Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 304–325 | Cite as

The role of past performance in export ventures: a short-term reactive approach

  • Luis Filipe LagesEmail author
  • Sandy D Jap
  • David A Griffith


This paper employs organizational learning theory to examine the short-term effect of past export performance, and internal (management) and external (market) forces on marketing strategy adaptation and current export performance. Results from a survey of over 500 export managers indicate that current-period performance improvement (in terms of performance achievement, export intensity, and performance satisfaction in the current year) is influenced by the firm's commitment to exporting. Further, the authors found that while performance satisfaction feeds performance improvement in the following year, both the previous year's export intensity and export performance achievement produce a negative impact on current-period performance improvement. More importantly, the level of development in the export market facilitates marketing strategy adaptation in the short term, as does export intensity in the previous year. However, satisfaction with previous-year performance negatively influences the degree of distribution adaptation. Implications for international business researchers and practitioners are also discussed.


past performance short term export performance export marketing organizational learning adaptation-standardization 



This research was funded by the following research grants to the first author: by FCT-EU (2000–2001) while a Visiting Scholar at MIT Sloan School of Management and Stanford University Graduate School of Business; by NOVA EGIDE (2001–2007) and 6th European Framework Program (2004–2006) while affiliated with Universidade Nova de Lisboa; and by FCT-EU (2006) while a Visiting Scholar at London Business School. The authors acknowledge Tim Ambler, Pedro Pita Barros, James Harris, Jose Mata, David Montgomery, Aviv Shoham, Jose Tavares, JIBS' editors, and three anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Filipe Lages
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sandy D Jap
    • 3
  • David A Griffith
    • 4
  1. 1.Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT School of EngineeringUSA
  2. 2.Faculdade de Economia, Universidade Nova de LisboaPortugal
  3. 3.Goizueta Business School, Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Eli Broad Graduate School of Business, Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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