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The relationship between social interactions, trust, business network, external knowledge access and performance: a study of SMEs in Ghana

Henry Boateng (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
George Oppong Appiagyei Ampong (Ghana Technology University College, Accra, Ghana)
Diyawu Rahman Adam (Faculty of Economic Sciences, Szent István University, Gödöllő, Hungary)
Kwame Simpe Ofori (University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China)
Robert Ebo Hinson (University of Ghana Business School, Accra, Ghana)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

325

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of social interaction ties, trust and business networks in the acquisition of foreign business knowledge and foreign institutional knowledge. It also assesses the effect of these types of knowledge on small and medium enterprises’ (SME) export performance. Furthermore, this study determines the moderating role of absorptive capacity in the relationship between foreign business knowledge, foreign institutional knowledge and export performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a survey research design using data from nontraditional SME exporters in Ghana. There were 257 respondents who were employees (managers/owners) of SMEs in Ghana. The model was analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Social interaction ties, trust and business networks have a significant effect on the acquisition of foreign business knowledge and foreign institutional knowledge. Furthermore, foreign business knowledge and foreign institutional knowledge have a significant positive effect on export performance. The path between foreign business knowledge and export performance is also moderated by absorptive capacity. However, the moderating role of absorptive capacity in the relationship between foreign institutional knowledge and export performance is not significant.

Originality

This study uses social capital to explain how SMEs acquire foreign business knowledge and foreign institutional knowledge, and how both affect SMEs’ export performance. Furthermore, it tests the moderating role of absorptive capacity in the relationship between foreign business knowledge, foreign institutional knowledge and export performance.

Keywords

Citation

Boateng, H., Ampong, G.O.A., Adam, D.R., Ofori, K.S. and Hinson, R.E. (2021), "The relationship between social interactions, trust, business network, external knowledge access and performance: a study of SMEs in Ghana", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-05-2020-0088

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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