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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Lee Li and Gongming Qian

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic intentions of strategic alliances in technology industries.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic intentions of strategic alliances in technology industries.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper mainly uses case studies as its methodology.

Findings

This paper depicts how the possibilities of firms sharing resources, costs and risks decrease when industry changes grow frequently and unpredictably. More importantly, this study suggests that in technology industries, firms use strategic alliances to keep their existing marketing strategies intact.

Research limitations/implications

For future studies, the authors will develop and test hypotheses based on the arguments of this paper.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper contradict business executives’ common sense but have important implications for them to manage their strategic alliances.

Originality/value

Findings of this paper contradict the traditional belief of strategic alliances and thus advance the knowledge on strategic alliances.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2018

Lee Li, Gongming Qian, Zhengming Qian and Irene R.R. Lu

Using behavioral theory of the firm, the purpose of this paper is to examine how a small firm’s performance relative to historical and social aspirations is related to its…

Abstract

Purpose

Using behavioral theory of the firm, the purpose of this paper is to examine how a small firm’s performance relative to historical and social aspirations is related to its international entrepreneurial orientation (IEO). This study also explores two environmental factors, liability of foreignness (LoF) and host-country market potential (HMP), as the moderators for the relationship of performance and IEO.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses survey for data collection from Canadian small firms and employs regression models for data analysis.

Findings

The results show that small firms demonstrate stronger IEO when their performance is below aspirations, but their IEO diminishes when their performance exceeds aspirations. The authors also found that a small firm’s LoF does not moderate the impact of its performance feedback on IEO. However, the authors found HMP plays a moderating role when a small firm’s performance is below aspirations.

Originality/value

This study investigates the relationship of IEO to aspiration and found that this relationship is moderated by HMP. The study advances our knowledge on small firms’ international behavior.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2018

Hua Zhang, Gongming Qian, Lee Li and Zhengming Qian

The purpose of this paper is to differentiate between intra- and inter-regional diversification and explore how each affects firm performance. Existing studies show that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to differentiate between intra- and inter-regional diversification and explore how each affects firm performance. Existing studies show that both intra- and inter-regional expansion provide benefits and incur costs but the findings are mixed. This study aims to explain the mixed findings.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses secondary data and quantitative methodologies to test hypotheses.

Findings

Using data from 663 Canadian firms over a six-year period (2006–2011), the authors find that the relationship between firm performance and the depth and width of intra-regional expansion is nonlinear. The authors also find a sigmoid-shaped relationship between firm performance and inter-regional diversification, i.e., performance initially increases with home regional diversification, decreases with bi-regional diversification and finally increases again with multi-regional diversification.

Originality/value

The findings of this study shed light on the current debate on the merits of inter- and intra-regional diversification and have important theoretical and managerial implications.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2019

Rui Xue, Gongming Qian, Zhengming Qian and Lee Li

Much of the extant evidence in the marketing literature posits that firms use strategic alliances to share resources, costs and risks as paths to performance improvements…

Abstract

Purpose

Much of the extant evidence in the marketing literature posits that firms use strategic alliances to share resources, costs and risks as paths to performance improvements. Drawing from the organizational ecology theory, this study aims to propose a different rationale, namely, that strategic alliances protect a firm’s core structure – its stated goals, authority structure, core technologies and marketing strategies – by mitigating the need for hazardous changes in hostile environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected quantitative data using market survey and analyzed the data with the regression method.

Findings

Using Chinese firms in three technology industries as the research setting, this research finds a positive and significant relationship between environmental hostility and core structure dynamism. Although strategic alliances themselves have no direct bearing on core structure dynamism, they are found to moderate this relationship negatively, that is, strategic alliances attenuate the relationship between environmental hostility and structural changes.

Research limitations/implications

This paper argues that strategic alliances have significant moderating effects on firm performance, that is, firms use strategic alliances to outsource competence to partners and, thus, avoid internal turmoil. However, the moderating effect alone cannot explain the complexity of strategic alliances. There could exist other effects that remain unknown. In addition, individual-level factors could have significant impacts on strategic alliance management. Future studies should look into these issues to advance the authors’ knowledge on strategic alliances.

Practical implications

The findings of this study show that managers should outsource competence to partners when they experience turmoil in markets. Adapting to market turmoil internally could lead to market failure.

Originality/value

This study provides a new rationale for strategic alliances, that is, firms use strategic alliances to reduce market uncertainty. This rationale has not been reported in the existing literature.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2018

Gongming Qian, Bin Liu and Qingtao Wang

Although there has been much research on government support for export in China and other emerging economies, considerably less attention has been given to government…

Abstract

Purpose

Although there has been much research on government support for export in China and other emerging economies, considerably less attention has been given to government subsidy-related importing activity in China. This study aims to propose that the government subsidies as the source of financial resources produce a significant increase of imports, as the firms are more likely to engage actively in importing technology-related products which are conducive for China’s future innovation. However, state ownership in firms negatively moderates this relationship and holds back technology imports. Improved formal regulatory institutions do not help to improve but rather weaken this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate how government policy affects imports of strategic resources in China, all of the listed firms on Chinese stock markets (from 2008 to 2014) have been selected, the firms that are engaged in exporting and importing activities. The data from the China Stock Market & Accounting Research database have been selected and merged with those of the General Administration Customs in China. A panel analysis has been done with several robustiness tests.

Findings

First, the study indicates that government subsidies are a driving force for the development of importing activities. Second, it finds conflicts of interests between government subsidies and state ownership of a firm, as increased ownership will weaken and even negate the positive effect of a government policy, thus negatively affecting the national competitiveness in the long run. Third, it is important to take into account the issue on different levels of institutional development, even allowing for the fact that a nationwide government policy is applied to the firms located in all corners of the country.

Research limitations/implications

The authors suggested a regional difference in regulatory development but did not find the proposed direction. In their future study, the authors will validate and generalize this intriguing substitutional effect. They expect the results will help the government to ensure that it can fulfill a policy (e.g. regulation) down to every gross-roots organization so the development of regulatory infrastructure will help the firm to obtain and accumulate strategic resources through increased imports of them. Another direction of their future study will explore how government policy will prompt the firms to increase their spending so that they can possess plenty of “stamina” for their future development.

Practical implications

Different levels of institutional development exist in China even allowing for the fact that a nationwide government policy should be applied to all firms within the territory. This certainly has impacts on technology imports and thus creates difficulties for firms located in the western parts of China about which the government is particularly concerned. The government needs to ensure that its policies (laws and regulations) can be fulfilled down to every gross-roots organization so that the development of regulatory infrastructure can be inclusive and pervasive, given its influence on technology importation and indigenization.

Originality/value

Both of the theoretical and empirical work centered on policy initiatives and particularly government subsidies in emerging economies that significantly influence imports of strategic resources, a means with which the firm is better able to maintain and develop its competitive advantages, particularly in an economy with institutional void. Relatedly, the results on a causal relationship help envision a transcending trajectory of China’s economy, suggesting that businesspeople should capitalize on the policy advantage so that they are better able to sustain their long-term development. The results also present implications for policymakers to encourage and support strategic move toward such import endeavors.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Lee Li, Gongming Qian and Zhengming Qian

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the early internationalization and the performance of small firms in technology‐intensive industries.

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3698

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the early internationalization and the performance of small firms in technology‐intensive industries.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 278 small US firms in technology‐intensive industries, this paper employs quantitative methodologies to test hypotheses.

Findings

The findings indicate that such organizational variables as firm size and international experience have a non‐linear, inverted U‐shaped relationship with these firms’ early internationalization. Some strategic variables, such as R&D intensity, have significant impacts, whereas others, such as advertising intensity and strategic alliances, have none. However, the interactions between these strategic variables have a more significant influence upon these firms’ early internationalization than do the individual strategic variables in isolation. Moreover, early internationalization has significant and positive impacts on the performance of these firms.

Practical implications

The paper’s findings have important managerial implications. The paper identifies the driving forces for the early globalization of small firms and provides useful guidelines for managers to manage these factors in their efforts to maximize firm performance.

Originality/value

The paper differentiates organizational factors from strategic factors against the background of small “born globals” in technology industries and investigates the interactions among these internal factors and external factors, i.e. the environments of technology industries. Findings of non‐linear relationships among these factors shed light on the strategy determinants of a unique group of small to medium‐sized enterprises and their performance.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Shaw X. Tao, Lee Li and Gongming Qian

Chinese new small‐ and medium‐sized technology enterprises face an important strategic decision when they operate in overseas markets. That is, should they remain…

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581

Abstract

Purpose

Chinese new small‐ and medium‐sized technology enterprises face an important strategic decision when they operate in overseas markets. That is, should they remain independent? Independent small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) rely on their own internal resources while dependent SMEs resort to external resources through partnerships. The paper aims to evaluate various market contexts in which one strategy is preferred to the other.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses developed from the literature review are tested with the quantitative data which were collected through questionnaires.

Findings

This paper assesses Chinese new technology SMEs' market environments and their internal resources. Findings from this paper suggest that different market contexts and different internal resources lead to different strategies.

Originality/value

This paper makes contributions to existing studies on two fronts. First, it investigates Chinese new technology SMEs' performance in the overseas market. Chinese new technology SMEs have been a new phenomenon in the world market and few studies have been reported on these firms' strategies and performance. Second, this paper assesses SMEs' strategic option of independence and dependence against the background of high‐tech industries which require heavy R&D investments and have been highly risky and uncertain.

Details

Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1396

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Lee Li, Gongming Qian and Brian Gaber

In the past decade, Chinese enterprises have achieved superior cost advantages in the labor‐intensive industries. This paper explores the valuable resources that Chinese

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1270

Abstract

Purpose

In the past decade, Chinese enterprises have achieved superior cost advantages in the labor‐intensive industries. This paper explores the valuable resources that Chinese enterprises use to develop such advantages and the effective mechanisms they employ to sustain the advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a multiple case design that allows a replication logic, in which a series of cases is treated as a series of experiments with each case serving to confirm or disconfirm the inferences that are drawn from the others. Twenty‐nine cases were collected. The data analysis consisted of three steps (1): within‐case analysis; (2) cross‐case analysis; and (3) proposition‐shaping analysis.

Findings

Evidence from this study indicates that the Chinese enterprises employ a complicated multi‐step framework to develop and sustain their cost advantages. The framework consists of various resources at different levels. Resources at the same level fit, support, and reinforce each other and they work together to achieve certain competitive advantages. The advantages are not constants. They are renewed frequently, and the advantages at previous step serve as the foundation for generating the next round of advantages. The contextual and historical causality between these resources and the advantages result in their sustainability.

Originality/value

The findings of this study make contributions to the existing strategy literature on two fronts. First, the sustainability of a competitive advantage results from the contextual and historical causality between various resources in combination. Second, in addition to physical, human, and organizational resources, valuable resources may also include intangibles, such as culture, norms, large home market size, tough domestic competition, and flexible organizational structures, etc.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Lee Li and Gongming Qian

The past decade has witnessed the growing importance of partnerships by small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Yet, despite the popularity and presumed strategic

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1804

Abstract

Purpose

The past decade has witnessed the growing importance of partnerships by small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Yet, despite the popularity and presumed strategic importance of partnerships, partnerships by SMEs often fail and many SMEs turn to self‐reliance operation modes. This study explores industry and firm factors which affect SMEs's choices between partnerships and self‐reliance operation modes. Identification of these factors has important managerial implications for SMEs in their fights to overcome resource and competence limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected data from 68 sample firms and ran regression models to test the propositions.

Findings

SMEs in technology industries should form partnerships. SMEs that are seeking foreign markets should form partnerships to pool their resources and manage diversities, whereas SMEs that focus on their home markets should use self‐reliance operation modes. International expansion requires substantial resources, including country‐specific knowledge. SMEs may not have sufficient resources to overcome market entry barriers and may have to seek resources from external sources. Partnerships are not appropriate for SMEs that focus on market niches. Age places severe constraints on whether an SME should form a partnership or remain self‐reliant. Young SMEs may rely on partnerships to outsource while established SMEs may be uninterested in partnerships. Finally, SMEs that enjoy first mover advantages should not rely too much on partnerships for external resources. In contrast, SMEs that do not enjoy first mover advantages can take partnerships as an important source of external resources.

Originality/value

The findings of this study make important contributions to the existing strategy literature. The study identifies contextual impacts that affect SMEs' choices between partnerships and self‐reliance modes and thus explain why partnerships work for some SMEs but not others. The findings of the study also provide managers with practical guidance as to how to make strategic decisions on partnerships

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Lee Li, Gongming Qian and Peggy Ng

This study aims to identify and assess the strategies of township and village enterprises in China to capture competitive advantages.

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1076

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and assess the strategies of township and village enterprises in China to capture competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a self‐administered questionnaire survey approach, involving a sample of managing directors of township and village enterprises in the Fujian Province, China.

Findings

The analysis identifies the causal linkages across time between firms' different capabilities. Labor‐intensive industries and rural locations offer township and village enterprises (TVEs) opportunities to create capabilities to minimize costs. The cost minimization and systematic learning capabilities, in turn, lead to low‐priced innovator positioning. It also suggests that the co‐evolution and co‐existence of different capabilities contribute to capability inimitability.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies on Chinese TVEs should expand the empirical database and include TVEs in underdeveloped areas and to investigate how firms survive within severe resource limitations.

Practical implications

The findings of this study indicate that dynamic capabilities are important not only for firms in rapidly changing environments, but also for those in relatively stable industries, such as labor‐intensive industries. Firms should develop different capabilities over time and combine these into complex capabilities bundles.

Originality/value

The findings from this study indicate that firms in developing countries can achieve cost leadership and differentiation, but the route to the destination has a path‐dependent history.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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