Purpose: Drawing on the resource advantage and organisational learning literatures, this paper aims to investigate the linear, moderated, complementary and non-linear effects of export market exploitation and exploration on export performance. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative study was performed using an online survey. The final sample consisted of 267 Portuguese export manufacturing firms. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling. Findings: Export market exploitation and exploration is positively and negatively related to export performance in a linear way, respectively. Export market exploration improves export performance under high levels of export market turbulence. Balancing export market exploitation with export market exploration enhances export performance. High levels of export market exploitation provide an additional boost to performance. Practical implications: This study contributes to a better understanding of how market exploitation and exploration relate to performance in the export context. To enhance export performance, managers should deploy high levels of export market exploitation, pursue export market exploration in dynamic export markets, and maintain a balance between export market exploitation and exploration. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the export marketing field by shedding light on the complex nature of the relationships among export market exploitation, exploration and performance. Overall, the results provide novel evidence concerning the internal and external contingencies that affect the success of export market exploitation and exploration.
- Market exploitation
- Market exploration