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Effect of perceived environmental uncertainty on exporter-importer inter-organisational relationships and export performance improvement

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  • Matanda, Margaret Jekanyika
  • Freeman, Susan

Abstract

Limited research exists on the effect of environmental uncertainty on inter-organisational relationships and export performance improvement in supply chains that transcend national boundaries, especially in developing markets such as sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the dominance of the economic perspective in export performance literature, increased attention over the last decade has turned to the Resource Base View (RBV) and the relational perspective. Highlighting this theoretical gap, we develop an approach that argues export market buyers gain advantage by leveraging internal resources and draw upon RBV and relational exchange theory. Data from 262 fresh-produce export suppliers in Zimbabwe was used to investigate the effect of perceived environmental uncertainty on inter-organisational relationships and supplier export performance. Results indicate that perceived environmental uncertainty dimensions have varied influence over inter-organisational relationships. Results support the relational theory's tenet that commitment to future exchanges is associated with export performance improvement, and driven by a reciprocal pattern of each partner's perception of the other's commitment, relationship-specific investments and dependence. These inter-organisational relationships are seen as complementary resources of the firm, which export market buyers can rely on through power to coerce developing export suppliers to cooperate in conditions of perceived market turbulence and high competitive intensity. Market turbulence emerged as a complex factor and is negatively linked to commitment and cooperation. Contrary to prior research, cooperation had a negative effect on export performance improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Matanda, Margaret Jekanyika & Freeman, Susan, 2009. "Effect of perceived environmental uncertainty on exporter-importer inter-organisational relationships and export performance improvement," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 89-107, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:89-107
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