Export marketing standardisation and its influence on export performance : a structural model examination
This dissertation aims to present an integrated approach to measuring and linking the variables involved in the 'export marketing standardisation-export performance' phenomenon. Drawing on the literature and primary data (exploratory study, main survey and follow-up interviews), twenty-three hypotheses are developed, simultaneously tested and discussed. Due to the magnitude of the valid sample (519 export market ventures), it was possible to use Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) with Weighted Least Squares (WLS) (Curran et al., 1996). At the measurement level, this thesis tests previous measures and presents new constructs for the key elements discussed in the literature. Fourteen constructs emerged across the following topics: degree of marketing programme standardisation, export performance, and internal and external forces. At the causality level, this research study suggests that both export marketing standardisation and export performance are simultaneously affected by internal and external forces. These simultaneous relationships have never been incorporated by past empirical research. More importantly, findings suggest that past performance plays a crucial role in the determination of current export marketing strategy. Export performance must be seen not only as an outcome, as traditionally discussed in the literature, but also as an antecedent of export marketing strategy. Future investigations are encouraged to incorporate these new research directions in the study of the 'export marketing strategy — export performance' relationship. Additional guidelines are provided to stimulate future discussion and research in the field. The literature and the findings are also used to generate a number of implications for managers and public policy makers.