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Export market development: planning and relationship processes of entrepreneurs in different countries

Harris, S.G.S. and Dibben, M.R. (2003) Export market development: planning and relationship processes of entrepreneurs in different countries. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2 (2). pp. 383-403.

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This article makes an initial exploration of whether and to what extent different national values may affect the development of export markets through business to business relationships between entrepreneurs in different countries. It does this by specifically examining the trust between people and the nature and role of business planning in the export market development process. To do this, different modes of both planning and relationship development are first distinguished, based on two separate research traditions. Notions of national values developed in previous research are outlined and used to develop formal tabulated propositions regarding how national values might influence business planning and trust formation. The relevance and applicability in understanding different approaches to business development in different countries is then explored. The discussions of three matched case entrepreneurs from different countries are examined in terms of the propositions detailed by means of verbal protocol analysis. This exploratory study helps concrete propositions to be suggested why and how national values influence export market development processes through the development of theoretical typologies. Planning and relationship processes were both important but the relationships came first, in all three entrepreneurs. Different types of trusting relationships were sought and required by the individuals examined, however, that largely concurred with national values stereotypes. These, in turn, led to different approaches to the timing, role, and nature of export planning. It is hoped that the article contributes an understanding of how different national values might lead to different roles for planning and relationships in export market development.