Networking, business process innovativeness and export performance: the case of South Asian low-tech industry
Published on May 23, 2017in Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing
· DOI :10.1108/JBIM-06-2015-0113
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of business process innovativeness in the networking-export performance relationship in a developing country low-tech industry setting. Most innovation research in international business and entrepreneurship is conducted on high-tech industries in developed countries. Less research has focused on the low-tech industry context. This study bridges this research gap by testing whether international new ventures’ (INVs) networking resources impact their export performance through business process innovativeness. Design/methodology/approach The study tests the link between low-tech INVs’ networking, business process innovativeness and export performance using a sample of 647 export start-up apparel firms in Bangladesh, the second largest apparel exporter in the world. Findings The results recognize that an INV entrepreneur’s personal and inter-firm networking are directly and positively related to business process innovativeness and export performance. The findings also indicate that business process innovativeness acts as a mediator only between an INV’s inter-firm networking and its export performance. Research limitations/implications The study was undertaken in a Bangladeshi low-tech industry setting-the apparel sector; thus, future research may include data collection from a range of industries across countries. Data collected for the purpose of this study used a cross-sectional research design, and this may only have confirmed the relationships in the model and not causality between the constructs. Practical implications The findings highlight that low-tech INVs should focus more on leveraging their personal and inter-firm networking resources, as this should result in improved export performance. The results also provide directives for INVs in regard to improving their business process innovativeness to achieve increased performance. Originality/value The study is not only carried out in the context of low-tech early internationalizing firms (i.e. INVs), but also contributes to theory and practice by testing whether INVs’ networking resources (personal and inter-firm) have an impact on business process innovativeness, which in turn leads to improved performance.