The Influence of Market Orientation on Export Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda


  • Joseph Magali
  • Emmanuel Tonya
  • Romain Kasema


market orientation, export performance, SEM, SMEs, Rwanda


Grounded on the resource-based theory, this study examined the role of market orientation (MO) dimensions in the export performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda. The study adopted an explanatory survey design and a cross-sectional strategy. Data were collected from a final sample of 105 respondents selected from 58 exporting firms purposively chosen due to the absence of a formal sampling frame. The collected data were analyzed using the structural equation modelling (SEM) technique with the analysis of moment structure (AMOS) version 25.0. The findings revealed that market intelligence generation (MIG) and market intelligence responsiveness (MIR) have a positive and significant influence on export performance but the influence of market intelligence diffusion (MID) was weak and insignificant. The mixed findings of this study confirmed that the development of MO is important for a firm to go international and that not all dimensions of MO are equally important factors for export performance, so much so that only MI and MIG contributed significantly to export performance. The proposed model, which was based on RBT, was therefore partially validated. The study recommends that policymakers develop an export education strategy for exporting SMEs to improve their performance.

Author Biographies

Joseph Magali

The Open University of Tanzania

Emmanuel Tonya

The Open University of Tanzania

Romain Kasema

Atlantic International University