IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Organizational Characteristics and Performance of Export Promotion Agencies: Portugal and Ireland compared

Listed author(s):
  • Inês Veloso Ferreira

    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Aurora Teixeira

    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC)

Export Promotion Agencies (EPAs) have been in operation in developed countries since the beginning of the 20th century to improve the competitiveness of firms by increasing knowledge and competences applied to export market development. Several studies have focused on assessing the real effectiveness of the EPAs, mostly from the viewpoint of firms. There are also some quantitative studies on the influence of organizational characteristics on EPAs performance, but, to the best of our knowledge, no case studies have yet been conducted that analyze, detail and explain which of the EPAs organizational characteristics are associated to their differing levels of success. Therefore, our research aims to fill this gap by assessing whether certain internal traits of EPAs are associated to their distinct performance and which ones in particular. To accomplish this task, a case study analysis is performed comparing a laggard (Portuguese) and a highly efficient (Irish) EPA in terms of export promotion. In methodological terms, a detailed survey is applied to the employees of the two EPAs who deal directly with enterprises in terms of exports promotion, encompassing several dimensions of their organizational performance; strategy, innovation strategy, knowledge management, structure, human resources, processes, procedures, and systems. Using the non-parametric test of Kruskal Wallis, it was found that there are clear differences between the agencies for all the dimensions, except for Structure and Procedures. Furthermore, a factor analysis shows that the hidden factors found for each agency are different, revealing that greater importance is given to strategic decisions in the case of Enterprise Ireland (EI), and to internal matters such as communication and knowledge management in Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal (AICEP). Consequently, AICEP emerges as an organization without any clear component of intentionality, being more concerned with internal matters rather than with actions directed at the market. In contrast, EIs philosophy is more market-oriented and taking the clients needs into consideration is a priority.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia in its series GEE Papers with number 0046.

in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision: Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0046
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Avenida da República no 79, 1050-243 Lisboa

Phone: 21 799 81 50
Fax: 21 799 81 54
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Andrew J. Cassey, 2014. "The Location of US States' Overseas Offices," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 310-325, May.
  2. Foss, Nicolai J. (ed.), 1997. "Resources, Firms, and Strategies: A Reader in the Resource-Based Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198781790.
  3. Volker Nitsch, 2007. "State Visits and International Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(12), pages 1797-1816, December.
  4. Lederman, Daniel & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Payton, Lucy, 2010. "Export promotion agencies: Do they work?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 257-265, March.
  5. Christian Volpe Martincus & Antoni Estevadeordal & Andrés Gallo & Jessica Luna, 2010. "Information Barriers, Export Promotion Institutions, and the Extensive Margin of Trade," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 39358, Inter-American Development Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0046. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ricardo Pinheiro Alves)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.