Purpose – The objective of the study is to derive a classification of export problems of SMEs from developing countries on the basis of a comprehensive literature study. Design/methodology/approach – The study performed a comprehensive and systematic literature review of 40 articles published over a period of 25 years (1980‐2004). The export problems are classified into company barriers, product barriers, industry barriers, export market barriers and macro environment barriers. Findings – The study provides a modified qualitative model that can be used by future researchers to further their research endeavour in export problems of firms from developing countries. It also identifies the similarities and differences of export problems in developed and developing countries. Research limitations/implications – The lack of extensive research on export problems limited the number of articles reviewed in this study. Thus, the results of this paper should be considered as a stepping stone for future research. Practical implications – The export problems identified in this study can be used to develop a questionnaire for a regional or global survey of SME's exporters from developing countries. Originality/value – The paper provides an important reference for researchers who intend to study export problems in developing countries. Moreover, policy makers in developing countries can use it to identify export problems that firms face and provide timely and effective assistance to SMEs.
International Journal of Emerging Markets – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2006
Keywords: Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Exports; Developing countries; Classification schemes
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