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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2021

Volkan Yeniaras and Ilker Kaya

Drawing on the theoretical lens of the job demands-resources model, this study builds upon and tests a conceptual model that links customer prioritization, product

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the theoretical lens of the job demands-resources model, this study builds upon and tests a conceptual model that links customer prioritization, product complexity, business ties, job stress and customer service performance. Conceptualizing customer prioritization and product complexity as job demands and business ties as personal job resources, this research explicates the mediating process by which customer prioritization and product complexity affect customer service performance through job stress and its boundary conditions. The purpose of this paper is to offer a theoretical framework in which business ties moderates the mediated relations of customer prioritization and product complexity to customer service performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling and a moderated mediation analysis were used on a unique multi-level, multi-respondent data set of 248 participants from 124 small and medium-sized enterprises in Turkey.

Findings

This study finds that both customer prioritization and product complexity increase job stress. In addition, this paper finds that business ties have a bitter-sweet nature as a personal resource and reverse the relation of customer prioritization to job stress while strengthening the negative direct relation of product complexity to job stress. Finally, this study finds that the indirect relation of customer prioritization to customer service performance through job stress is contingent on business ties. Specifically, this paper finds that high levels of business ties negate the indirect relation of customer prioritization to customer service performance while low levels of business ties exacerbate the negative effects of customer prioritization to customer service performance, channeled through job stress.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate the critical role that personal networks play in reducing job stress and enhancing customer service performance for small and medium-sized enterprises that adopt customer-centric strategies such as customer prioritization. Nevertheless, the results suggest that the managers need to cognizant of the undesirable consequences of business ties may have on job stress when boundary-spanners handle a wide range of products/services that are technically complex. Accordingly, this study recommends small and medium-size enterprise managers and owners should be cautious in resource allocation to establish informal, personal ties with suppliers, competitors, customers and other market collaborators.

Originality/value

This paper offers a deeper perspective of the relations of customer prioritization and product complexity to job stress and customer service performance. This study also specifies business ties as a personal coping resource, which decreases the undesirable consequences when used in small and medium enterprises that adopt customer-centric strategies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Muhammad Irfan, Mingzheng Wang and Naeem Akhtar

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the underlying mechanism through which firms can achieve supply chain agility and augment business performance from the vendor’s…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the underlying mechanism through which firms can achieve supply chain agility and augment business performance from the vendor’s perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on dynamic capability view and contingency theory, the study conceptualizes a moderated mediation model to investigate the underlying influence of process integration (PI), supply flexibility and product-related complexity on supply chain agility and the subsequent effect of supply chain agility on firm’s business performance. Survey data from a sample of 148 firms, in the garment manufacturing industry, in Pakistan were analyzed using partial least square methods.

Findings

The results revealed that supply flexibility (i.e. volume and mix) mediates the effect of PI on supply chain agility. Supply chain agility, in turn, influences a firm’s business performance. Furthermore, the competence‒capability framework is not consistent across the varying degrees of product complexity such as product complexity hinders the effect of supply flexibility on supply chain agility, whereas it amplifies the impact of PI on supply chain agility. The conditional indirect effects suggest that the indirect effect of PI on supply chain agility through supply flexibility becomes stronger when product complexity is high.

Originality/value

The study is novel in the context of an emerging economy to educate fashion vendors to tune their competencies and capabilities to regain the market share in the global market place.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

James L. Price

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool…

Abstract

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool, seeks to improve measurement in the study of work organizations and to facilitate the teaching of introductory courses in this subject. Focuses solely on work organizations, that is, social systems in which members work for money. Defines measurement and distinguishes four levels: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Selects specific measures on the basis of quality, diversity, simplicity and availability and evaluates each measure for its validity and reliability. Employs a set of 38 concepts ‐ ranging from “absenteeism” to “turnover” as the handbook’s frame of reference. Concludes by reviewing organizational measurement over the past 30 years and recommending future measurement reseach.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 18 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Daniel Mahler and Adheer Bahulkar

For many firms the problems of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a complex product line persist, and it is driving up costs in an economy where cutting costs is

Abstract

Purpose

For many firms the problems of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a complex product line persist, and it is driving up costs in an economy where cutting costs is essential to survival. This paper aims to promote the innovative concept of “Smart Complexity.”

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explains how a firm can adopt this new complexity management concept. It is an approach that challenges the notion that every new product variant drives growth.

Findings

Recently, a company that adopted this approach increased margins by 1 to 3 percent and set the foundation for ongoing improvements in profitability.

Practical implications

This four‐pronged approach to complexity management starts with consumer research to find the right level of variety. It adds richer SKU‐based data on costs across each step of a newly transparent value chain. It brings this data to a cross‐functional, integrated decision process. Finally, it implements process changes to ensure complexity is governed and managed over time.

Originality/value

The leadership lesson: desirable complexity drives consumer buying decisions. Undesirable complexity unduly complicates internal processes without making a whit of difference to the consumer. The new concept of Smart Complexity distinguishes between the two.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Rui Sousa and Giovani J.C. da Silveira

This study theoretically articulates and empirically validates a model of relationships between market complexity (competition intensity, heterogeneity and technological…

Abstract

Purpose

This study theoretically articulates and empirically validates a model of relationships between market complexity (competition intensity, heterogeneity and technological change), strategic focus on product and service differentiation, ADS offerings and differentiation advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and test hypotheses through structural equation modeling based on data from the Sixth International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS-VI), involving 931 manufacturers from 22 countries.

Findings

The results indicate that (1) market complexity has a positive impact on strategic focus on product and service differentiation; (2) focus on product and service differentiation, but not market complexity, has a positive impact on the extent to which business units offer ADS to their customers; (3) ADS have a positive impact on service differentiation advantage, but no influence on product differentiation advantage.

Practical implications

Managers should incorporate decisions related to ADS provision as part of their manufacturing strategy formulation processes to align markets, strategic focus on product and service differentiation, and ADS provision. ADS seem an appropriate lever for market differentiation, because they appear not only to support service differentiation advantage, but also to be consistent with strategic focus on product differentiation.

Originality/value

The study provides novel insights and large-scale empirical evidence on the influence of the market environment on the offering of ADS, as well as on how relationships between the product and service activity in the manufacturing organization may affect differentiation advantage.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Mary Luz Olivares Tenorio, Stefano Pascucci, Ruud Verkerk, Matthijs Dekker and Tiny A.J.S. van Boekel

In this paper, a conceptual and methodological framework based on empirical evidence derived from the case of the Colombian Cape gooseberry (CG) supply chain is presented…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, a conceptual and methodological framework based on empirical evidence derived from the case of the Colombian Cape gooseberry (CG) supply chain is presented. Using this case study, this paper aims to contribute to the extant literature on the internationalization of food supply chains by explicitly considering the alignment of quality attributes and supply chain complexity as key elements to understand the process.

Design/methodology/approach

This research has been designed to be qualitative, inductive and exploratory, thus involving multiple data gathering methods and tools. More specifically, during the first stage of the empirical analysis, this study has mapped and analysed preferences and perceptions of product quality at both the consumer and supply chain levels. Then, this paper has analysed the degree of alignment and complexity in the supply chain and finally, this study has derived scenarios for the internationalization of the supply chain.

Findings

The results indicate tensions between supply chain actors related to quality attribute alignment and complexity, which have the potentials to impact the internationalization scenarios of the CG supply chain. Particularly the findings highlight how alignment and complexity of sourcing and product quality attributes can affect supply chain design strategies in different internationalization pathways of a niche food commodity.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications in terms of supply chain design perspectives. In fact, while an approach, which would consider only a transactional or governance perspective would have tackled the problems of misalignment – for example, between farmers and wholesalers or wholesalers and international traders/retailers – it would have ignored the problem of alignment caused at the retailing and consumption stage. In the attempt to internationalize the CG supply chain, farmers, processors and traders are misaligned in relation to the preferences of the targeted final consumers, Dutch/Western European consumers in the case.

Practical implications

Given the misalignment issues, this paper identifies a step by step approach as the most suitable pathway to design an internationalized supply chain because it allows the CG commodity supply chain to develop the potential market of credence quality-attribute by supporting the health-promoting compounds of the fruit. In this way, the CG supply chain could also progressively scale up and work on solving its misalignment issues by building a coordination structure of the chain, with quality control and logistics likely led by large retailers.

Social implications

The study indicates that a process of internalization related to a scenario of a “globalized commodity” can only emerge through processes of coordination and integration at the production level, likely led by forms of producers (farmers) associations or a network of producers and traders, leading to strong marketing activities and scale up in terms of volumes. This has profound social implications and calls for rethinking how this study designs the internationalization of niche commodity supply chains.

Originality/value

Through the application of a mixed methodology approach, in which conceptual, qualitative and quantitative methods have been combined, this paper has been able to identify alternative scenarios to the internationalization and the scale-up of a niche food commodity supply chain, with implications for its design and governance. More specifically in the conceptual model, the different scenarios have been related to the risk of misalignment. The model also identifies alternative pathways of internationalization which may or may not arise according to the way complexity unfolds. In the approach, this study has unpacked complexity by looking into two key dimensions: transactional complexity and quality-attribute complexity.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1995

Elaine Crichton and David Edgar

Through primary research based on interviews with key executives in20 of the largest hotel groups operating in the UK short‐break market,presents the case that in the UK…

Abstract

Through primary research based on interviews with key executives in 20 of the largest hotel groups operating in the UK short‐break market, presents the case that in the UK short‐break market complexity is deliberately being managed to enhance rewards for hotel groups and that this protects market share by raising supplier complexity and gains additional market share through lowering complexity for the consumer. Argues that the key element in managing complexity is the use of supply‐and demand‐side technology, and that as the technology develops further the concept of managing complexity as opposed to simply minimizing or adapting to it will become more widespread. Contends that such developments have key implications for the future structure of the UK short‐break market and indeed other hospitality‐based markets of the future.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 7 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Timm F. Wagner, Christian V. Baccarella and Kai-Ingo Voigt

Consumers’ perceptions of new technologies are vital for the adoption of innovations. However, due to the complexity of technological innovations and associated consumer…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers’ perceptions of new technologies are vital for the adoption of innovations. However, due to the complexity of technological innovations and associated consumer concerns, marketing communications play a crucial role in shaping attitudes. In this context, the level of technical complexity presented in advertisements can be a critical determinant of communication effectiveness. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

By conducting an experiment in the context of plug-in hybrid electric cars, this study examines the impact of technical complexity on communication effectiveness. The authors also include consumers’ product involvement as a potential moderator of this relationship.

Findings

This paper reveals that individuals with low product involvement respond more favourably to technically simple ads. However, medium-involved consumers show the best responses towards ads with a high level of technical complexity. Interestingly, the authors could not find significant attitude differences for high-involvement individuals in terms of the level of technical complexity.

Practical implications

The results support the notion that the advice “keep it short and simple” is not always appropriate. In particular, when marketers want to communicate technological innovations, a more complex presentation can provoke positive reactions, when the audience has at least a medium level of product involvement.

Originality/value

There is little evidence concerning how technical complexity within marketing communications affects consumer attitudes. This study significantly contributes to the understanding of how advertisements of technological innovations are perceived by consumers.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2021

Hyunjoo Im, Hae Won Ju and Kim K.P. Johnson

Little research has been done to understand how individual elements (e.g. advertisements) within a webpage are processed and evaluated when visual complexity is increased…

Abstract

Purpose

Little research has been done to understand how individual elements (e.g. advertisements) within a webpage are processed and evaluated when visual complexity is increased. Thus, this study aimed to investigate how consumers allocate attention and evaluate products and advertisements on complex webpages when they are casually browsing.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted two experiments to test the causal effects of different degrees of visual complexity on consumer responses to products and advertisements. An eye-tracking experiment (n = 90) and a follow-up online experiment (n = 121) were conducted using undergraduate students as participants.

Findings

Participants formed a global impression from the overall webpage complexity, which spilled over to evaluation of individual elements on the webpage (e.g. product, advertisement). The inverted U-shaped relationships (vs. linear negative relationships) between webpage visual complexity and attitude toward the webpage, products, and advertisements were observed. The focal product was given a consistent level of attention regardless of the complexity level.

Practical implications

This study provides implications for website organization and design to maximize positive consumer experiences and marketing effectiveness. The findings provide implications for retailers and advertisement buyers.

Originality/value

This study expanded the knowledge by examining the interplay between individual elements of webpages and the whole webpage complexity when consumers browse visually complex webpages. It is a novel finding that the overall webpage complexity effect spills over to locally attended products or advertisements.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2010

Sreedhar Madhavaram and Radha Appan

The purpose of this paper is to identify issues that are critical to developing complex, business‐to‐business products and discuss implications for vendor firms.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify issues that are critical to developing complex, business‐to‐business products and discuss implications for vendor firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs the critical review approach to current complex product literature and draws from relevant literature streams in engineering, management, and marketing to propose a conceptual framework.

Findings

The critical review of the complex products research reveals the following as critical issues for research and practice in the development of complex products: definition, internal and external complexity, product and process complexity, standardized to customized complex products continuum, component and process modularity, and operant resources.

Research limitations/implications

This paper identifies six specific operant resources that are critical to the development of complex products and proposes a conceptual framework. Clearly, more needs to be done in terms of theoretical and empirical research with reference to the development of complex, business‐to‐business products. For example, researchers could empirically test the proposed framework; identify other relevant operant resources; and critique the proposed framework and develop a new, more comprehensive framework.

Practical implications

Firms that develop complex products could focus on developing the six operant resources that can help them become competent in developing complex products; and developing organizational structures and policies and providing an organizational environment that is conducive to developing robust internal and external social capital.

Originality/value

The proposed conceptual framework provides a theoretical foundation for practitioners and researchers to build on.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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