Antecedents to export information generation: a cross-national study

Purpose ─ The objective of this study is to examine the factors that enhance export decision-makers’ generation of export information, using a non-linear approach and a multi-country context, and so provide export decision-makers with empirically-based guidelines on how to maximize their information acquisition efforts. Design/methodology/approach ─ A broad perspective on export information generation is adopted, including marketing research, export assistance and market intelligence. The model of antecedents to information generation is tested in three studies (US, Austria, New Zealand, respectively) using structural equation modeling techniques. Multigroup and hierarchical analysis is performed to assess cross-national invariance of relevant measures, and quadratic effects. Findings ─ The findings show that the predictors of export information generation vary across the three countries studied, and that many of the relationships are non-linear. Research limitations/implications ─This study contributes to the export marketing literature by developing our understanding of how exporters can develop greater knowledge of information sources on which to build export decisions, and the conditions necessary for enhanced export information acquisition activity. The findings highlight that future research should consider non-linear relationships and the examination of the outcomes of export information generation in a cross-national setting. Practical implications ─ The study findings advocate that practitioners (exporters and advisers) tailor their export information generation efforts to the different country needs. Originality/value ─ This research responds to a call for more theoretically-based studies on antecedents to export information generation, concurrent with the use of more robust statistical methods.