The Linkage Between Intangible Resources and Export Performance: the Mediating Effect of Innovation

Orlando Lima Rua, Alexandra França


This paper develops a framework to test the relationship between intangible resources and export performance, considering the mediating effect of innovation. Based on survey data from Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exporting footwear findings suggest that: (1) innovation has a direct and positive influence on export performance; and (2) innovation does have a mediating effect on the relationship between intangible resources and export performance. This study deepens our understanding and provides novel insights into strategic management literature, since it combines multiple factors and has obtained the importance of each construct in SMEs business growth.



Intangible resources; Export performance; Innovation; SMEs; PLS-SEM

Full Text:



Andriopoulos, C., & Lewis, M.W. (2009). Exploitation-exploration tensions and organizational ambidexterity: Managing paradoxes of innovation. Organization Science, 20(4), 696–717.

Amit, R., & Schoemaker, P. (1993). Strategic assets and organizational rent. Strategic Management Journal, 14(1), 33–46.

APICCAPS. (2013). Footure - Plano Estratégico - Cluster do Calçado (APICCAPS).

Aroian, L. A. (1947). The probability function of the product of two normally distributed variables. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 18(2), 265-271.

Barney, J. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99–120.

Barney, J., Ketchen, D. J., & Wright, M. (2011). The Future of Resource-Based Theory: Revitalization or Decline? Journal of Management, 37(5), 1299–1315.

Baron R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173-1182.

Cabral, J. E. O., Coelho, A. F. M., Coelho, F. J. F., & Costa, M. da P. B. (2015). Capabilities , innovation , and overall performance in brazilian export firms. RAM, Rev. Adm. Mackenzie, 16(3), 76–108.

Carmines, E. G., & Zeller, R. A. (1979). Reliability and Validity Assessment. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Casey, S. R., & Hamilton, R. T. (2014). Export performance of small firms from small countries: The case of New Zealand. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 12(3), 254–269.

Cavusgil, T., & Zou, S. (1994). Marketing strategy-performance relationship: an investigation of the empirical link in export market ventures. Journal of Marketing, 58(1), 1–21.

Cepeda, G., & Roldán, J. L. (2004). Aplicando en la práctica la técnica PLS en la Administración de Empresas. XIV Congreso Nacional ACEDE, 74-78.

HART, C., & Chen, J. (2013). Breakthrough innovation: The roles of dynamic innovation capabilities and open innovation activities. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 28(5), 444–454.

Chin, W. W. (1998). The Partial Least Squares Approach to Structural Equation Modelling. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publisher. Mahwah, New Jersey. London.

Chin, W. W. (2010). How to write up and report PLS analyses. In V. Esposito Vinzi, W. W. Chin, J. Henseler & H. Wang (eds.), Handbook of partial least squares: Concepts, methods and applications, (pp. 655-690). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

Chin, W. W. & Newsted, P. R. (1999). Structural Equation Modeling Analysis with Small Samples Using Partial Least Squares. In R. Hoyle (ed.), Statistical Strategies for Small Sample Research (pp. 307-341). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cohen, J. A. (2005). Intangible Assets: Valuation and Economic Benefit. Wiley.

Covin, J., & Slevin, D. (1989). Strategic management of small firms in hostile and benign environments. Strategic Management Journal, 10(1), 75–87.

Damanpour, F., Szabat, K. A., & Evan, W. M. (1989). The relationship between types of innovation and organizational performance. Journal of Management Studies, 26(6), 587–601.

De Clercq, D., Thongpapanl, N. T., & Dimov, D. (2013). Shedding new light on the relationship between contextual ambidexterity and firm performance: An investigation of internal contingencies. Technovation, 33(4), 119–132.

Dess, G., & Lumpkin, G. (2005). The role of entrepreneurial orientation in stimulating effective corporate entrepreneurship. The Academy of Management Executive, 19(1), 147–156.

Dhanaraj, C., & Beamish, P. W. (2003). A Resource-Based Approach to the Study of Export Performance. Journal of Small Business Management, 41(3), 242–261.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Frank, H., Kessler, A., & Fink, M. (2010). Entrepreneurial orientation and business performance-a replication study. Schmalenbach Business Review, (April), 175–199.

Fuchs, M., & Köstner, M. (2016). Antecedents and consequences of firm’s export marketing strategy: An empirical study of Austrian SMEs (a contingency perspective). Management Research Review, 39(3), 329–355.

Galunic, D. C., & Rodan, S. (1998). Resource recombinations in the firm: Knowledge structures and the potential for Schumpeterian innovation. Strategic Management Journal, 19, 1193–1201.

Gefen, D., & Straub, D. (2005). A Practical Guide To Factorial Validity Using PLS-Graph: Tutorial And Annotated Example. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 16, 91-109.

Gil-Pechuan, I., Exposito-Langa, M., & Tomas-Miquel, J. V. (2013). International entrepreneurship in SMEs: A study of influencing factors in the textile industry. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 9(1), 45–57.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sinkovics, R. R. (2009). The use of Partial Lesat Squares Path Modeling in international marketing. In R. R. Sinkovics & P. N. Ghauri (ed.), New Challenges to International Marketing (Advances in International Marketing), 20 (pp. 277-319). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Hitt, M., Bierman, L., Shimizu, K., & Kochhar, R. (2001). Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 44(1), 13–28.

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.-E. (1977). The internationalization process of the firm-a model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments. Journal of International Business Studies, 23–32.

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.-E. (2009). The Uppsala internationalization process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of outsidership. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(9), 1411–1431.

Kahiya, E. T., & Dean, D. L. (2014). Export performance: multiple predictors and multiple measures approach. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 26(3), 378–407.

Lumpkin, G., & Dess, G. (1996). Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Academy of Management Review, 21(1), 135–172.

Mahoney, J. T., & Pandian, J. R. (1992). The resource-based view within the conversation of strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 13(5), 360–380.

Makadok, R. (2001). Toward a synthesis of the resource-based and dynamic-capability views of rent creation. Strategic Management Journal, 22(5), 387–401.

Marôco, J. (2011). Análise estatística com o SPSS Statistics (5a). ReportNumber, Lda.

Marr, B., & Roos, G. (2005). A strategy perspective on intellectual capital. In Perspectives on intelectual capital (pp. 28–52). Nova Iorque: Routledge.

Menon, A, & Bharadwaj, S. (1999). Antecedents and consequences of marketing strategy making: A model and a test. Journal of Marketing, 63(April), 18–40.

Miller, D. (1983). The correlates of entrepreneurship in three types of firms. Management Science, 29(7), 770–791.

Miller, D., Wright, M., Le Breton-Miller, I., & Scholes, L. (2015). Resources and Innovation in Family Businesses. California Management Review, 58(1), 20–41.

Molloy, J. C., Chadwick, C., Ployhart, R. E., & Golden, S. J. (2011). Making Intangibles “Tangible” in Tests of Resource-Based Theory: A Multidisciplinary Construct Validation Approach. Journal of Management, 37(5), 1496–1518.

Morgan, N., Vorhies, D. W., & Schlegelmilch, B. B. (2006). Resource–performance relationships in industrial export ventures: The role of resource inimitability and substitutability. Industrial Marketing Management, 35(5), 621–633.

Musso, F., & Francioni, B. (2014). International strategy for SMEs: criteria for foreign markets and entry modes selection. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 21(2), 301–312.

Nag, R., Hambrick, D., & Chen, M. (2007). What is strategic management, really? Inductive derivation of a consensus definition of the field. Strategic Management Journal, 955(October 2006), 935–955.

Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Okpara, J. (2009). Entrepreneurial orientation and export performance: evidence from an emerging economy. Int. Rev. Bus. Res. Papers, 5(6), 195–211.

Pestana, M. H., & Gageiro, J. N. (2008). Análise de Dados para Ciências Sociais - A complementaridade do SPSS (5a). Edições Silabo.

Peteraf, M. (1993). The cornerstones of competitive advantage: A resource-based view. Strategic Management Journal, 14(3), 179–191.

Pfarrer, M. D., Pollock, T. G., & Rindova, V. P. (2010). a Tale of Two Assets: the Effects of Firm Reputation and Celebrity on Earnings Surprises and Investors’ Reactions. Academy of Management Journal, 53(5), 1131–1152.

Piercy, N., Kaleka, A., & Katsikeas, C. (1998). Sources of competitive advantage in high performing exporting companies. Journal of World Business, 33(4), 378–393.

Porter, M. (1991). Towards a dynamic theory of strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 12.

Reinartz, W., Haenlein, M., & Henseler, J. (2009). An empirical comparison of the efficacy of covariance-based and variance-based SEM. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 26(4), 332–344.

Ridder, A. (2011). Sensing and seizing open innovation: A capability-based approach.Paper presented at the DIME-DRUID ACADEMY Winter Conference 2011 on. Aalborg, Denmark: Comwell Rebild Bakker.

Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The Theory of Economic Development. Transaction Publishers.

Sousa, C. M. P., Martínez-López, F. J., & Coelho, F. (2008). The determinants of export performance: A review of the research in the literature between 1998 and 2005. International Journal of Management Reviews, 10(4), 343–374.

Stouraitis, V., Harris, M., Harun, M., & Kyritsis, M. (2017). Motivators of SME initial export choice and the European Union regional effect in manufacturing. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 23(1), 35–55.

Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities : the nature and microfoundations of ( sustainable ) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 1350, 1319–1350.

Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509–533.

Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2003). Knowledge-based resources, entrepreneurial orientation, and the performance of small and medium-sized businesses. Strategic Management Journal, 24(13), 1307–1314.

Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: a configurational approach. Journal of Business Venturing, 20(1), 71–91.

Wu, L.-Y. & Wang, C.-J. (2007). Transforming resources to improve performance of technology-based firms: a Taiwanese empirical study. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 24, 251-261.

Zucchella, A., & Siano, A. (2014). Internationalization and Innovation as Resources for SME Growth in Foreign Markets. International Studies of Management and Organization, 44(1), 21–41.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Int. J. Innov. e-ISSN: 2318-9975

Rua Vergueiro, 235/249 - Liberdade, São Paulo - SP (Brasil), Cep: 01504-000

Licença Creative Commons
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença 
Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial-CompartilhaIgual 4.0 Internacional