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When and how managerial ties matter in international competitive strategy, export financial and strategic performance framework: A standardized or customized approach?

Henry F.L. Chung (School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, College of Business, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Tsuang Kuo (College of Management, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 31 January 2018

Issue publication date: 20 February 2018




This study aims to present two new contingent frameworks that hypothesize the moderation role of managerial ties (MTs) in the international competitive strategy-export financial and strategic performance framework. The purposes of this study are to explore whether a common standardized or individual customized conceptualization consisting of MTs, international competitive strategy and performance can be used to achieve export financial and strategic performance; to offer contingent factors for the current international competitive strategy-export performance framework; and to generalize the roles of MTs in the developed vis-à-vis developing region.


This study uses the experience of 114 exporting firms operating in the European Union region to test its theoretical frameworks. MTs include both business and political ties.


Business and political ties have completely different moderation effects on the relation between international differentiation/low-cost strategy and export financial/strategic performance. Business ties have a positive influence on the international differentiation strategy-export strategic performance and international low-cost strategy-export financial performance dyads, but a negative effect in the international low-cost strategy-export strategic performance framework. In contrast, political ties are revealed to have a negative effect on the international differentiation/low-cost strategy-export financial performance framework.


This research advances extant international competitive strategy-export performance literature by revealing the bright and dark sides of business ties and the down side of political ties in the framework. Performance should be investigated in terms of financial and strategic performance. The moderation effect of business ties is more complex than that reported in the developing region; thus, a cross-regional generalization on these ties’ effects is more difficult to establish. In contrast, the dark side effect of political ties is consistent across developed and developing regions; a cross-regional generalization on these ties is more viable. Collectively, the results show that a standardized process for achieving both export financial and export strategic performances is not feasible, while a customized process for each export performance is needed.



The authors thank the anonymous European Journal of Marketing reviewers and Professor Nick Lee and Professor Anne L. Souchon for their invaluable guidance on this paper.

Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the grant support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, R.O.C. (MOST 105-2811-H-110-005), for the completion of this research project.


Chung, H.F.L. and Kuo, T. (2018), "When and how managerial ties matter in international competitive strategy, export financial and strategic performance framework: A standardized or customized approach?", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 1/2, pp. 260-278.



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