2009/783 Factors that contribute to the export propensity of Australian seafood firms
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2009/783 Factors that contribute to the export propensity of Australian seafood firms

By Chelsey Parish


Since colonisation, Australia has been a country that relies heavily upon the export of its agricultural produce to contribute to the wealth and prosperity of the nation. However, in recent times, the export focus and capability of the agricultural industry has decreased. Whilst the overall importance of exporting is recognised in the academic literature, the determinants of export propensity in countries outside the United States and the European Union have received little attention. This gap in the literature is despite the reality that improving the export propensity of Australian agricultural firms has become an area of increasing importance to government bodies and private industry alike. More specifically, this need for improvement and growth is especially the case for the Australian seafood industry.


A thorough review of the extant literature identified several factors that have a direct association with a firm's export propensity. This research proposed that a firm's human resources, relationship capabilities and information capabilities impact on their export propensity.
The research design adopted for this study was comprised of two stages. The first stage was a qualitative, exploratory stage consisting of four in-depth interviews with seafood industry experts. The second stage consisted of case study interviews where data was collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with senior management from two prawn farms and two prawn fishers.

The findings indicate that a firm's internal resources and capabilities do impact on export propensity, particularly the commitment and experience of managerial staff, information capabilities and relationship capability to a lesser degree, play an important role in creating export propensity.