CRICK, D. and CRICK, J., 2016. An appreciative inquiry into the first export order. Qualitative Market Research, 19 (1), pp. 84-100.
Purpose – This study aims to report on an investigation into decision-making leading to a UK firm’s first export order. It demonstrates the application of appreciative inquiry (AI) as an underutilised research method in marketing investigations. Design/methodology/approach – An AI research approach was undertaken in a firm that had not started exporting at the commencement of the study whereby the interventionist approach allowed the
management team to overcome negative perceptions in their decision-making. From a research perspective, marketing decision-making could be understood in real time as opposed to in hindsight.
Findings – While the key decision-maker is likely to be the owner/manager in small newly internationalising firms, a variety of factors will affect the decision to start exporting including the influence of the management team. In particular, the management team’s perceptions towards a
combination of effectuation- and causation-based decision-making where risk/reward considerations in exploiting various international marketing opportunities are undertaken in light of perceived affordable losses, as well as against evolving objectives. Originality/value – The contribution is to demonstrate the AI methodology, which to date has received attention in management domains other than marketing; it offers an interventionist approach to help managers overcome barriers and move positively forward in decision-making. It offers
researchers an opportunity to understand marketing decision-making in real time.