An analysis of the barriers hindering small business export development
AuthorLeonidou, Leonidas C.
SourceJournal of Small Business Management
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Notwithstanding the benefits derived from exporting in an increasingly globalized marketplace, for many smaller-sized manufacturers the internationalization path is beset by numerous obstacles. This article offers a comprehensive analysis of 39 export barriers extracted from a systematic review of 32 empirical studies conducted on the subject. These have been classified into internal (incorporating informational, functional, and marketing) and external (comprising procedural, governmental, task, and environmental) barriers. The impact of export barriers is shown to be situation-specific, largely depending on the idiosyncratic managerial, organizational, and environmental background of the firm. However, certain barriers, such as those relating to information inefficiencies, price competitiveness, foreign customer habits, and politicoeconomic hurdles, seem to have a systematically strong obstructing effect on export behavior. Several conclusions and implications for small business managers, public policymakers, business educators, and exporting researchers are derived.