Which export channels provide real options to SMEs?

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

51 Downloads (Pure)


Real option logic helps managers create value when making decisions because it focuses on managing the uncertainty concerning potential upside benefits and downside risks of an investment. Yet there is little research looking at the real option consequences of making export channel investments. We propose that export channel investments vary in their ability to provide real options and present a novel classification of real option export channels. We suggest that when faced with high uncertainty SMEs will prefer simpler real option export channels over more complex options. We also theorize that firm-level strategic flexibility (i.e. the depth and breadth of export experience) negatively moderates the relationship between uncertainty and real option export channel choice. Based on a sample of Austrian exporting SMEs, we find some support for our propositions. Hence, we contribute to the real option and export channel literatures by providing new insights into how export channel decisions are made and how firms choose between different real option alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Cite this