The impact of CEO and human capital characteristics on SME export performance

Mert, Ayşe
The objective of this study is to investigate the determinants of the export behavior of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey. In SMEs, key decision makers play important roles; therefore, studying the impact of managerial characteristics is of paramount importance for understanding the determinants of SME export behavior. Particularly, possible relations between CEO age, tenure, level of education, international experience and foreign language skills and the export performance of SMEs will be examined. While doing this, two distinct theories, namely, upper echelons perspective and resource-based view of the firm (RBV) will be integrated. Furthermore, the study will focus on the role of the human capital as a strategic resource that may enhance the SME export performance. The relations between international experience and foreign language skills of the human capital and SME export performance will be analyzed from upper echelons perspective and RBV point of view. Overall, this study attempts to illustrate that CEOs and human resources are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable resources for SMEs, and that studying their attributes in SME internationalization context is crucial to understanding the determinants of expert activities of SMEs. As a result, this study expects to reveal important implications for those who aim at increasing the export performance of SMEs. Practitioners may benefit from the findings by addressing which managerial and human capital characteristics influence SME export behavior and in which directions, so that they can better match the characteristics of CEOs and human capital with SMEs in order to attain higher export performance.


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Citation Formats
A. Mert, “The impact of CEO and human capital characteristics on SME export performance,” M.B.A. - Master of Business Administration, Middle East Technical University, 2007.