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AN EXPLORATORY INQUIRY INTO THE ACQUISITION AND USE OF EXPORT INFORMATION BY FRENCH SMES AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE

AN EXPLORATORY INQUIRY INTO THE ACQUISITION AND USE OF EXPORT INFORMATION BY FRENCH SMES AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE,Björn WALLI

AN EXPLORATORY INQUIRY INTO THE ACQUISITION AND USE OF EXPORT INFORMATION BY FRENCH SMES AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE   (Citations: 1)
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This article explores the acquisition and use of export information by French small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as the link between export information and international performance. Besides studying different types and sources of information, it also investigates the mediating role of existing resources and external factors in performance. Personal contacts and customer visits are perceived as the most important sources of information regarding foreign markets. However, only customer visits are positively correlated with international performance. Overall, the market information vehicles used and the information sought by French SMEs contrast with prior results obtained in the UK. Foreign sales, as a measure of international performance applied in this study, are positively influenced by the company being a sub-supplier and by its accumulated international experience. It thus seems as though the use of "formal" market research techniques may be partly replaced by solid international experience. Similarly, the sub-contractors' information need may be partially satisfied by their foreign partner.
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