Contributions of Absorptive Capabilities to Export Performance


  • Alexandra França

    University of Minho, School of Economics and Management, Portugal

  • Orlando Lima Rua

    University of Minho, School of Economics and Management, Portugal


The processes for absorbing external knowledge became an essential element for firms to adapt to changes in the competitive environment. Knowledge plays an important role in firms’ internationalization process. Building on well established theories, our research explores the contributions of absorptive capacities to export performance.
This research adopted a quantitative methodological approach, conducting a descriptive, exploratory and transversal empirical study, having applied a questionnaire to a sample of Portuguese companies exporting footwear.
Based on survey data from 42 firms, our empirical results indicate that absorptive capacities have a positive and significant influence on export performance, and that the capacities that most contribute to this end are knowledge exploitation, transformation and general knowledge acquisition.
This study provide guidance to business practitioners because they indicate which absorptive capacities are the best predictors for export success.
While previous authors have attempted to analyse certain aspects of this process (linkage between absorptive capacities and export performance), this research developed an analysis that proposes an exploratory model of the constructs studied in the Portuguese footwear industry.


absorptive capacities, export performance, SMEs, Portuguese footwear industry

Citation data from Crossref and Scopus

Published Online


How to Cite

França, A., Rua, O. L. (2017) “Contributions of Absorptive Capabilities to Export Performance”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 25(2), pp. 150–157.