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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2019

Bernhard Swoboda and Nadine Batton

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical and empirical comparison of four major national cultural value models for perceived corporate reputation (CR) of…

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1179

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical and empirical comparison of four major national cultural value models for perceived corporate reputation (CR) of multinational corporations (MNCs) across nations: Hofstede, Schwartz, the GLOBE study and Inglehart.

Design/methodology/approach

Two consumer surveys on an MNC and on competitors in 25 countries in the year 2015 (n=20,288 and 25,397) were used for the first time to compare the roles of the cultural value models as antecedents of CR, using multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM), which disentangles the explained variances on the country level and on the individual level.

Findings

National culture is strongly attributed to individual CR perceptions of MNCs across nations. However, the four conceptual cultural value models explain the variance differently (46.2–84.6 percent) as do particular cultural value dimensions within each model. The results are stable for both surveys.

Research limitations/implications

Novel insights into the roles of cultural value models are provided for international business research. For MNCs aiming to use their CR to attract target groups in foreign countries, this study identifies the most influential cultural value model and particular dimensions.

Originality/value

This study contributes to cultural research by deepening the understanding of the various cultural value models and their importance for MNCs. Moreover, the authors add to the CR research by providing new insights into perception differences and using the still novel MSEM.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Bernhard Swoboda and Nadine Batton

Extending the holistic research on corporate reputation (CR), the authors examine whether and how single CR dimensions affect consumers' intentional loyalty toward…

Abstract

Purpose

Extending the holistic research on corporate reputation (CR), the authors examine whether and how single CR dimensions affect consumers' intentional loyalty toward multinational corporations (MNCs) across nations. They study the dimensions of the predominant customer-based CR scale of Walsh and Beatty (2007): customer orientation, product range quality, social/environmental responsibility, good employer and reliability/financial strength. Furthermore, important country-level moderators – embeddedness and country development – are studied.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors refer to hierarchical data on 32,811 consumer evaluations of a MNC in 44 countries using the still novel method of multilevel structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results underscore a strong relationship between CR in general and consumers' loyalty but identify different effects for the CR dimensions (e.g. product quality, social/environmental responsibility dominate). The important national institutions reinforce or diminish some – but not all – effects of the CR dimensions.

Practical implications

The results are of importance for finer-grained cross-national reputation management. Studying both national culture and country development shows that MNCs face tradeoff decisions. Accordingly, the authors provide a country portfolio, which offers options for standardized operations in groups of countries with similar country characteristics and CR effects.

Originality/value

Disentangling the five CR levers emphasizes that CR is not a pure signal of quality. Two main levers emerge: one stable across countries and one strongly depending on a country's degree of country development, for example. A finer-grained management of CR signals across nations is possible, especially in emerging countries, with increasing importance for MNCs.

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Bernhard Swoboda and Johannes Hirschmann

Few scholars have analysed the corporate reputation (CR) of multinational corporations (MNCs) internationally, but both CR perception and effect are likely to differ…

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3188

Abstract

Purpose

Few scholars have analysed the corporate reputation (CR) of multinational corporations (MNCs) internationally, but both CR perception and effect are likely to differ across nations. Most studies have compared a few countries, linked differences to selected dimensions of Hofstede’s cultural approach, and reported ambiguous results. The purpose of this paper is to address the important role of all Hofstede’s cultural dimensions that may influence CR perceptions and effects by applying an appropriate method.

Design/methodology/approach

By integrating signalling theory and each cultural dimension, hypotheses are proposed and tested using consumer surveys of a German MNC in 37 countries. Multilevel structural equation modelling (SEM) showed whether and how all cultural value dimensions – the predominant approach in marketing – affect CR perceptions and effects.

Findings

Individual CR perceptions and effects are strongly attributable to national culture, which explains up to 62 per cent of country-level variance; however, the explanatory powers of the cultural dimensions differ between CR perceptions and effects. Not all dimensions affect both. The results are stable in alternative models.

Research limitations/implications

The results enhance extant research because the relative importance of Hofstede’s dimensions and not only a possible role in country comparisons is shown. Hofstede’s approach explains considerable country-level variances. MNCs learn which cultural dimensions are core antecedents of CR perceptions (individualism and power distance explain >30 per cent variance) and core moderators of CR effects on loyalty (masculinity, individualism and uncertainty avoidance).

Originality/value

This study provides novel insights into the role of national cultural differences on CR perceptions and CR effects using the still novel multilevel SEM.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Thomas Foscht, Bernhard Swoboda and Dirk Morschett

The main object of this research paper is to analyse the dynamic internationalisation process in small retailing firms, achieved on the basis of electronic commerce – a…

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3183

Abstract

Purpose

The main object of this research paper is to analyse the dynamic internationalisation process in small retailing firms, achieved on the basis of electronic commerce – a combination that has seldom been investigated. An analysis of dynamic internationalisation in companies presumes that the businesses concerned are observed over a longer period of time, which is why the paper focuses on the case of one specific company.

Design/methodology/approach

The basis of the analysis is a theory‐based framework which refers to two opposing approaches in international management, namely the incremental, experiential learning perspective, and the revolutionary perspective. The framework and the case study look specifically at market‐oriented, supply side‐oriented, and management processes. Based on an extended case study on a small, born‐global firm, the many facets of increasing professionalisation have been documented.

Findings

The paper shows that small, niche‐oriented companies can be successful internationally and achieve growth. The process of dynamic internationalisation is both incremental and revolutionary. The special feature in the present case lies in the fact that the small company was able to internationalise via electronic commerce, which was possible without capital investments and in‐depth foreign activities, unlike other forms of internationalisation, which is already evident from other small retailers on the web. Blue Tomato succeeded in reaching cross‐national market segments, with a specific scene orientation and which also share snowboarders' attitude to life, by means of inter‐active scene relationship management. This focused scene orientation is one of the key differences compared with other catalogue retailers, especially larger ones.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in the fact that the subject of internationalisation is investigated particularly from the point of view of small retail companies. This contrasts with many other papers focusing on large retailing companies. In addition, the paper looks at the dynamic perspective of internationalisation and change processes. The present paper could be a small step towards gaining an understanding of international change based on electronic commerce.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Bernhard Swoboda, Thomas Foscht, Cesar Maloles and Hanna Schramm‐Klein

The purpose of this paper is to explore how firms that do both sourcing and selling choose which countries to source from and to which countries to sell. It also looked at…

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2319

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how firms that do both sourcing and selling choose which countries to source from and to which countries to sell. It also looked at the role of competitive strategy, vertical integration, and foreign involvement in the decision‐making.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey instrument that was designed based on personal interviews with 20 German garment industry executives was administered to 750 German, Austrian and Swiss garment manufacturers. In total, 93 questionnaires were usable. Factor analysis was employed in evaluating the data.

Findings

The results indicate that firms that both source and sell at the same time have more complex decision making than normative models suggest. These decisions tend not to be isolated decisions. The factors that are considered in sourcing are different in the decision as to where to sell. Foreign involvement, competitive strategy, and vertical integration influence the firms' decision making.

Research limitations/implications

The study is exploratory in nature and it is limited in its application. Moreover, the disproportionately large number of German respondents may skew the results. In addition, the total number of respondents is relatively small. The study may also suffer from any or all of the following deficiencies: lack of reliability and validity test, having only one executive per firm respond to the survey, not considering country‐specific characteristics, and lack of control for the market‐entry strategy and market size variables.

Originality/value

Most research in this area focuses on either the sourcing or the selling side. This study looks at how sourcing and selling decisions are made by firms engaged in both activities. Additionally, the roles of competitive strategy, vertical integration, and foreign involvement in relation to the decision making are investigated.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg and Dan-Cristian Dabija

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the important but neglected role of retail formats in the transfer and positioning decisions of international retailers. The…

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1615

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the important but neglected role of retail formats in the transfer and positioning decisions of international retailers. The paper examines the role of core and country-specific attributes of particular formats in determining retailers’ local positioning in inter-format competition.

Design/methodology/approach

Focussing on three distinguished grocery formats (i.e. discounters, supermarkets, and hypermarkets) and using multiple-group structural equation models, the authors conducted consumer surveys in Germany and Romania to evaluate consumer perceptions of the core attributes of those formats and their influence on retail brand equity and consumer loyalty.

Findings

Although consumer perceptions of core attributes differ between formats in Germany and Romania, most of the core attributes of the formats affect retail brands with equal strength in both markets. Retail brand equity determines loyalty to all formats in both countries.

Research limitations/implications

Retailers transferring their formats to foreign countries should place particular emphasis on managing the core attributes of a specific format, as these attributes are of paramount importance in establishing a strong brand. Additional country-specific attributes are also relevant to varying extents, depending on the particular format that is used. Assessing causal relationships extends retailer knowledge of the role of format attributes.

Originality/value

This study proposes a format-specific approach that is novel to international retailing research. The country comparison strengthens the study's implications, considers both a developed and an emerging economy, and accounts for the preference of Western European retailers to expand into Eastern European countries. The paper concludes that format transfer and positioning decisions occur within the boundaries of core format attributes.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Bernhard Swoboda, Frank Haelsig, Hanna Schramm‐Klein and Dirk Morschett

The purpose of this paper is to focus on one of the main antecedents of consumer behaviour concerning its role in building a retail brand. It addresses how consumer…

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4626

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on one of the main antecedents of consumer behaviour concerning its role in building a retail brand. It addresses how consumer involvement influences perception of retailer attributes, which affects customer‐based retail brand equity when considering retailers as brands.

Design/methodology/approach

A model is developed that includes the impact of central dimensions of the perception of retailer attributes, their effects on customer‐based retail brand equity and the moderating role of consumer involvement. The empirical study is based on a sample of 3,000 consumers spread over five retail sectors (grocery, clothing, DIY, electronics and furniture).

Findings

Using multiple‐group structural equation modelling, the intersectoral relevance of involvement as a moderator in building a strong retail brand is demonstrated. In retailing, consumer involvement has a moderating effect on the influence of retailer attributes on retail brand equity. The direction of this influence differs, however, from one perceived retailer attribute to the next. Whereas the influence of price, communication and store design is greater on highly involved consumers than on those with low involvement, the influence of service and assortment is greater in consumers with low involvement. Since consumers with a different level of involvement have a different perception of retailer attributes, this factor is relevant to retail branding.

Originality/value

Understanding retailers as brands – conceptually – a basic model shows how to build retail brand equity using the dimensions of retailer marketing instruments, and this model is stable enough to test different antecedents, including involvement for the first time in this context. The five sectors surveyed distinguish the study methodologically from those that focus only on one sector. Finally, the results show that the retailer attributes relevant to retail brand equity differ between customers with high involvement and those with low involvement. This aspect must be considered in the preliminary stages of retail brand building.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 37 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2009

Bernhard Swoboda, Martin Jager, Dirk Morschett and Hanna Schramm-Klein

Purpose – This article addresses the internationalization processes focusing on changes of firms' internal structures, systems, and culture over time. These changes are…

Abstract

Purpose – This article addresses the internationalization processes focusing on changes of firms' internal structures, systems, and culture over time. These changes are analyzed in relation to the firms' developments in the last 10 years along a country and/or mode dimension, comparing firms with county or mode increase, two-dimensional expansions, stagnation/reduction, as well as comparing incremental one step versus multistep developments in a holistic way.

Methodology/approach – Conceptually, the changes in country dimension and establishment chain form a primary level, and structure, systems, and culture a secondary level of the framework. Managers of family-owned firms, able to evaluate the past, were asked about these dimensions in terms of their situation today and 10 years ago.

Findings – This study shows that internationalization causes changes in internal systems in particular, followed by changes in internal structural and slowest by changes in leadership and firm's culture. Even if stagnations or reductions take place, they are related to changes in internal structure, systems, and culture.

Research limitations/implications – Limitations are related to the retrospective design based on managerial perceptions, the use of less proven scales, as well as the analyses of family-owned firms. This exploratory study suggests more empirical insights on dynamic internationalization processes.

Practical implications – The study provides insights for managers into structural, systemic, and cultural changes when future internationalization steps are planned.

Originality/value of the paper – This paper shows holistic evidence of changes in 20 partial dimensions of internal structures, systems, and culture within the internationalization process over time empirically.

Details

Research on Knowledge, Innovation and Internationalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-956-1

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2010

Thomas Foscht, Cesar Maloles, Bernhard Swoboda and Swee‐Lim Chia

This exploratory study seeks to explore the link between the choices of payment mode to customer satisfaction. It examines the Austrian market in relation to its choice…

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6034

Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study seeks to explore the link between the choices of payment mode to customer satisfaction. It examines the Austrian market in relation to its choice and usage of debit cards versus credit cards and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, the study aims to identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction for these two modes of electronic payment.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire was administered in person to 360 Austrian bank customers. These customers were selected using quota sampling based on Austrian census data for a particular Austrian province. However, while the quota sampling was used to determine the categories, selection of the actual respondents was done through systematic sampling. This ensured that the sample was representative of the population of that Austrian province who had credit and debit cards. One group, women who were 65 and older, were not considered as there were relatively few women in this age range who had debit and credit cards.

Findings

Five hypotheses were proposed. Four of the five hypotheses were supported while one, H4, had partial support. Essentially, the results indicate that a person's preference for a particular payment method is dependent on his/her personal characteristics. Additionally, the payment method's features and characteristics influenced its desirability and acceptance. Furthermore, a person's expectations had an impact on his/her attitude toward the payment method. The study also found that positive expectations, performance, and desires led to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction, in turn, leads to a higher degree of intent to use the payment method and higher degree of intent to recommend the payment method. These results are consistent with the literature on customer satisfaction that identifies expectations, performance and desires as the drivers of customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

Multiple payment modes have emerged but there has been scant attention paid to the effects of payment modes on customer behavior and by extension, customer satisfaction and loyalty. This paper addresses these issues.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Thomas Foscht, Cesar Maloles, Bernhard Swoboda, Dirk Morschett and Indrajit Sinha

The purpose of this paper is to examine how cultural differences affect the perception of a brand.

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16121

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how cultural differences affect the perception of a brand.

Design/methodology/approach

A study was carried out in six countries among different involvement groups. The study uses Hofstede's cultural dimensions and Aaker's brand personality dimensions to see if brand perceptions of a product are similar among all six countries.

Findings

This study provides clear evidence that a same brand is perceived differently in different cultures in spite of its identical positioning. This means that if a firm wishes to achieve the same brand perception in different countries, the firm needs to create brand positioning strategies that emphasize the characteristics that enable consumers to perceive the product in a similar way.

Originality/value

This paper examines the perception of a single brand in the context of cultural dimensions in a global setting – in particular in six countries on three continents.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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