This article develops and tests resource dependency and institutional theory arguments to explain two choices facing SME owner/managers: (1) the decision whether to export or not and (2) if the firm exports, the choice between a direct (to customers abroad) and an indirect (using another firm as intermediary) export mode. Binomial logistic regressions on our sample of 871 Dutch SMEs suggest that institutional theory perspectives (owner/managers' perception of the increased international presence of their domestic competitors, customers' and suppliers' and perceptions of increased use of foreign suppliers) explain the decision to export, while resource dependency theory arguments (owner/managers' perception of the favorability of access to knowledge and technology, of production costs and of access to capital in the home market) guide the choice between direct and indirect export modes.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Hessels, J., & Terjesen, S. (2010). Resource dependency and institutional theory perspectives on direct and indirect export choices. Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal, 34(2), 203–220. doi:10.1007/s11187-008-9156-4