Information, knowledge and opportunities exporting in the 21st century : the importance of market insight
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- Master of Science 
This study aims to chart out the relationships between theoretical concepts that have been developed through previous research. It investigates the importance of information and knowledge for exporting firms’ performance. It suggests a model built on market information activities (acquisition, processing, and dissemination) and knowledge based components (market insight, planning, and responsiveness). The basic theory supporting the model is found within the market orientation school of thought. However, new elements are included in the model, both of which are an effect of the information technology revolution: Processing – because of the amount of information available. Market insight – a knowledge based component which does not only incorporate the market relevant knowledge of firm employees but also the knowledge obtained through network contacts. I order to test the theory a survey was conducted on 112 Norwegian exporting firms. Using regression analysis, the research finds support for seven out of ten hypotheses: In line with previous research it finds that information activities are important activities for establishing and developing the knowledge base from which the firm acts. Furthermore, it confirms that market insight is first and foremost dependent on a combination of accumulated experience and knowledge obtained through networks. Hence, the size and level of market insight grows proportionally with the number of relevant network contacts. The study also finds a strong and positive relationship between market insight and export performance, hence, the cultivation of market insight for exporting firms, this study contends, is central.