Services represent the fastest growing portion of the world economy, yet they are still vastly under‐represented in the export packages of most countries. Services present unique challenges that make exporting potentially more difficult and riskier than for goods industries, yet they also offer huge untapped potential with very little research done in this area. This study develops hypotheses regarding the exporting decisions of services companies using qualitative interviews and the exporting literature. These are then tested through a survey of nearly 700 consulting engineering firms. Nearly 90 per cent of the exporting firms in the sample are happy with the performance of their exporting programs, yet nearly three‐quarters of the firms are not exporting. Overcoming limitations in know‐how and resources, developing positive attitudes about exporting, recognizing foreign opportunities and fostering management commitment to exporting are found to be the most important determinants of exporting behavior for professional services firms.
Journal of Services Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1998
Keywords: Consultants; Engineering; Export; Globalization; International trade; Professional service firms
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