The role of independent intermediaries: The case of small and medium-sized exporters
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Business Review. 2012, 21 (4), 535-546. 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2011.06.003
The article examines how small and medium-sized exporters collaborate with intermediaries in foreign markets by studying the level of control, i.e. the delegation of decisions rights and task solution. It goes one step further than previous research, since it examines degrees of control and participation rather than just discrete types of intermediary modes (agents, importers, dealers, etc.). Associations with performance as well as the role of product and distributor characteristics are analyzed. Empirical data based on a sample of product-market ventures in 227 small and medium-sized Norwegian export firms are analyzed by a structural equation modelling approach. The article provides empirical evidence that managers keep control of decision making to an extent that may have a negative impact on export performance. The empirical study indicates that firms should participate more in task solution but less in decision making in their collaboration with foreign intermediaries.