Serra, Francisco, Pointon, John and Abdou, Hussein (2012) Factors influencing the propensity to export: A study of UK and Portuguese textile firms. International Business Review, 21 (2). pp. 210-224. ISSN 09695931

The purpose of this paper is to determine which particular organisational and managerial
factors contribute to the propensity to export in a declining sector. For this purpose the
textile and clothing sector in Portugal and the United Kingdom is chosen for investigation.
This study analyses firms’ resources and capabilities, as well as decision-makers’ objective
and subjective characteristics in a sample of 167 Portuguese and 165 UK firms in the
textile and clothing industry. The fundamental research questions are: which
characteristics of the firm are associated with stronger export propensity, and is it
possible to identify a profile of decision-makers associated with export propensity? For
Portugal, the size of firm and the educational level of managers are the key determinants of
export propensity. As to the UK, age and perception of costs are the key factors. In addition,
we also investigated managers’ commitment to exporting, for which the important
determinants of export propensity in the textile and clothing sector were found to be
planning, advertising and promotion. When combining the two country data-sets,
particular firm characteristics, namely, firm size, competitive advantage, and technology,
and a specific objective characteristic, namely, the number of languages spoken, are the
key factors associated with the propensity to export in this declining sector.

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