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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Thi Minh Trang Tran, Su-Han Woo and Kum Fai Yuen

To gain competitive advantage, shipping companies need the abilities to manage environmental requirements, which this study refers to as sustainable shipping capabilities…

Abstract

Purpose

To gain competitive advantage, shipping companies need the abilities to manage environmental requirements, which this study refers to as sustainable shipping capabilities, including internal resources and external factors such as inter-firm collaboration. However, previous studies mainly focused on the effectiveness of internal resources, leading decision-makers in shipping companies to undervalue the significance of external relationships in managing sustainability issues and their impact on performance. Therefore, this paper aims to identify and examine the impacts of sustainable inter-firm collaboration on shipping companies' business performance (i.e. shippers' loyalty and financial performance).

Design/methodology/approach

A proposed model that explains the relationships between relation bonding strategies, sustainable inter-firm collaboration and business performance was developed. Accordingly, a survey questionnaire was constructed and sent to 294 shipping companies in Vietnam. Structural equation modeling was deployed to examine the validity of the measurement items and investigate relationships among the latent constructs.

Findings

The findings show that financial bonding strategies have the most significant impact on sustainable inter-firm collaboration, followed by social bonding strategies and structural bonding strategies. Furthermore, sustainable inter-firm collaboration has direct and indirect (via perceived shippers' loyalty) effects on business performance.

Research limitations/implications

Relational bonding strategies provide a unique perspective to sustainable inter-firm collaboration. This study also contributes to allocate external resources and capabilities to improve inter-firm collaboration, thereby maximizing financial performance.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by applying relational bonding strategies that determine the key factors enabling sustainable inter-firm collaboration.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Francesco Galati and Barbara Bigliardi

Starting from the model of the initiation and evolution of inter-firm knowledge transfer in R&D relationships developed by Faems et al. (2007), the purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Starting from the model of the initiation and evolution of inter-firm knowledge transfer in R&D relationships developed by Faems et al. (2007), the purpose of this paper is to refine and improve this model, assessing its reliability in a different and wider context and extending it according to the outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case-study approach was implemented, examining 34 dyadic inter-firm R&D relationships. This methodology suited the research goal of exploring the validity of a model in an area where little data or theory exists.

Findings

The theoretical model proposed by Faems et al. (2007) was improved, confirming the adequacy of the overall structure of their intuition and highlighting several differences in terms of factors that lead to the dissolution of R&D relationships. These differences mainly refer to partners’ similarities before starting R&D relationships, co-opetition situations, knowledge leakage/opportunistic behavior and reputation issues.

Originality/value

This work is the first to investigate two open research gaps related to the model of the initiation and evolution of inter-firm knowledge transfer in R&D relationships: the need for additional case studies in other contexts to develop a more general theory and the lack of research incorporating issues such as relational capital between partners, governance form and alliance scope in an integrated analysis.

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2015

Kayhan Tajeddini, Ulf Elg and Pervez N. Ghauri

The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of three key inter-firm orientations often regarded as central and challenging capabilities within the marketing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of three key inter-firm orientations often regarded as central and challenging capabilities within the marketing literature namely (i) market orientation, (ii) entrepreneurial orientation and (iii) brand orientation and their effects on the business performance of a focal international SME.

Methodology/approach

The study is based upon a sample of 104 Swiss international firms and a questionnaire is used to capture their inter-firm marketing collaborations. Existing, well-established scales for market, brand, and entrepreneurial orientation were used and modified to capture the inter-firm dimension. The data was analysed using regression analysis.

Findings

Inter-firm market and entrepreneurial orientation have a significant positive influence of both market and financial performance. However, no significant impact was found for inter-firm brand orientation.

Originality/value

We show that collaboration within the marketing area is of critical importance for international SME in order to enhance their performance. Dealing with the increasing complexity and uncertainty in the global environment, we argue that international SMEs are especially dependent on improving their marketing collaborations in order to strengthen their competitive advantage. One main contribution is also to conceptualize and operationalize inter-firm marketing collaborations into a measurable empirical phenomenon, including scales that can also be used by other researchers in future studies.

Details

International Marketing in the Fast Changing World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-233-7

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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Pervez N. Ghauri and Ulf Elg

Several studies have proposed that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack resources and experiential knowledge to internationalise to distant markets. The authors…

Abstract

Several studies have proposed that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack resources and experiential knowledge to internationalise to distant markets. The authors argue that SMEs can handle the lack of these tangible and intangible internal resources through external collaborations; they can achieve success in international markets by collaborating with business partners. The role of inter-firm marketing collaboration and its impact on internationalisation efforts has not been thoroughly studied, particularly in the context of SMEs. This study will thus advance our understanding of SMEs’ inter-firm marketing collaborations and how they influence performance in international markets. In this chapter, authors conceptually develop this line of arguments through an extensive literature review and develop some hypotheses and a framework that can be empirically tested. The authors believe this framework will serve as a starting point for further studies on this topic. Theoretically, we endeavour to contribute by showing that firms can enhance their level of international performance through inter-firm collaboration. The authors believe this type of study would have considerable theoretical as well as managerial implications in this important field of research.

Details

Key Success Factors of SME Internationalisation: A Cross-Country Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-277-8

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Manish Unhale and André Slowak

This study aims to inquire about pre-requisites and benefits of collaboration in the UK and India, testing for significance of country context.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to inquire about pre-requisites and benefits of collaboration in the UK and India, testing for significance of country context.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey data set includes 118 UK-based and 175 India-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper applies a grounded theory research design, given that to date, no sufficient SME sector-specific, quantitative frameworks have been published.

Findings

India-based SMEs are more inclined towards frequent collaboration. Soft variables such as perceived trustworthiness or past commitment, appear to be significant when explaining whether or not SMEs in India enter into a collaboration. Operations-driven motives play the most significant role for them, whereas for UK-based SMEs, product design-related collaboration motives are of more importance.

Research limitations/implications

The developed cross-country and country-specific collaboration variables will facilitate SME studies under a consistent and complete framework.

Practical implications

Business associations and SME owners in the UK can use the research to gain an Indian perspective and vice versa. This study concludes a stylised framework for SME owners and managers to classify collaboration patterns in a country.

Originality/value

While previous research established concepts and practices of SME collaboration, this is the first paper that quantitatively addresses the attitudes and experiences that SME owners hold when initialising inter-firm collaboration.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2019

Evgeny Popov, Jol Stoffers and Victoria Simonova

The purpose of this study is to specify cultural properties that influence inter-firm cooperation, advancing a conventional theoretical economic-based framework.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to specify cultural properties that influence inter-firm cooperation, advancing a conventional theoretical economic-based framework.

Design/methodology/approach

An evaluation of concepts related to parametric cultural assessment was the theoretical foundation for structural aspects of inter-firm collaboration, documented in an empirical study that investigates cross-cultural analysis. This study was based on research at a cross-national level, allowing cultural disparities to be captured. Therefore, the empirical basis was the sixth World Values Survey, which is the largest cross-national project for assessment of cultural values.

Findings

It was found that cultural properties, as freedom of choice; advancement of norms for equal dissemination of power; low perceived uncertainty; strategic orientation on the future; and spread norms of humanistic orientation would further develop inter-firm cooperation.

Practical implications

The current study specifies a systematic and practical definition of attributes in the culture of inter-firm collaboration. Advantages of such advanced frameworks are more sustainable collaboration models, decreased expenses of inter-firm coordination methods and possibilities for establishing network knowledge among collaborating firms – a necessity for competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no previous research has been undertaken that specifies cultural properties influencing inter-firm cooperation, advancing a conventional theoretical economic-based framework.

Details

Review of International Business and Strategy, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-6014

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2021

Valentina Della Corte, Massimo Aria, Giovanna Del Gaudio, Jay Brian Barney, Cihan Cobanoglu and Fabiana Sepe

This study aims to focus on inter-firm collaboration, exploring the main capabilities that can make a business more or less open to collaboration; it also considers the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on inter-firm collaboration, exploring the main capabilities that can make a business more or less open to collaboration; it also considers the role of both firm-specific and relationship-specific capabilities. The paper proposes a model that can be used to study how the combination of the two categories of capabilities determines a firm’s approach to collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a survey of high-end hotels in tourist destinations in Italy and the USA, this paper tests variable connected with firm-specific and relationship-specific aspects, using confirmatory factor analysis.

Findings

Firms with greater capabilities are less open to cooperation; weaker firms with fewer resources appear to be more inclined to cooperate, probably to gain access to resources and competencies they do not possess.

Research limitations/implications

From a scientific perspective, this paper suggests an analysis based on both individual and relational capabilities when deciding whether to collaborate, while most studies based on a relational view just consider relational capabilities. The study could be enlarged to other countries and contexts.

Practical implications

From a practical perspective, it indicates the importance of accounting for different and sometimes diverging aspects when deciding to cooperate.

Social implications

In terms of social implications, it shows that, apart from the relational capabilities they have, potential partners can decide not to collaborate.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a method of analyzing both individual and relational capabilities when deciding whether to engage in a collaboration. It shows that firms’ behavior does not necessarily depend on the firm’s relational capabilities.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Minna Rollins, Saara Pekkarinen and Mari Mehtälä

The purpose of this paper is to examine customer knowledge sharing between a buyer of a logistics service and the logistics service provider (LSP). The authors attempt to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine customer knowledge sharing between a buyer of a logistics service and the logistics service provider (LSP). The authors attempt to fill the gap in current research by investigating inter‐firm customer knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey study was conducted. Data were collected from buyers of logistic services. Confirmatory factor analysis and multiple regression were used to analyze data and test hypotheses.

Findings

Results suggest that open and fluent communication mediates the relationship between customer knowledge sharing and satisfaction with a logistics service provider. In addition, the close relationship with the logistics service provider is needed to strengthen the relationship between customer knowledge sharing and satisfaction with the logistics service provider.

Research limitations/implications

This study provided new empirical evidence concerning inter‐firm customer knowledge sharing. The authors suggest that logistic service providers should be incorporated into the customer knowledge management process to ensure open and fluent communication about customers.

Practical implications

This study provides practical insights for companies that sell logistic services.

Originality/value

Customer knowledge sharing has been largely studied in an intra‐firm context, for instance information sharing between marketing and research and development departments. This research extends the concept of customer knowledge sharing to the inter‐firm context.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2020

Pushkar P. Jha and Lorraine Johnston

Be it about blending intangibles to deliver to market needs or directed at fulfilling aspirations pushing at technological frontiers, inter-firm collaborations across…

Abstract

Purpose

Be it about blending intangibles to deliver to market needs or directed at fulfilling aspirations pushing at technological frontiers, inter-firm collaborations across industry boundaries are much in vogue. This paper aims to classify some collaborations as “odd couple collaborations”. These are fuelled more by aspirations of the partner firms, and not as much by market pull. The study provides key distinguishing characteristics for these and an understanding of what makes them tick.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on secondary sources in the public domain to understand the motives and performance of several inter-firm collaborations. Odd couple collaborations are examined and some essential performance enablers are highlighted.

Findings

A typology that distinguishes odd couple collaborations from other inter-firm collaborations is drawn out. Analysing the performance of such collaborations, and a need for partners to work on the visibility and appeal of such collaborations, is discussed. Stringent market evaluation of the offering and careful creative blending of intangibles are also highlighted as key enablers.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a vast body of research on inter-sector or distant collaborations by isolating and examining a niche that is fast becoming pronounced. The analysis of odd couple collaborations provides cues for effective strategies for superior value from such collaborations. As organisations constantly seek to extend their innovative potential, these insights may prove useful for both practice and research.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Mario Binder and John S. Edwards

Qualitative theory building approaches, such as grounded theory method (GTM), are still not very widespread and rigorously applied in operations management (OM) research…

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4660

Abstract

Purpose

Qualitative theory building approaches, such as grounded theory method (GTM), are still not very widespread and rigorously applied in operations management (OM) research. Yet it is agreed that more systematic observation of current industrial phenomena is necessary to help managers deal with their problems. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example to help guide other researchers on using GTM for theory building in OM research.

Design/methodology/approach

A GTM study in the German automotive industry consisting of 31 interviews is followed by a validation stage comprising a survey (110 responses) and a focus group.

Findings

The result is an example of conducting GTM research in OM, illustrated by the development of the novel collaborative enterprise governance framework for inter‐firm relationship governance in the German automotive industry.

Research limitations/implications

GTM is appropriate for qualitative theory building research, but the resultant theories need further testing. Research is necessary to identify the transferability of the collaborative enterprise governance concept to other industries than automotive, to other organisational areas than R&D and to product and service settings that are less complex and innovative.

Practical implications

The paper helps researchers make more informed use of GTM when engaging in qualitative theory building research in OM.

Originality/value

There is a lack of explicit and well‐informed use of GTM in OM research because of poor understanding. This paper addresses this deficiency. The collaborative enterprise governance framework is a significant contribution in an area of growing importance within OM.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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