International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

Determinants of The Export Performance of SMEs: Comparative Analysis of Türkish SMEs Exporting to Middle East and European Regions
İslam Altun

Abstract
This study aims to explain determinants of the export performance of Turkish SMEs by focusing on what factors impact the performance of firms mainly exporting to Europe and Middle East. As methodology, comperative analysis will be followed. Further, qualitative method, inductive approach based on a case study and interview data collection method were conducted in order to have reliable data to provide robust analysis. The case study data were collected from 20 small and medium sized Turkish companies exporting to Europe and Middle East regarding their international business activity in order to get direct information by addressing open ended questions to the firm owners. As concluded from interview data, internal factors in the firm level and managerial levels have positive impact on export activities of companies exporting to Europe. Moreover, technological and political environment as external factors have positive effect on export performance of firms as well, whereas economic, social and cultural environment may have some negative effects on the firms. In the firm analysis that export to Middle East countries, some of firm level and managerial level factors have positive effects on the performance while some of them effects it negatively. Additionally, political environment and firms’ technological capabilities have negative effect on export of firms. Unlike the firms exporting European region, social and cultural environment favourably effect export performance of Turkish SMEs that export to Middle East countries.

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