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Article Type: Guest editorial From: Management Research Review, Volume 39, Issue 2
It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.
This Special Issue of the Management Research Review comprises a selection of the best papers presented at the 2014 annual conference of the International Management Research Academy (IMRA) co-organized with the Global Business School at the Kean University Union campus in New Jersey, USA. The theme of the conference centered on “Globalization and the convergence of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship”, with the aim of bringing together a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of scholars and practitioners from across emerged, emerging and frontier markets. The conference received 108 extended abstracts involving 239 authors from 31 countries, of which 31 proposals were rejected in the first round, leaving a total of 76 submissions to be invited for presentation. The conference attracted a number of leading academics and practitioners, including the keynote addresses by Dr Raj Shaj, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telemed Ventures; Joseph Sheridan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Wakefern Food Corporation; Dr Dawood Farahi, President of Kean University; and Dr Michael Cooper, Dean of the Global Business School at Kean University. While the keynote speakers uniformly highlighted the need for forward-looking and entrepreneurial leaders with global and multicultural perspectives, the selected conference presentations provided valuable examples and demonstrated ways in which the convergence of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship could offer significant competitive advantage to any business in our increasingly globalized environment.
Exploration on the theme
Globalization is a concept most of us take for granted, and few would argue about its prevalence in our everyday lives. Friedman’s (2007) classic model incorporating the timeline from the fifteenth century all the way to today through a variety of stages, reviews the evolution of globalization, with clear indications that new opportunities as well as challenges are likely to continue emerging. As an individual, it is easy to find signs of globalization permeating our day-to-day existence. We communicate, learn, establish teams and collaborate with colleagues easily and effectively via remote solutions and virtual platforms. We consume material goods and seek products that originate from a wide range of sources and locations from around the world. We take part in master's and executive training programs that involve multiple destinations, aiming to prepare us to become “global leaders”. In such environments, we are also faced with a need to tackle increasingly complex decisions, ranging from relatively mundane daily endeavors to lifestyle choices, investment options and career paths. Think for a moment of a product you recently purchased. Chances are, regardless of the target item, whether you were in the market for a new car, a birthday gift for a friend or a new pair of jeans, you were presented with an overwhelming array of options and choices, making the presumably simple task of product selection quite daunting. Consequently, in such environments, our traditional ways of thinking and conducting business often prove inadequate, instead encouraging us to rethink our strategies, our habits and generally the way we do things.
Executives face similar decision challenges and complexities regarding their firms, in response to which many embrace a more holistic approach to organizational management; one that places the firm within the larger societal setting and global landscape. As a prevalent example, beyond the traditional definitions for success, it appears that managing for globalization increasingly involves planning for sustainable growth and market development through social entrepreneurship and innovation efforts (Nicholls, 2006). Some of the desirable outcomes for companies nowadays include aims to achieve tangible returns on universal education, quality of life as well as happiness, in addition to seeking traditional financial objectives (Mullerat and Brennan, 2011). In response to such trends, management theory and practice have witnessed various cross-fertilized strands over recent years while contributing to these goals, with several disciplines gaining in prevalence and interacting simultaneously. Certain economic or social events, such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the spread of the Internet or the global financial crisis, to name but a few examples, may serve as a trigger and mark the onset of a particular forthcoming path, often in previously unforeseen directions. As a consequence, we have an increasing need for representatives of different sectors, different industries and individuals possessing different disciplinary expertise to work together to combat the challenges as well as benefit from the opportunities presented by globalization and technological advancements.
Although other potential concepts of relevance may be identified, in line with the current theme, we are going to focus our discussion on the convergence of three particular constructs – namely, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, which will be reflected upon in detail by the individual Special Issue contributions. Entrepreneurship drives economic and social development across most economies, with entrepreneurial ventures accounting for a large percentage of businesses and a significant portion of job creation worldwide (OECD, 2015). In this sense, entrepreneurship is closely linked with the concepts of creativity and innovation, which both capture the production of something novel and original via the combined efforts of imagination and invention (Anheier and Raj Isar, 2010). On the one hand, given its constructive and multi-faceted nature, creativity has been long recognized as a vehicle that drives innovation, technological change and, in turn, economic growth. On the other hand, innovation involves the deliberate creation, implementation and application-to-market of new ideas, processes, technologies and products. Provided their beneficial indirect contributions, several disciplines during the past decades began to increasingly incorporate aspects of creativity and innovation on the personal, group as well as organizational levels, exploring the existence of positive interactions and desirable consequences associated with various micro- and macro-level factors. Such interplay of organizational drivers of innovation with individual creativity may ultimately achieve a collective intelligence, contributing to entrepreneurial performance.
Various interesting trends were raised and discussed throughout the conference, repeatedly raising the question of whether globalization has already reached a state of saturation, or alternatively is still at a stage of infancy facing further elaborate evolution. Inarguably, globalization converges with creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in a complex and dynamic manner, as impacted by a confluence of micro- and macro-level environments that include demographic, cultural, economic, socio-political, technological and trade factors. Conference participants offered insights on ways in which these factors interact at both local and global levels to innovate customer value, via creating novel business solutions and managerial processes. Furthermore, the ongoing entrepreneurial boom witnessed by the emerging and frontier markets of Africa, Asia and Latin America is a phenomenon of “reverse-globalization”, in which thanks to shared information power, social media, mobile phones and the Internet of things, innovation can easily cross-fertilize from emerging to emerged nations, rather than solely the other way around. Driven by scarce economic resources, large and growing young consumer markets and poor infrastructure, such creative solutions are often driven by “frugal innovation”, inspired by minimizing rather than maximizing product features and services.
Another widely debated topic concerned the recent emergence and rapid immediate growth of the “sharing economy”, driven by consumers’ desire favoring shared experiences as opposed to individual ownership. Such trends have been shown to increase the level of interaction and a collective-spirit of collaboration between sellers and buyers and among consumers themselves. Consequently, this notion of “prosumption”, referring to the ambiguous boundaries between production and consumption activities, is likely to raise questions about the importance and necessary prevalence of expertise in creating value (Koles, 2014). In fact, the bargaining power of customers may ultimately lead to a “post-capitalist” era in which consumers partner with other customers as well as with sellers in both product creation and consumption (Mason, 2015). Along the same lines, opportunities for virtual platforms and collaboration have witnessed a spurt in recent decades as well. To this effect, Dr Rah Shah in his keynote presentation outlined how Telemed Ventures developed a comprehensive hardware and software solution for Walmart to make virtual patient examinations possible by building on the power of the Internet to remove physical barriers. These and similar innovative solutions have the potential to revolutionize organizations: learning, cooperation and even medical solutions.
In addition to logistical advancements, conference participants stressed the need to better understand the role of culture, demographics and geography when considering the concepts of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Looking at the contrasting propensity to innovate and start new businesses in Singapore versus Greece, for instance, is it a coincidence that the relatively young Singaporean nation is the culture least likely to avoid uncertainty and therefore openly approach change – a necessary predicament for successful entrepreneurial ventures, while history-rich Greece appears to shy away from innovation and prefers to avoid uncertainty as much as possible (Hofstede, 2001). Finally, in his keynote presentation, Dr Michael Cooper emphasized the need for diverse entrepreneurs and innovators capable of seeking business solutions by looking at the world through multiple lenses. Indeed, firm-level empirical evidence based on a London sample demonstrates the beneficial impact of cultural diversity on small-medium enterprise (SME) innovation (Nathan and Lee, 2013). Other regions may reveal different patterns, however. For instance, Nicolova and Simroth (2013) in their work based on a large survey conducted in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, argue that entrepreneurial ventures perform best in areas with medium, but not very high, levels of religious and linguistic diversity. Nonetheless, broader research is needed to delineate the benefits and drawbacks of cultural, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic diversity on entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and performance.
Selection and review process for the special issue
The original call for papers of the 2014 IMRA – Kean International Conference resulted in the submission of 108 competitive papers, of which 76 were accepted for presentation. All papers were subjected to a double-blind peer-review process securing at least two independent and anonymous expert reviewers of the given area. We are grateful for the track chairs as well as the reviewers for contributing to the high quality and overall success of the conference.
For the current Special Issue of MRR, the guest editors invited a selection of papers for further development, review and resubmission. At the conclusion of this process, a total of five papers were retained (out of the 11 submitted), reflecting upon the interdisciplinary conference theme. In the following sections, we present a brief overview and the findings from each of the five manuscripts, followed by a summary to conclude the editorial.
Given our global market, we are often faced with situations where we have to collaborate with other individuals who represent disciplinary backgrounds and expertise that differ from our own. While the potential of these work groups is immense, there are also certain risks associated with the quality of the output. Among the different influential factors, creativity is an obvious player, permeating many of our personal as well as professional endeavors. The first paper in our collection focuses on creativity in cross-domain collaborations, with particular attention to identifying factors that may increase the efficiency in diverse work groups. Sik approaches the concept of creativity from a new and fresh perspective, highlighting certain ways in which different views, measurements and approaches may help as well as hinder successful cross-disciplinary and/or cross-sectoral collaborations. Information is obtained from a large UK sample of academics, industry personnel and art representatives via a comprehensive survey prompting respondents for input concerning the definition and quantification of creativity, along with the influence of personality factors and external forces and the impact of organizational management styles.
The results reveal certain key points for consideration to assist multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral teams. First, appropriate measurement and quantification of creativity appears to be of critical importance, particularly considering the extent of variation across groups and different entities. Second, the author emphasizes the clarity associated with input, authorship, extent of supervisory support and managerial oversight. In fact, confusion in this regard can hinder smooth achievement and accomplishment, and instead generate clashes and break-downs. Third, optimal coordination can encourage individuals to use their own creativity to its full potential, which – if lacking – may pose an additional threat to success even in homogeneous teams, but substantially more so in diverse ones. Fourth, the methods and expectations associated with evaluation should be uniform across the different types of groups and sectors, to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and follow-up conflict. Finally, the author affirms that representatives of certain sectors, such as those coming from the industry, tend to show more openness to cross-disciplinary collaborations, whereas certain others, such as those representing academia, tend to be less open. This latter point is important for team leaders responsible for managing multi-sectoral groups. In particular, the author advocates an increased awareness and understanding of the underlying mechanisms and tension points that characterize the creative process of multi-sectoral fields, which in turn serve as critical prerequisites for effective management and successful collaborations.
With creativity serving as a driving force to innovation, our second paper focuses on organizational innovation and the conditions and practices that encourage employee creativity. When we analyze innovative behavior, it is vital to understand the underlying social, cultural and organizational psychology of creativity (Sarac et al., 2014). Wojtczuk-Turek and Turek propose and test an original conceptual model that measures the effect of employee perceptions of social-organizational climate (PSOC), organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and person-organization fit (P-O fit) in generating innovativeness at the individual-employee level. In the proposed model, the P-O fit construct serves as the mediator explaining the influence of PSOC and OCB on creative activity of individual employees in the workplace. Drawing on information from a large sample of employees across 76 companies in Poland, the authors confirmed a significant relationship between innovative work behaviors (IWB) and PSOC, OCB and P-O fit. Furthermore, using structural equation modeling and mediation analysis, the authors demonstrate that PSOC and OCB have indirect influence on IWB, via the impact of P-O fit.
This paper offers fresh insights into how organizations can be more effective in encouraging employee innovativeness by merging two constructs (PSOC and OCB) with their original roots in social exchange theory, while also testing for the mediating role of employee fit with the organization. Given that the authors’ model was tested among companies and employees in only one country (Poland), it would be interesting to extend the study in globalized context across transnational organizations and multicultural employees, where cultural distance may in itself mediate the role of P-O fit. In summary, this paper represents a significant contribution to understanding and implementing a social psychological model of creative behaviors at both the more abstract organizational-level as well as at the more concrete individual one, with substantial managerial and research implications.
With the worldwide boom recently witnessed in cross-national trade, SMEs have increasingly turned their focus to internationalization as a means to grow. Considerable prior research focused on the drivers and barriers of SME internationalization efforts, along with a general assessment of constraints, capabilities and motivators. Despite the significant amount of literature in this area of inquiry, little is known about the cognitive and motivational processes that influence the ultimate decision of the owner or manager of an SME to internationalize his or her business. In our third paper, Peschken, Shukla, Lennon and Rate offer a conceptual model to explore the role of information alignment, motivation and entrepreneurial traits on SME internationalization. More specifically, the authors utilize structural alignment theory (SAT) and regulatory focus theory (RFT) to examine the concept of opportunity recognition in the context of internationalization choices. By the simultaneous incorporation of SAT and RFT, the authors offer insights into decision-making profiles based on the individual’s motivation to process the information itself, as well as the structure of the information. In the model, the valence of information, the degree of uncertainty and the alignable versus non-alignable features interact with the motivational tendency of entrepreneurs for prevention versus promotion to ultimately predict different internationalization outcomes. Scenarios are identified in which the structure of available information may impact the decision evaluation process in terms of cognitive resource requirements. Furthermore, the owner’s motivational goal orientation is suggested to moderate the role of the information structure in line with the literature on international entrepreneurship. This paper represents a significant contribution to our understanding about the SME internationalization decision by fusing a cognitive theory (SAT) with a motivational paradigm (RFT), and thus providing a fresh and promising conceptual framework with significant managerial and research implications.
Cognitive and motivational processes are not only important on the organizational level, but also on the individual one, and marketers have been trying to identify ways in which to approach customers. In fact, manufacturers of brands and consumer goods go to great length to find the right triggers to not only attract new customers, but to also maintain existing ones. The extent of option and choice available to contemporary consumers pose a great amount of challenge for companies in terms of their segmentation efforts and ultimate assessment and identification of their ideal customer base. Joseph Sheridan’s keynote presentation showcased how Wakefern (owner of Shoprite, New Jersey’s largest food retailer) innovates its product assortment and logistics by efficiently combining consumer research, insight and analytics to better understand and respond to increasingly complex consumer behavior. With recent technological advancements and in particular the capacity for big data, numerous organizations have valuable information available concerning the behavior of customers over time; yet, many still lack the necessary tools, competencies or appropriate framework to take full advantage of such accumulated material. As a common approach, RFM (recency, frequency and monetary value) analysis enables the segregation of customers into different categories as a function of their different overall value to the firm. While the traditional model is easy to use, it has been criticized for ignoring individual-level differences, for limitations in terms of its predictive power, for overestimating customer value and for ignoring different sources of risk. Addressing these shortcomings, our fourth contributor provides an innovative approach and corresponding metric to assessing customer value via introducing and using a risk-adjusted RFM analysis. Throughout their paper, Singh and Singh highlight ways in which marketing analytics have been driving innovation beyond the more conventional ways of doing customer relationship management. The proposed method extends the traditional RFM technique, which is still rather popular and widely used by managers, to measure the value of customers.
In the authors’ model, the recency is obtained from the last quarter in which the customer made a purchase, the frequency is derived from the number of times a customer placed an order within a given quarter, and the monetary value corresponds to the dollar value of the order placed. In addition, the key difference and innovative appeal of this model comes from the fact that it also accounts for the extent of risk the customer poses to the firm. This latter value, if unaccounted for, can lead to the overestimation of the customer’s true value to the firm. The particular risks accounted for by the proposed model include the probability of being active, the probability of reaching the minimum sales level required by the firm and the regularity of purchase. The current model is innovative, as it provides a more systematic approach to establishing the weight for the three key variables, accounts for individual level differences and takes into consideration the risk level associated with each customer. By considering the activity level, sales level attainment, regularity of purchase and key risk probabilities, the author offers a clever way of measuring customer value while adjusting for customer riskiness, an area that is clearly valuable to organizations.
Much contemporary research focuses on predictors of entrepreneurial motivations, capabilities and ultimate success, with frequent reference to personality traits, demographics, ethnic-origin, cultural geography and national culture and value systems. Despite the significant recent growth in the number of businesses launched and led by female entrepreneurs, which – according to the OECD – already account for over a third of all entrepreneurial ventures in Indian and sub-Saharan African economies (OECD, 2015), female entrepreneurship remains a generally under-researched area. Along these lines, our final paper explores EO as a function of demographic correlates, personality traits and attitudes of female aspirant-entrepreneurs in India. In accordance with past literature, EO is conceptualized as a tri-partite attitude construct, capturing affect, behavior and cognition.
Kundu and Rani assessed respondents’ EO scores across 12 factors composed of four personality traits (achievement motivation, innovation, personal control and self-esteem) and three attitudinal components (affect, behavior and cognition), based on information obtained from a large sample of female students (from primary school to postgraduate MBA) in North India. First, results showed that among the four personality traits, respondents exhibited the highest score on achievement motivation and the lowest on the self-esteem dimension. Second, among the three attitude components, cognition received the highest score, and behavior the lowest. Third, results showed that different levels of education correlated with different levels of EO across all 12 factors as well as with overall EO, with matric (up to 10th grade) students exhibiting the highest and MBA students the lowest scores. Authors argue that MBA students are already on a managerial and corporate, as contrasted to an entrepreneurial, path. In parallel, younger females projected a higher EO level. Fourth, innovation and self-esteem scores differed based on socioeconomic level, with the overall EO of the high socioeconomic category being the highest. Finally, the authors contribute to our understanding of nascent entrepreneurship, offering policy clues on how to encourage it through the education system, especially in India, which is among the nations with the lowest reported percentages (24 per cent) of female labor participation (McKinsey Global Institute, 2015). This paper represents a significant contribution to understanding the convergence of national (ethnic) entrepreneurship with younger female’s (gender) nascent entrepreneurship. Although this paper informs us on attitudes, personality and demographic correlates of nascent entrepreneurship among young women in India, there is more to learn on how ethnic entrepreneurial attitudes may intersect with policy incentives as well as attitudes driven by demographic and cultural constructions of gender.
Summary, future directions and conclusions
The collection of contributions provided us with examples to illustrate the relevance and importance of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the consideration of globalization. From a creativity standpoint, we learned that awareness of cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary variations in the creative process, the identification and employment of appropriate measures and conceptualizations as well as openness to differences in areas other than our own may aid the ultimate collaborative success of diverse cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral groups. Innovation emerged repeatedly as a focal concept, and has been approached from both an organizational as well as from an individual level. On the one hand, the innovative model presented for assessing customer value, via extending the traditional RFM approach to account for customer riskiness, is clearly beneficial for organizations, and future models should incorporate the corresponding adjustment factors. On the other hand, when exploring innovative workplace behavior, we saw that the extent of person-organization fit can play an important mediating role in influencing social organizational climate and organizational-citizenship behaviors, which in turn indirectly impact employee-level innovativeness. Finally, within the context of entrepreneurship, the two contributions provided us with examples from local as well as international perspectives. On the local end, in the case of a group of Indian female participants, we saw that personality traits and attitudes can have variable impact on EO. On the international end, it appears beneficial to merge cognitive as well as motivational aspects to understand and explain the processes leading up to the owner’s ultimate decision to internationalize his or her business.
The ideas outlined in this Special Issue may enable both scholars and practitioners to further their efforts to obtain a more holistic view and understanding of the interplay between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and their direct and indirect impact on our local environment as well as global landscape. Given the complexities associated with these constructs, it is hard to offer concrete take-aways and identify specific directions for future research. Nonetheless, building on the papers in this Special Issue, we urge the need for research that explores the internationalization process by which entrepreneurship – a fundamentally local process – can effectively evolve on to a global platform. Future research is also needed to further disentangle the social and psychological aspects underlying creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, delineating the effects of a variety of potentially contributing factors, such as national culture, identity, migration, gender and cultural geography, among others. In terms of context, conferences with similarly inclusive orientations and diverse target audiences should be encouraged. An interesting example in support of this comes from Pham (2013) and his review of the current status of consumer psychology. Although the topic is somewhat different from our current theme, the message is quite uniform and applicable. Among other considerations, Pham raises the critical question of relevance in research, and suggests that representatives from industry as well as academia should collaborate more extensively with one another. On the one hand, given their rigorous scientific training, academics tend to be better than practitioners at establishing and testing logical and theoretically sound hypotheses. On the other hand, given their links and direct exposure to industry, practitioners tend to be better than academics at identifying hypotheses that are substantively important. As the discourse between academia and industry is often inadequate in various fields, there is a need for more forums that provide an optimal environment to encourage and facilitate open exchange.
The guest editors Michael Chattalas and Bernadett Koles would like to offer special thanks to the Editor of Management Research Review (MRR), Dr Joe Sarkis; the anonymous reviewers of both the MRR and the International Management Research Academy (IMRA); Michael Chattalas, Michael Cooper, Jatin Pancholi and Paurav Shukla, co-Chairs of the 2014 IMRA – Kean University International Conference; and our research assistants at Kean University, Jonathan Merritt and Erick Solis.
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About the authors
Michael Chattalas is a faculty member and Coordinator of Marketing program at the Global Business School at Kean University, USA. Previously, he served as a faculty member at Fordham University for several years, and taught Executive Master’s courses for Baruch College in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He holds a PhD in Marketing and International Business from The City University of New York (Baruch College). Michael has published scholarly Journal papers (in International Marketing Review, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Services Marketing Quarterly, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and Luxury Research Journal) and presented at global conferences and industry workshops on international marketing and consumer behavior topics such as, nation-branding and overcoming national stereotypes, luxury consumption, and cross-cultural issues.
Bernadett Koles is currently a faculty member and research fellow at ISCTE University Department of Marketing in Lisbon, Portugal. Having received her Master and Doctorate degrees from Harvard, and her BSc from Indiana University in Psychology, she is presently pursuing a second doctorate in Marketing at Durham. Prior to joining ISCTE in 2014, she served as a faculty member at Central European University Business School for many years, fulfilling teaching, research as well as administrative roles. Bernadett has authored a number of scientific articles that appeared in books and international journals, with her publications reflecting upon her multi-disciplinary background and expertise. Her present research engagements focus on aspects of psychology and consumer behavior in both offline settings and in virtual environments. Bernadett serves as a regular peer reviewer for several journal outlets.