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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Bodo Steiner and Moritz Brandhoff

This paper aims to explore the role of configurations of relationship quality dimensions for explaining sources of behavioral outcomes in the globalized manufacturing industry.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the role of configurations of relationship quality dimensions for explaining sources of behavioral outcomes in the globalized manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A joint analysis of behavioral and objective performance data from globalized manufacturing links perceptual customer metrics that relate to dimensions of relationship quality (i.e. attitudinal loyalty, perceived customer orientation, customers’ perceived innovativeness of the supplier and perceived customer influence on supplier innovation) with behavioral outcomes (i.e. share of wallet (SOW) and customer account profitability). Using data from a global business-to-business (B2B) customer survey together with archival performance data from a multinational mechanical engineering firm, a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is performed.

Findings

The fsQCA results suggest that perceptual customer metrics related to innovation can be relevant aspects of relationship quality, in line with Anderson and Mittal’s (2000) satisfaction-repurchase-profitability chain framework and its adaptation to SOW. However, the underlying complexities in the different combinations of attributes in the recipe are such that they are not equifinal in leading to higher SOW or higher profitability. This paper finds indications for non-linearities between perceptual measures investigated and profitability of customer accounts, with particular relevance for the role of perceived customer orientation, perceived product innovativeness of the supplier and attitudinal loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis faces a number of limitations, starting with its reliance on cross-sectional survey data, which does not enable us to account for feedback mechanisms, for example, arising from customer perceptions regarding innovation aspects. The lack of a multidimensional conceptionalization of the perceptual customer constructs may have limited the analysis, considering also recent evidence from retail companies in the furniture sector in Spain, suggesting that the multidimensional conceptualization of relationship value explained satisfaction and loyalty levels to a greater extent than the one-dimensional conceptualization (Ruiz-Martínez et al., 2019).

Practical implications

In terms of managerial implication, the results suggest that customers perceive limited value in participating in the focal firm’s innovation value chain funnel, hence customer loyalty cannot be bought using simple incentive strategies. The results with regard to customer account profitability suggest that B2B customers investigated here may distinguish when interacting with their globalized supplier in the innovation funnel: they may see a positive customer value when the innovation is a product, and thus, relation-specific, whereas they may see limited customer value when innovation is considered in more generic terms (customers’ perceived influence on supplier innovation in general).

Originality/value

This paper starts from the premise that perceptual customer metrics can matter for supplier performance, as the customer relationship and customer value management research has shown. However, there is limited empirical evidence from globalized manufacturing sectors incorporating perceptual constructs in behavioral outcomes, and limited evidence assessing customer-perceived value in such sectors through alternate approaches to main-effects focused analyzes. We employ qualitative comparative analysis using fuzzy sets (Russo et al., 2019) to address these gaps, focusing on two key behavioral outcomes, namely, customer account profitability and SOW.

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Bodo Steiner, Kevin Lan, Jim Unterschultz and Peter Boxall

The purpose of this paper is to explore drivers of alliance formation in a specialized supply chain from a manager’s perspective, focussing on firm-specific resources…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore drivers of alliance formation in a specialized supply chain from a manager’s perspective, focussing on firm-specific resources, resources embedded in inter-firm relationships and capabilities under the control of the focal firm.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focusses on the resource-based view to obtain insights from the analysis of a manager survey conducted in Canada’s beef sector, applying a logistic regression approach to study alliance formation.

Findings

In identifying significant roles for resource richness and diversification of resource usage, the analysis highlights the importance of resource characteristics underlying factor market imperfections as drivers of alliance formation in a single primary input supply chain. The results suggest that resource heterogeneity is important for alliance formation and organizational success in specialized supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

If previous alliance-related experience of managers, controlled for in the underlying cross-sectional survey, serves as an approximation for persistent unobservables impacting the alliance formation decision, we may face spurious state-dependence.

Practical implications

Managers interested in building compatible alliances in specialized single primary input supply chains may benefit from an improved understanding of the differential role of resource characteristics and resource heterogeneity for alliance formation, as these can function as a source of competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The analysis provides new insights from an individual manager’s perspective on alliance formation drivers in a specialized agri-food supply chain, thereby solidifying extant findings on alliance formation obtained in other sectors. The study contributes to the understanding of the role of resources in alliance formation with regard to prior relationship experience, resource heterogeneity and thus causal ambiguity, thereby also contributing to the debate of the role of relational capabilities vs firm-internal resources for sustained competitive advantage.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Mercy Denedo, Ian Thomson and Akira Yonekura

The purpose of this paper is to explore how and why international advocacy NGOs (iaNGOs) use counter accounting as part of their campaigns against oil companies operating…

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2903

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how and why international advocacy NGOs (iaNGOs) use counter accounting as part of their campaigns against oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to reform problematic regulatory systems and make visible corporate practices that exploit governance and accountability gaps in relation to human rights violations and environmental damage.

Design/methodology/approach

This arena study draws on different sources of evidence, including interviews with nine iaNGOs representatives involved in campaigns in the Niger Delta. The authors mapped out the history of the conflict in order to locate and make sense of the interviewees’ views on counter accounting, campaigning strategies, accountability and governance gaps as well as their motivations and aspirations for change.

Findings

The evidence revealed an inability of vulnerable communities to engage in relevant governance systems, due to unequal power relationships, corporate actions and ineffective governance practices. NGOs used counter accounts as part of their campaigns to change corporate practices, reform governance systems and address power imbalances. Counter accounts made visible problematic actions to those with power over those causing harm, gave voice to indigenous communities and pressured the Nigerian Government to reform their governance processes.

Practical implications

Understanding the intentions, desired outcomes and limitations of NGO’s use of counter accounting could influence human rights accountability and governance reforms in political institutions, public sector organisations, NGOs and corporations, especially in developing countries.

Social implications

This paper seeks to contribute to accounting research that seeks to protect the wealth and natural endowments of indigenous communities to enhance their life experience.

Originality/value

By interviewing the preparers of counter accounts the authors uncover their reasons as to why they find accounting useful in their campaigns.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 December 2021

Mykola Makhortykh, Aleksandra Urman, Teresa Gil-Lopez and Roberto Ulloa

This study investigates perceptions of the use of online tracking, a passive data collection method relying on the automated recording of participant actions on desktop…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates perceptions of the use of online tracking, a passive data collection method relying on the automated recording of participant actions on desktop and mobile devices, for studying information behavior. It scrutinizes folk theories of tracking, the concerns tracking raises among the potential participants and design mechanisms that can be used to alleviate these concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses focus groups composed of university students (n = 13) to conduct an in-depth investigation of tracking perceptions in the context of information behavior research. Each focus group addresses three thematic blocks: (1) views on online tracking as a research technique, (2) concerns that influence participants' willingness to be tracked and (3) design mechanisms via which tracking-related concerns can be alleviated. To facilitate the discussion, each focus group combines open questions with card-sorting tasks. The results are analyzed using a combination of deductive content analysis and constant comparison analysis, with the main coding categories corresponding to the thematic blocks listed above.

Findings

The study finds that perceptions of tracking are influenced by recent data-related scandals (e.g. Cambridge Analytica), which have amplified negative attitudes toward tracking, which is viewed as a surveillance tool used by corporations and governments. This study also confirms the contextual nature of tracking-related concerns, which vary depending on the activities and content that are tracked. In terms of mechanisms used to address these concerns, this study highlights the importance of transparency-based mechanisms, particularly explanations dealing with the aims and methods of data collection, followed by privacy- and control-based mechanisms.

Originality/value

The study conducts a detailed examination of tracking perceptions and discusses how this research method can be used to increase engagement and empower participants involved in information behavior research.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Osamuyimen Egbon and Chijoke Oscar Mgbame

The paper examines how oil multinational companies (MNCs) in Nigeria framed accounts to dissociate themselves from causing oil spills.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper examines how oil multinational companies (MNCs) in Nigeria framed accounts to dissociate themselves from causing oil spills.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilised data from relevant corporate reports, external accounts and interviews, and used sensegiving with defensive behaviours theoretical framing to explore corporate narratives aimed at altering stakeholders' perceptions.

Findings

The corporations gave sense to their audience by invoking scapegoating blame avoidance narrative in attributing the cause of most oil spills in Nigeria to outsiders (sabotage), despite potentially misclassifying the sabotage-corrosion dichotomy. Corporate stance was reinforced through justifying narrative, which suggested that multi-stakeholders jointly determined the causes of oil spills, thus portraying corporate accounts as transparent, credible and objective.

Research limitations/implications

The socio-political dynamics in an empirical setting affect corporate accounts and how those accounts appear persuasive, implying that such contextual factors merit consideration when evaluating corporate accounts. For example, despite contradictions in corporate accounts, corporate attribution of oil spills to external factors appeared persuasive due to the inherently complicated socio-political dynamics.

Practical implications

With compensation to oil spills' victims only legally permitted for non-sabotage-induced spills alongside the burden of proof on the victims, the MNCs are incentivised to attribute most oil spills to sabotage. On policy implication, accountability would be best served when the MNCs are tasked both with the burden of proof and a responsibility to demonstrate their transparency in preventing oil spills, including those caused by sabotage.

Originality/value

Crisis situations generate multiple and competing perspectives, but sensegiving and defensive behaviours lenses enrich our understanding of how crisis-ridden companies frame narratives to alter stakeholders' perceptions. Accounts-giving therefore partly satisfies accountability demands, and acts as sensegiving signals aimed at reframing/redefining existing perceptions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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