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Factors stimulating initial export activity: any difference for Nigerian firms?

Ibrahim, E.E.B. and Ezepue, P.O. (2007) Factors stimulating initial export activity: any difference for Nigerian firms? Journal of African Business, 8 (2). pp. 7-26. ISSN 1522-8916

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Abstract

This paper explores the key factors stimulating initial export activity among Nigerian firms against the backdrop of previous findings from studies undertaken in more advanced economies. Based on a sample of seventy-eight SMEs and a factor analysis procedure, it finds support for the view that proactive stimuli, including growth aspirations, opportunity search and managerial interest, predominantly trigger initial export activity among Nigerian firms. This diverges from the pre-eminent position of external-reactive stimuli, notably the receipt of fortuitous foreign orders, in North American and other Western studies, and adds to earlier calls for caution in generalising empirical findings across different geo-economic contexts. The possible reasons for the identified divergence are discussed in this paper, along with the policy and managerial issues raised by the nature of initial export stimulation among the study firms.