Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


There is a great deal of published research on the economic factors and policies which influence the export performance, in manufactured products, of developing countries. Yet, for these countries, there are few systematic reports which illustrate how these factors and policies affect the manager of individual manufacturing firms. Also, there are few reports which attempt to explain the differential export performance of these enterprises, both from the point of view of the firm and of the manager. The objective of this study, therefore, was to identify and assess the relationship between the firm's export behaviour and the characteristics of the firm, its managers and their perceptions of the domestic and foreign environments.;With a conceptual model as a framework, data for this research was collected in Jamaica. One hundred and nineteen firms were interviewed, including forty non-exporters. Each interview lasted approximately two hours. The data was analyzed using Discriminant Analysis and Multiple Regression.;The results indicated that the factors which distinguished the exporting from the non-exporting firm were substantially different from the factors which determined export performance. The results also indicated that the managerial characteristics associated with exporting firms were those which have traditionally been linked with innovators. Also important was the finding that firms established during a regime of import substitution were poor export performers. On the basis of the reseach results a revised conceptual model was developed.;The study concluded that managerial characteristics were important, if a firm wished to enter the export market, but that the resources of the enterprise were the key to export performance. These resources center on the technical superiority of the firm and on its product. It was also concluded that the governing authorities in developing countries should not expect firms established during a regime of import substitution to be significant exporters. And finally, because of the importance of the domestic environment, it was also concluded that managers and public policy makers need to develop a close working relationship if manufactured exports are to be encouraged.



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