innovation. This study deepens our understanding and provides novel insights into strategic management and innovation literature, since it combines multiple factors and has obtained the importance of each construct in SMEs business growth.

Keywords

Citation

Rua, O.L. (2018), "From intangible resources to export performance: Exploring the mediating effect of absorptive capabilities and innovation", Review of International Business and Strategy, Vol. 28 No. 3/4, pp. 373-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/RIBS-02-2018-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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