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Does improvisation help or hinder planning in determining export success?: decision theory applied to exporting

Nemkova, Ekaterina; Souchon, Anne L.; Hughes, Paul; Micevski, Milena


Ekaterina Nemkova

Anne L. Souchon

Paul Hughes

Milena Micevski


Exporting allows organizations to diversify risk and generate multiple income streams. In turn, the making of good export decisions is purported to be a main determinant of performance. While substantive export decisions are well researched, little is known about how export decisions should be made in practice, and whether different decision-making approaches should be combined. This study addresses this gap using decision theory; the interaction of planning and improvisation is assessed and their impact on export responsiveness and export performance is examined. A conceptual model is developed through exploratory research and tested through structural equation modelling. Insights into the results are then sought via post-hoc in-depth interviews. We conclude that improvisation has multiple dimensions (spontaneity, creativity and action-orientation), and that there is no one ‘best way’ for export managers to make decisions. Furthermore, export planning can enhance economic performance but detract from customer performance. Meanwhile, improvisation improves responsiveness, while action-orientation leads to greater customer performance and results in greater responsiveness with regard to planning. Export managers should be wary though of spontaneity and creativity, as they detract from planning outcome


Nemkova, E., Souchon, A. L., Hughes, P., & Micevski, M. (2015). Does improvisation help or hinder planning in determining export success?: decision theory applied to exporting. Journal of International Marketing, 23(3), 41-65. doi:10.1509/jim.14.0071

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2019
Print ISSN 1069-031X
Electronic ISSN 1547-7215
Publisher American Marketing Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 41-65
Public URL
Publisher URL


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