Selective learning‐by‐exporting: Firm size and product versus process innovation

E. Golovko, G. Valentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


We further examine the ‘learning-by-exporting’ phenomenon, suggesting that firms gain from the learning opportunity of foreign markets, as they make choices that better fit the specific needs of their innovation strategies. We contend that firm size affects these needs, with large firms being more inclined to pursue process innovations, while SMEs focus on product innovations. Using a panel of Spanish firms (1990–2002), we find evidence consistent with our hypotheses. Large firms engage in more process innovation once they enter export markets, with the effect being most pronounced two years after the entry. SMEs, conversely, start pursuing more product innovation before they enter the export markets. This last pattern seems to indicate an ‘innovating-for-export-markets’ relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
JournalGlobal Strategy Journal
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • exports
  • innovation
  • learning-by-exporting
  • product innovation
  • process innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective learning‐by‐exporting: Firm size and product versus process innovation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this