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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Volume 20, Issue 2.
This issue promises an exciting forum where both practitioners and academics share their ideas and information, and, we hope, help to close the great divide between them. The former have provided us with new insights into the best and worst practices in the field and the latter have updated us with the shifting paradigms and how we should revisit some of our extant research. The studies span different geographical contexts, with four studies focusing on the Internet/electronics industry, and the final two papers on relationship marketing and third person logistics.
The concept of country of origin remains a hotly pursued topic in the APJML. This issue opens with a study on how Japanese consumers view the country of origin cue. By employing one highly reputed brand and a less reputed brand of electronic product, the authors explored the significant impact of country of origin on consumers brand image perceptions. It is found that for highly reputed brands, consumers experience higher level of brand erosion in comparison to less reputed brands. The authors set out to provide practical implications for international managers who are promoting these brands specifically to Japanese consumers. While they perceive products manufactured in Indonesia, China, and USA to be seemingly inferior to those produced in Japan, it was reiterated that this finding should be treated with caution as brand image is a multi-dimensional construct rather than an overall concept. As such, it is also important to note that the brand image structure also changes with different country of origin affiliations.
The second study investigates the motivational effects of personal values on benefits, attributes, and re-patronage of online stores. Using the means-end chain theory, the authors have identified two segments of online consumers. First the consumers who hold "social affiliation" beliefs and they are motivated to pursue hedonic and utilitarian benefits. The second segment is the "social actualization" consumers whose motives are to seek hedonic benefits. It is further reinforced that online store attributes are important to consumers' re-patronage.
The third paper then examines the critical success factors of new product development in the Taiwanese electronics industry. Based on an extensive focus group, it was found that factors such as time reduction, cost reduction, products with high levels of customization, appropriate product introduction timing amongst other factors are critical driving forces to product re-innovation.
Paper four evaluates the perceptions of Vietnamese consumers towards benefits and barriers of Internet use in relation to online travel agencies. The key objective was to find ways to develop loyalty and relationships with the service suppliers. From the study, interactional and transactional benefits are the most influential variables that promote the use of online travel agencies. The underlying barriers influencing more extensive use of the technology are technological infrastructure, organizational, legal, and Internet systems issues. Practical recommendations include service suppliers designing websites to better accommodate consumers and keeping information up-to-date, building synergy between internal staff and external systems of consumers, and providing adequate training for staff.
Paper five is a dyadic study examining the influences of individuals or "champions" in a universityindustry relationship. It focuses particularly on personal engagement and experiences in cross-sectors and working environments. The authors found that the individual's impact on personal engagement and experience is weaker than expected while dyadic engagement fosters commitment, loyalty and long-term investment, and group efforts. The authors propose that organizations and universities should invest in their individual staff and mutual interaction between organization and university champions in order to improve working environment and relationships.
The issue closes with a study whereby the authors developed an integrated model using ISM and FMICMAC analysis to identify and classify key selection criteria of 3PL service providers. The study also explores the criteria's roles and their influence on selection process. The authors have highlighted the fact that there is no single criterion to determine the choice of 3PL service providers. Other criteria such as compatibility and long-term relationship are deemed most important, but their influence on other factors requires further investigation.
I trust this issue is of interest and that you will find them stimulating. At this point, I like to put a call for more ad hoc reviewers to service the increase in submissions to the APJML. We are still hoping to keep to the four to six weeks turnaround for reviews but this will only be possible with more support from the ad hoc pool. Once again, our many thanks to all authors and review board members for contributing your time to serve the journal. We look forward to receiving your feedback to better improve the quality and standard of the journal.
Ian PhauCurtin University of Technology