Effect of export market orientation on export performance of Medium Sized Enterprises in Kenya
Njembue, Julius Muiruri
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In the current era of a highly competitive business environment characterized by globalization, deregulation of markets, stiff rivalry and constant changes in the customers’ needs and expectations, Medium Sized Enterprises (MSEs) involved in exporting need to manage their strategic orientations for superior performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of export market orientation on export performance of MSEs in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: To establish the effect of export market intelligence generation on export performance of the Kenyan MSE’s, to determine the effect of export market intelligence dissemination on export performance of MSEs in Kenya and to establish the effect of export market responsiveness on export performance of the Kenyan MSEs. The research was founded on the Resource Based View and the Dynamic Capabilities Perspective. The study focused on the KPMG and Nation Media Top 100 mid-sized companies in Kenya as the sample size. Three respondents were selected from each company by judgmental sampling: The General Manager, Head of Sales and Marketing and Sales persons responsible for the export operations. Descriptive cross-sectional survey design was adopted for this study and data collected using structured questionnaires. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used in analyzing of the data collected. Descriptive statistics, spearman’s correlation and regression analyses were conducted to test the relationship between the variables. The study concluded that; export market intelligence generation had a weak but positive effect on export performance of MSEs in Kenya, export market intelligence dissemination had significant effect on export performance of MSEs in Kenya and that export market responsiveness had a strong, positive and significant effect on export performance of MSEs in Kenya. The study recommends to the practitioners to invest in training and capacity building of their personnel on matters of export market orientation practices and to the Kenyan government to extend their support to the exporting MSEs through incentives like tax reliefs to enable them invest more financially in their export operations. The study contributes theoretically to scholarly work by adopting RBV and the Dynamic Capabilities View. Conceptually, by adopting Kohli and Jaworski (1990)’s intelligence perspective in operationalizing export market orientation and contextually by conducting the research in a developing nation while majority of the previous studies had focused on developed countries. The study was limited in the sense that it only focused on the top 100 exporting MSEs therefore findings could not be generalized on other MSEs who were exporting and did not participate in the Nation Media and KPMG top 100 mid-sized companies. Future studies could focus on investigating the effect of EMO on EXP of MSEs while anchoring their studies on different theories from the ones used in this study. Also, local studies could focus on different business contexts apart from the MSE sector adopting Kohli and Jaworski (1990)’s intelligence perspective in their research.