Factors that reduce rigid product adaptation decisions : the case of exporting firms in China

Ling Yee, Esther LI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


As a distinct stream of research, export marketing strategy examines management's reaction to environmental threats in the forms of export adaptation strategies. Review studies repeatedly found that product adaptation was correlated with superior export performance. Despite the insights gained from strategic export marketing research, there remains very limited knowledge concerning organizational factors that may reduce rigid product adaptation decisions. Based on the threat-rigidity theory, this study identified two critical factors that reduce rigid product adaptation decisions: export coordination and process control mechanisms. The empirical evidence showed that export venture performance was adversely affected by rigid product adaptation decisions, and such adverse effect was particularly strong when operating under technological uncertainty. Exporting firms are advised to reduce likelihood of rigid product adaptation decisions by expanding export coordination when integrating business functions within the firm and adopting process control when monitoring exchanges with foreign agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-537
Number of pages7
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • Export adaptation
  • export coordination
  • export performance
  • flexibility
  • process control
  • threat-rigidity theory


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