Table of contents(19 chapters)
This special volume of Advances in International Marketing originated from many interesting papers that were presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of our CIMaR (Consortium for Internatinal Marketing Research) network. The hosts of this meeting, Professors Alex Rialp and Joseph Rialp served as guest co-editors. We are delighted to feature the latest research findings and insights contributed by many authoritative colleagues from around the world.
According to a recent and interesting revision of advances in international marketing theory and practice, the international marketing literature has grown exponentially in recent years in order to offer sufficient support to corporate and public policy makers confronting today's hostile global business conditions (Katsikeas, 2003a). In fact, some of the most relevant academic journals in this field (Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of International Marketing, International Marketing Review, International Business Review, Advances in International Marketing, among others) can be considered highly stable and mature publications, with research articles covering a wide range of topics within the international marketing domain and usually authorized by leading contributors to other high-ranking marketing journals (DuBois & Reeb, 2000; Malhotra, Wu, & Whitelock, 2005).
Research related to firm export performance dates back to the early 1960s, ever since many studies have been conducted with mixed results. The three main goals of the present study were to analyze (1) the impact of the selected firm, management, and the export strategy-related variables on the export performance; (2) the possible variation in the results depending on the measure of export performance; and (3) the similarities and differences in the results depending on the type of SME – traditional exporters vs. born international companies. Based on a literature review, 14 hypotheses were developed to be tested. Consequently, the empirical part of the study is based on a survey conducted among Finnish SMEs in early 2002. The export performance was analyzed using six different types of performance measures. None of the 14 hypotheses were fully supported by all employed measures of performance. However, the export performance was positively impacted by firm size, product/service quality, international orientation, and market diversification along five measures. Additionally, the study indicated some similarities, but also some differences depending on the measure of export performance, type of the exporting SME, and the operationalizations used for the born international companies. Based on the results, management implications and proposals for future research are presented.
Small firms can approach foreign markets notwithstanding their limited resources by adopting a niche strategy. This permits to understand how SMEs can reach high levels of export intensity and broad geographic scope. Moreover, a global niche approach permits to explain – among other factors – why and how infant firms can be international or even global since their inception. The case studies analysis shows a positive relation between niche strategy and high international performance, in terms of export intensity, precocity, speed, and scope. The international expansion of niche firms is based on an horizontal micro-segmentation of the global market: they move internationally following global customers, independently from the psychic/geographical distance, and compete mostly on a non-price basis.
We study entry timing in the export development process of Spanish manufacturing firms. We interpret this process as a sequential path which allows us to identify the following export stages: (I) the pre-engagement phase, where firms do not export; (II) the initial phase, where firms export via an agent; and (III) the advanced phase, where firms export via a sales subsidiary. This study explores factors, which can accelerate or decelerate the decision to change phases. Data are taken from the Spanish Survey on Business Strategies that comprises 1,478 firms in 2002. Event history analysis is applied to our dataset. Obtaining product or process innovations is the most significant motivation for an early entry in the initial and advanced phases of the export development process. Network ties, a broader scope of products, firm size and foreign ownership participation are also key factors in accelerating entries.
The Role of Market and Learning Orientations in Relationship Quality: Evidence from Vietnamese Exporters and their Foreign Importers
This study examines the roles of market and learning orientations in relationship quality between exporters in transition economies and their foreign importers and subsequently, export performance. A random sample of 283 export firms in Vietnam provides evidence to support the hypothesized main effects. The results further indicate that learning orientation plays a role in building high-quality relationships for both new and mature relationships. However, the impact of market orientation on relationship quality is found only in the new relationship. In addition, firm-ownership structure does not moderate the relationships between learning orientation, market orientation, relationship quality, and export performance.
The accelerated globalisation of world markets in the last 30 years has increased the importance of internationalisation models for both academics and practitioners. The internationalisation process of SMEs is one of the newest developments in this area, with major implication for the strategic orientation of small firms. However, this phenomenon has to be considered in relation with the specific characteristics for various market environments and industrial sectors. This study attempts to analyse the impact of the domestic market profile on the internationalisation process of biotech SMEs in US and UK, outlining the similarities and the differences between these two countries.
Mode of Entry in Service Firms: Strategic Variables and Characteristics of Services Influencing the Internationalization Process
Despite the importance of the service sector in developed economies and the growth of foreign investments in this sector during the last decade, few studies have undertaken to empirically analyze the factors influencing entry mode choice. The special characteristics of the service sector increase the complexity of the analysis and, thus, traditional explanations of entry mode choice in manufacturing sectors may need to be complemented by other moderating influences. Based on 174 entry decisions of service firms, our results suggest the importance of including strategic variables and the specific nature of services to understand a complex phenomenon, which is not always associated just with efficiency and value-based considerations but also with strategic issues and industry characteristics.
Numerous studies have focused on retailing firms and their activities in foreign markets; however, these have not been able to fully identify factors that influence the process of retail internationalisation. This paper examines the factors that influence the foreign market entry process in retailing firms and develops a conceptual model. The conceptual model is used to analyse two case studies. The case data were collected through in-depth interviews. N*Vivo was used to encode data and corroborate the analysis. The entry strategies of IKEA in China, and Marks & Spencer (M&S) in Hong Kong are examined. Firms planning to enter foreign markets would greatly benefit from our analysis. We provide insights into factors influencing the foreign market entry process and how firms can manage this process.
The imperatives of globalization are clear across many industries: firms must look to expand into international markets to survive and thrive. This study complements and extends a growing body of work developing and using overall market opportunity indexes (OMOIs) based on Cavusgil (1997) to rank the attractiveness of potential foreign markets. The index developed in this paper assesses countries’ market potential beyond the traditional measures of market size and economic development by also including political risk, economic freedom, telecommunications as well as physical infrastructure and geographic distance. We provide a current analysis of market attractiveness and opportunity for the largest set of countries indexed and ranked to date, including 24 countries not in previous OMOI studies. The validity of the OMOI is also so assessed for the first time by comparing the ranking of market opportunity to actual subsequent trade flows from the US. Furthermore, we compare the dimensions, variables, samples and results from three of Cavusgil and colleague's previous studies and the two conducted herein. The choice of sample and, to a lesser degree, weights are shown to directly affect the OMOIs and rankings. The modified OMOI is shown to be a flexible, valid and fairly stable tool for preliminary analysis of foreign market opportunity.
City-of-Origin Effects in the German Beer Market: Transferring an International Construct to a Local Context
Irrespective of the popularity of country-of-origin research in international marketing, no attention has been paid to effects which stem from the declaration of a product's local origin, like “Made in City X”. In this study, insights from country-of-origin research as well as exploratory qualitative studies are used to model determinants of preference for local products. Conjoint analysis results based on a sample of consumers from three neighboring cities in Germany show the importance of local origin for product preference. Structural equation analysis sheds first light on the mechanism of city-of-origin effects.
Business groups have become a significant phenomenon in the evolution and functioning of emerging markets. They also provide important partnership opportunities to foreign firms when they enter these markets. Yet, business groups have not received sufficient attention in the international marketing literature. In this paper, we provide an overview of the theories that explain how business groups function and evolve in emerging markets and generate propositions from that theory. We also present evidence on business group evolution from one emerging market, Turkey. Our work should inspire research questions for future study.
E-business is an important business tool, and the increasing presence on the internet reflects this fact. For small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs) interested in internationalizing, their internet offers some advantages, because, with e-business, borders between countries are becoming less relevant, and more direct interaction between business entities is made possible. In this article, we unravel the use of internet usage of different types of firms. First, we present a categorization of different local and international firms, and, second, we focus on the internet usage by born global firms compared to the other types of firms. We conclude that born global firms use the internet to convey their market presence, but only to a limited extent do they sell their products via the internet. Instead, they use the internet to support the already existing relationships by describing their products on web pages, offering services related to their products via the internet, facilitating product development via the internet, and building and maintaining relations to foreign customers. We also stress the importance of further research on how born global firms adapt to the internet in practice.
This study examines to what extent Internet firms have globalized and the key factors that have enabled some firms to globalize more than others. Contrary to arguments that Internet-based firms automatically benefit from a global market, this study shows that most Internet firms serve regional markets, consistent with Rugman's (2000) findings for firms in the FT500. However, there are a few notable exceptions. In these cases a combination of early mover advantages, unique product, technology standards and complementary products and services have created a ‘winner-takes-all’ market in which a few firms dominate markets worldwide. Implications for globalization theories are discussed.
Drawing from seminal research on organizational buying behavior (Johnston, 1979; Johnston & Bonoma, 1981), we use a case study format to explore the impact of the Internet and internationalization on today's industrial procurement processes. Interviews with senior managers of an industrial distributor reveal several key insights regarding the impact of the Internet on buyer–supplier interactions and the importance of global sourcing. Based on these exploratory findings, implications for future research are offered.
Realizing that the Internet is a source of information and the possibility to transform it into knowledge, this study develops an IBK-Internalization process in which internationalizing firms in transition markets utilize the Internet to search for information about foreign markets, to assess its relevance, and then, to internalize it for their internationalization. It is found that IBK-Internalization underlies international orientation and foreign sales intensity, which in turn, has a reciprocal effect on IBK-Internalization. Further, learning orientation facilitates the IBK-Internalization process. These findings suggest that internationalizing firms should promote and value the IBK-Internalization process in order to mitigate their lack of foreign market knowledge.
Despite the much publicised advantages of a website for SME exporters, the level of website sophistication, as well as the factors which inhibit or stimulate exporting SMEs to develop their website beyond a basic level of sophistication, are still unknown. The literature is prone to discuss website establishment and development simultaneously, splitting firms into adopters and non-adopters, yet websites may be established and then neglected, or be continually developed. This paper introduces an instrument for measuring website sophistication within an export marketing context, and proposes and empirically tests a model that depicts factors impacting on perceived advantages of a website and website sophistication levels. The results identify export diversity and environmental pressure as key determinants of perceived advantage of a website which in turn is a good predictor of website sophistication. The firm internal resources, i.e. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) knowledge and time, in conjunction with entrepreneurship orientation also determine an SME exporter's website sophistication level.
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