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A relational model of export performance


  • Chris Styles

    (Faculty of Economics and Business, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia)

  • Paul G Patterson

    (School of Marketing, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia)

  • Farid Ahmed

    (School of Marketing, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South, Australia)


Export performance models anchored in the industrial organization and resource-based theories have previously been developed and tested. Thus far there have been no empirically tested export performance models that have reflected the core tenets of the relational, or behavioral, paradigm. Drawing from relational exchange theory, a model that includes reciprocal perceptions that relate to both past and future exchanges is developed. This model is tested with dyadic data from 125 West–East (Australia–Thailand) exporter–importer partnerships, reflecting the increasing importance of West–East exchange relationships. Results support the theory's contention that commitment (to future exchanges) is associated with export performance, and is itself driven by a reciprocal cycle of each partner's perception of the other's commitment, relationship-specific investments and dependence. This cycle of commitment is in turn influenced by each partner's trust in the other (from past exchanges), with different types of trust linked to different types of commitment. Trust and commitment are then found to be related both to interpersonal factors (i.e., effective communication, cultural sensitivity and likeability of partner) and to firm factors (reputation and competencies of partner). Journal of International Business Studies (2008) 39, 880–900. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400385

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Styles & Paul G Patterson & Farid Ahmed, 2008. "A relational model of export performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(5), pages 880-900, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:39:y:2008:i:5:p:880-900

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