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Innovation and survival of exporters: A contingency perspective

Deng, Ziliang; Guo, Honglin; Zhang, Weifu; Wang, Chengqi


Ziliang Deng

Honglin Guo

Weifu Zhang

Professor of Strategy & International Business


We challenge the traditional view that innovations always help exporters prosper in competitive international market, by developing and testing the premise that the relationship between innovation and export performance is contingent on some important firm-specific idiosyncrasies. With a large dataset of Chinese firms, the empirical results demonstrate that innovation could be detrimental to exporter survival. Such negative effect is more pronounced for firms that have weak profitability and high outstanding receivables, and also for those without foreign ownership. Nonetheless, we also observe a positive relationship between innovation and survival in highly profitable exporters. By identifying the negative rather than conventionally assumed positive effect of innovation, and the conditions under which innovation facilitates or impedes exporter survival, this paper contributes to the literature on the relationship between innovation and export in the context of emerging markets. Our findings have important implications for how managers develop innovation strategy to compete in the export market.


Deng, Z., Guo, H., Zhang, W., & Wang, C. (2014). Innovation and survival of exporters: A contingency perspective. International Business Review, 23(2), 396-406.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 4, 2013
Online Publication Date Jul 26, 2013
Publication Date 2014-04
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2019
Journal International Business Review
Print ISSN 0969-5931
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 2
Pages 396-406
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Innovation and survival of exporters: A contingency perspective; Journal Title: International Business Review; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.