Managerial ties (MT) are important for business performance by providing firms access to valuable resources and protecting them from opportunism. Drawing on the resource-based view and the market orientation (MO) literature, we argue that (1) MT can help exporting firms to enhance export performance; and (2) MO will help strengthen the positive effect of MT as MO directs the value of MT for improvement of competitive strategy and customer experience with a market focus on generation, dissemination, and use of market intelligence concerning existing and potential customers and competitors. Using a sample of 230 Chinese exporting firms, we found that MT is linked to superior export performance, and the link is positively moderated by MO. Therefore, this study expands our understanding of how firms can not only improve their export performance through the development of MT, but also use MO to reinforce MT and export performance association.
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