The purpose of this paper is to examine how the location of a firm’s headquarters and component sourcing impact a firm’s responsiveness in a product-harm crisis in local market.
The authors collected data on 1,251 vehicle recalls from 12 manufacturers, six in the USA, three in Germany, and three in Japan. All of the recalls occurred in the USA between 2002 and 2010. The time the product was first released into the marketplace was used as the starting point while the time the recall was initiated (if at all) was used to record the probability of the product recall over time. Specifically, a survival analysis with an accelerated failure time model was employed to examine the speed with which a product is recalled. The authors examined the impact of foreign composition using information provided by the American Automobile Labeling Act, which lists the proportion of each vehicle that is composed of domestic parts (USA/Canada) and foreign parts. Organizational characteristics (i.e. size, market share, assets, net income, and reputation) and recall size (i.e. number of affected vehicles) that might have an effect on time to recall were controlled for.
The authors found that firms headquartered outside the local market would take longer to issue a product recall than firms that were headquartered in the local market. Firm headquartered outside the local market can reduce the time taken to recall by sourcing parts from the local marketplace, rather than from abroad. Interestingly, even local firms are affected by the location of component sourcing, such that they take longer to issue a recall if they sourced parts from abroad.
Research in international marketing has examined the benefits of integration to firms, but has not studied the risks of integration. By highlighting the challenges of managing institutional differences and integration difficulties, the authors show that location of headquarters and the location from where components are sourced have an effect on firm responsiveness in product-harm crises. Further, the authors build on the global supply chain management literature that has shown the effect of upstream activities (i.e. foreign production) on downstream activities (i.e. product quality). Specifically, the authors show that upstream activities can not only affect product quality, but also the ability of firms to respond to those product qualities in a timely fashion.
Majid, K.A. and Bapuji, H. (2018), "Institutional differences and integration difficulties: How location of headquarters and component sourcing affect firm responsiveness", International Marketing Review, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 850-868. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-02-2016-0050Download as .RIS
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