The Effectiveness of Knowledge Acquisition and Export Performance among Malaysian SMEs: Mediated by Innovation

  • Khaw Jia-Qi
  • Shankar Chelliah


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) works as the backbone of the economy. Development of SMEs are paid attention since there is a strong bond between SMEs and nation’s economy. However, SMEs in Malaysia are not developed in the full force. The rapid change in the commerce world caused organizations that are not0 developed well to struggle in surviving in the competitive market. In such, the resources and values that carries by knowledge could lead organization to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Knowledge which works as the capital and asset helps in driving the organization’s success. Organizations are encouraged to enhance their capabilities in the process of knowledge management in which moving them into more competitive and innovative in the market. Innovation came to mind for organization to reinvest and reshape themselves in order to standstill in the competitive market. Innovation works in producing a new and creative idea in implementing new products or enhancement on the existing products which could help to improve the organizational performance. This study is carried out in aiming to fill the perceived research gap by determining the relationship between knowledge acquisition and export performance among SMEs in Malaysia which is mediated by innovation. This paper focuses on the manufacturing industry of SMEs in Malaysia. This study anticipates that knowledge acquisition are critical antecedents on the export performance which could lead to positive relationship with the export performance of SMEs and mediated by innovation. The findings of the study provide an insight towards the organizations which could lead them in identifying effective strategies and helps in improving their export performance.


Abualoush, S., Masa’deh, R. E., Bataineh, K., & Alrowwad, A. (2018). The role of knowledge man- agement process and intellectual capital as intermediary variables between knowledge management infrastructure and organization performance. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 13, 279-309.
Armstrong, M. (2006) A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 10th Edition, Kogan Page Publishing, London.
Atkinson, Rob & Ezell, S.J.. (2012). Innovation economics: The race for global advantage. Innovation Economics: The Race For Global Advantage. 1-440.
Azar, G. and Ciabuschi, F. (2017), “Organizational innovation, technological innovation, and export performance: the effects of innovation radicalness and Extensiveness”, International Business Review, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 324-336.
Boehe, D.M. and Jiménez, A. (2016), “How does the geographic export diversification–performance relationship vary at different levels of export intensity?”, International Business Review, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 1262-1272.
Byukusenge, E., & Munene, J. C. (2017). Knowledge management and business performance: Does innovation matter? Cogent Business & Management, 4(1), 1–18.
Cassiman, B., & Martinez-Roz, E. (2011). Innovation and Internationalization Through Exports. Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 42, pg. 81-105.
Chandran, V.G.R. & Munusamy, 2009. "Trade openness and manufacturing growth in Malaysia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 637-647, September.
Cho, T., & Korte, R. (2014). Managing knowledge performance: Testing the components of a knowledge management system on organizational performance. Asia Pacific Education Review, 1-15.
Crepon, B., Duguet, E., & Mairesse, J. (1998). Research, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 7(2), pg. 115-158.
Daud, S., & Yusoff, W. (2010). Knowledge management and firm performance in SMEs: The role of social capital as a mediating variable. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 15(2), 135-155.
Daugherty, P. J., Chen, H., & Ferrin, B. G. (2011). Organizational structure and logistics service innovation. International Journal of Logistics Management, 22(1), 26-51.
Katua, N. T. (2014). Role of SMEs in employment creation and economic growth in selected countries. International Journal of Education and Research, 2, 461-472.
Kshetri N, D. (2011). Regulative institutions supporting entrepreneurship in emerging economies. J Int Entrep, 110-132
Kuhn, J. S., & Marisck, V. J. (2010). Action learning for strategic innovation in mature organizations: Key cognitive, design and contextual considerations. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2, 27–48.
Larmo, J. (2007). Different Types of Exporting SMEs: Similarities and Differences in Export Performance. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Vol. 17, pg. 17-62.
Liao, Shu-Hsien & Wu, Chi-chuan & Hu, Da Chian & Tsui, Kuang-an. (2010). Relationships between knowledge acquisition, absorptive capacity and innovation capability: An empirical study on Taiwans financial and manufacturing industries. J. Information Science. 36. 19-35. 10.1177/0165551509340362.
Lu, J.W. and Beamish, P.W. (2006) SME Internationalization and Performance: Growth vs. Profitability. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 4, 27-48.
Mafabi, S., Munene, J., & Ntayi, J. (2012). Knowledge management and organisational resilience: Organisational innovation as a mediator in Uganda parastatals. Journal of Strategy and Management, 5, 57– 80.
Mills, A. M., & Smith, T. A. (2011). Knowledge management and organizational performance: A decomposed view. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15(1), 156-171.
Omidvar, V. (2006). Regional and Firm Level Human Capital Effects on the Rate of Innovation in Food Processing Firms in Canada. (Master Degree), University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada.
Reisi, M., Hoseini, S. E., Talebpour, M., & Nazari, V. (2013). Regression equation fitted to knowledge management and organizational effectiveness in the selected sport organizations of Iran. African Journal of Business Management, 7(39), 4159-4167.
Scott-Ladd, Z.C. (2011). Networking and internationalization of SMEs in emerging econmies. Springer Science+Busienss Media, 259-281
Shingler, J. (2009). Managing intrusive risky thoughts: What works? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 15(1), 39–53.
SME Annual Report Malaysia (2019).
Tan, C. L., & Nasurdin, A. M. (2010). Knowledge management effectiveness and technological innovation: An empirical study in the Malaysian manufacturing industry. Journal of Mobile Technologies, Knowledge and Society, 25, 13–17. doi:10.5171/2010.428053
Yau, Oliver & Chow, Raymond & Sin, Leo & Tse, Alan & Luk, Chung-Leung & Lee, Jenny. (2007). Developing a scale for stakeholder orientation. European Journal of Marketing. 41. 1306-1327. 10.1108/03090560710821198.
Zhang, H., Shu, C., Jiang, X., & Malter, A. J. (2010). Managing knowledge for innovation: The role of cooperation, competition, and alliance nationality. Journal of International Marketing, 18, 74–94.
How to Cite
JIA-QI, Khaw; CHELLIAH, Shankar. The Effectiveness of Knowledge Acquisition and Export Performance among Malaysian SMEs: Mediated by Innovation. Asian Journal of Research in Business and Management, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 52-59, june 2020. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 10 dec. 2022.