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This chapter reports the results of an empirical study on the “gender–performance gap,” the alleged difference in business performance between firms started or owned by…
This chapter reports the results of an empirical study on the “gender–performance gap,” the alleged difference in business performance between firms started or owned by females and males. Although numerous studies have compared the business performance of firms started by or owned by female and male entrepreneurs, most research to date has employed financial performance metrics and has often produced inconsistent results. The present research compared gender-based business performance by examining self-perceptions of a large sample of female and male Black and Mexican-American entrepreneurs. As such, the present study overcame several limitations of prior gender–performance gap research and addressed entrepreneurial groups seldom studied. While there were no perceptual differences between female and male entrepreneurs surveyed regarding the performance of their respective businesses, Mexican-American entrepreneurs surveyed perceived the performance of their business as being better than Black entrepreneurs surveyed, and this result held for both females and males. Findings from the study provide insights into the perceptions held by Black and Mexican-American female and male entrepreneurs and provide a context for further race and gender studies.
The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between the geographic market size of businesses and the competitiveness of being able to bid at low prices.
The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between the geographic market size of businesses and the competitiveness of being able to bid at low prices.
The design of this study is based on a natural experiment approach. Firstly, after controlling for the firm size and other factors, the author sees that firms participating in bidding in a large region are more competitive to bid at lower prices than firms doing business in a smaller region. The author then tests for causality in a natural experiment of the exogenous event.
The results show that firms participating in the bidding process in a large area are more competitive to bid at lower prices than firms doing business in a small area. This is tested in a natural experiment, and the result is that they are more competitive because they do business in a larger area.
The practical implication is that, when aiming for competitiveness, it is most important to consider the nature of the business and to see the essence of the business, for example, that networks are important in the construction industry, and that doing business over a wide area is the way to become competitive.
The social implications are that to make firms more competitive, we must look at the characteristics of the industry and come up with policies that fit the reality, such as encouraging them to do business in a wide area.
The originality of this study is that this study viewed competitiveness as being able to bid low prices for public procurement and found that doing business in a wide area is competitive. Furthermore, the causal effect of the study was to test the fact that doing business in a wide area does not mean doing business in a wide area because it is competitive, but that doing business in a wide area creates a competitive advantage.
This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial…
This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial network approach (see, e.g., Axelsson & Easton, 1992; Håkansson & Snehota, 1995a). The study describes how adaptations initiate, how they progress, and what the outcomes of these adaptations are. Furthermore, the framework takes into account how adaptations spread in triadic relationship settings. The empirical context is corporate travel management, which is a chain of activities where an industrial enterprise, and its preferred travel agency and service supplier partners combine their resources. The scientific philosophy, on which the knowledge creation is based, is realist ontology. Epistemologically, the study relies on constructionist processes and interpretation. Case studies with in-depth interviews are the main source of data.
Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).
The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.
This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.
Government, business support organisations (BSOs), support services and client business firms constitute the key actors involved in the business–government interaction…
Government, business support organisations (BSOs), support services and client business firms constitute the key actors involved in the business–government interaction within commercial diplomacy. While businesses are interested in support in their international operations, commercial diplomats (CDs) work towards both objectives: supporting individual firms and promoting the home country's national economy in general. BSOs, public or private or mixed such as bilateral chambers of commerce, sector associations, investment promotion agencies and other self-help business organisations, complete the CD's offer, and are often referred to, and participate directly and indirectly in the home country's trade promotion effort.
The nature of the CD's service to beneficiaries is highly people based, and contains both a consistent amount of government instruction and CD's own personal judgment and initiative in promoting various sectors/sub-sectors and spotting business opportunities. The ‘intermediary’ function of the CD between the beneficiary business and its potential future business partner is important. The interaction may start on either side: the business firm may approach the CD or vice versa. To a large extent, export issues remain the most important enquiries from business to CD vs. other issues such as foreign direct investment, joint venture and debt issues.
From a business perspective the main advantages to use the CD's service are threefold. The CD appears to business firms as the central platform, the starting point to promote bilateral business. Second, CDs enjoy trust as an institution: they are considered credible and neutral (credibility and neutrality). Last but not the least, CDs are found useful in helping out firms in their first steps in foreign markets (not necessarily first exporters but for the firms to which the host country market only is new). The transaction between CD and beneficiary business firm has a material price: some services such as market research are for fee and are often subcontracted. Others being part of a ‘basic service’ of diplomats are free of charge.
The concept of the “business model” is increasingly popular in the strategy literature as a way to outline an integrated approach to value creation, delivery, capture, and…
The concept of the “business model” is increasingly popular in the strategy literature as a way to outline an integrated approach to value creation, delivery, capture, and allocation. It addresses firm strategy but also the resources and capabilities needed to support that strategy and the structure needed to operationalize it. The global marketplace challenges our concepts of all parts of the business model, yet business-model concepts tend not to consider the effects of location or geographical dispersion on the viability of business models. The value of resources and capabilities to customer needs vary from country to country, forcing strategies to adapt. Institutional factors limit structural possibilities in global, regional, and national markets. Currency values, tax regulations, consumer protection and the like make capturing value for the firm and its network much more than simply designing profit margins into pricing structures. This paper offers an integrated but modular approach to the business model, applying concepts from international business studies to show that the very concept of business models as well as each part of the puzzle must be adapted to deal with much greater complexity in the relationships between the environment and the firm in the globalizing marketplace.
Corporate diversification is a strategy that enables corporations to expand their core business into other businesses. In Malaysia, corporate diversification continues to…
Corporate diversification is a strategy that enables corporations to expand their core business into other businesses. In Malaysia, corporate diversification continues to represent a fundamental organizational structure. Some two-thirds of Malaysian firms are diversified. However, when compared to developed countries such as the US and the UK, we find that firms are moving toward non-diversification. The study is based on the population framework consisting of all of the public limited companies (PLCs) listed on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange from 2007 to 2012. A dynamic panel model system generalized method of moments (GMM) was used to analyze the diversification and firm’s performance theories.
The empirical findings demonstrated that diversification is better than non-diversification firms for the curvilinear relationship between diversification and firm’s performance (ROA and Tobin-Q) when using the entropy index and relatedness is taken into consideration. The research further concluded that related and unrelated diversification also has a positive relationship with performance, but diversification must be the dominant (focused) and cannot be too broad in nature. Diversification that is too broad may cause a positive relationship to turn in to a negative relationship toward performance in both related and unrelated instances of diversification.
This chapter is an exploratory study of business ethics as it relates to family firms; it primarily aims to explore virtue ethics as an alternative proposal for the…
This chapter is an exploratory study of business ethics as it relates to family firms; it primarily aims to explore virtue ethics as an alternative proposal for the ethical concerns that family firms face in their management, thus overcoming the limitations of relevant business ethics approaches and integrating them into an overarching paradigm. Ethics can be classified into three main streams: (1) deontology, (2) utilitarianism, and (3) virtue ethics. The former two approaches have been widely used in the realm of business and family firms for many years and they tend to instrumentalize ethics for business purposes. Yet, they are mostly powerless to explain and promote the ethical concerns surrounding the family firm’s culture. Virtue ethics regained philosophical interest in the second half of the twentieth century, shifting the focus of morality from “the right thing to do” to the “best way to live.” By bringing together two consolidated research fields, family firms and virtue ethics, this chapter contributes a rich perspective to current research in both fields and opens up new ways of answering many of the cultural questions that family firms bring to the table.
The multifaceted effect of IT in organizations has been widely examined. However, the intervening role of IT strategy and business strategy on the effect of managing IT on…
The multifaceted effect of IT in organizations has been widely examined. However, the intervening role of IT strategy and business strategy on the effect of managing IT on firm performance remains less strong. This study examines how managing information technology (MIT) effects on firm performance by looking at the mediating role of IT strategy and business strategy.
Drawing on the resource-based view of IT and contingency perspective, theoretical insights for managing IT and the mediating effect of IT strategy and business strategy on firm performance are established. The model is empirically tested by using hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling for the data collected through the survey of 194 senior IT and business managers in China.
The significant and impactful relationship found in the model for the proposed idea. The results show that both IT strategy and business strategy partially mediate the effect of managing IT on firm performance.
The findings highlight that managing IT does not merely influence better firm performance; instead, the coherent amalgamation of IT strategy and business strategy can enrich firm performance. The theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.
In line with the call for rigorous research to integrate the managing IT and firm strategies, this study demonstrates the mediating role of business strategy and IT strategy between the managing IT and the firm performance relationship, hence contributing to the IS research literature.
Incubators, as providers of advice and resources, suggest fostering the development of early-idea firms. Literature and practice seem to suggest an ever-increasing amount…
Incubators, as providers of advice and resources, suggest fostering the development of early-idea firms. Literature and practice seem to suggest an ever-increasing amount of incubator support. The creation of business relationships is at the heart of any business development, and this paper addresses whether a laissez-faire incubator fosters the creation of business relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the creation of business relationships among incubated firms during and after their time in the incubator along with the roles that these relationships play for the incubated firms.
Empirically, the paper is based on retrospective interviews with representatives of all incubated firms in a university incubator. A total of fifteen interviews were conducted with representatives of the incubated firms, the incubator and its owners, complemented by secondary data sources.
The paper points out three antecedents for business relationship creation: the lack of experience and connections; convenience; and trust based on the interactions with others in the incubator. These antecedents are connected to the roles of transforming businesses and of adaptation in the dyadic relationships. The laissez-faire incubator helped through the learning-by-doing among the incubated firms, which made them focus on business relationship creation from early on.
Most incubator research portrays the unilateral transfer of knowledge from the incubator to the incubated firm, with the latter being a service taker rather than a co-producer. The paper adds knowledge about business relationships among firms in incubators and the roles that these business relationships could play for the firms. The focus on an incubator providing limited support is of high practical relevance, given the trend of incubators facilitating more and more services.