PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual model that portrays how contextual factors and behavioural cooperation mechanisms influence the effect of trade associations on the export performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a Latin American emerging economy.Design/methodology/approachThe author draws on multiple streams of literature including: co-location, networks, cooperation and export performance to suggest a series of solid theoretical insights to the literature on SMEs’ export performance, networks and co-location in the Latin American context.FindingsContextual factors and behavioural cooperation mechanisms influence the effect of trade associations on export performance determining the final sign of such effect. Trust plays a role within all proposed mechanisms, but is not as fundamental as previously characterised in studies on the export performance of SMEs. Cooperation might exist, prevail, and exert a positive impact on SMEs’ export performance even in the absence of trust.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the literature on SMEs’ export performance, networks and co-location in the Latin American context by presenting a theoretical model that enfolds co-location, networks, trade associations and cooperation effects on SMEs’ export performance under the same foundation. It creates the categories of “contextual factors” and “behavioural cooperation mechanisms” to differentiate the elements that weight on the relationship between firms and trade associations, thus facilitating or hindering export performance. It guides policy makers and company managers on where to focus when incentivizing conduct towards a more productive export performance in Latin America and other emerging economies.
Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 5, 2018
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