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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Ulf Elg, Jens Hultman and Axel Welinder

The purpose is to explore the different and often contradictory perceptions individual managers have about corporate sustainability within a global retailer.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to explore the different and often contradictory perceptions individual managers have about corporate sustainability within a global retailer.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study method is used, including interviews and document studies. The authors study the global retailer IKEA. In total the authors have interviewed respondents on both the global level and the country level, within the sustainability organization as well as corporate, sales and communication management. The study includes managers in Sweden, the UK and Germany.

Findings

The research is based on institutional theory, focusing upon cognitive and normative aspects; the authors propose that managers may have a proactive, forceful view on sustainability or a reactive view. These need to coexist. The authors also show how global retailers can balance sustainability goals with other business considerations, as well as about the implications of the sustainability approach for the retailer's business model.

Practical implications

Retail managers need to recognize and integrate the contradictory views on sustainability that managers hold. The authors show how sustainability can be given different impact depending on the context and the strategic issue it is linked to.

Originality/value

Most studies have focused on how sustainability is managed on an organizational level and how different goals can co-exist. The authors’ focus is on individual managers and their perceptions of sustainability – what it includes, how they want to manage sustainability issues, and the priority it should be given.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 31 May 2021

Carys Jane Egan-Wyer, Steve Burt, Jens Hultman, Ulf Johansson, Alice Beckman and Clara Michélsen

The study aims to explore how concept stores (theoretically) differ from other experience-based retail formats, and hence, how they (practically) contribute to a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore how concept stores (theoretically) differ from other experience-based retail formats, and hence, how they (practically) contribute to a diversified retail store portfolio.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study based on semi-structured, qualitative interviews with seven IKEA retail managers, three industry experts and 26 customers of IKEA concept stores in London and Stockholm.

Findings

The concept store represents a conceptual departure from other experiential store formats. It is neither fully experiential in the sense that it is not only about marketing communications nor is it sales or profit-focused. Its aim is to be an accessible touchpoint that reduces friction on a diversified customer journey with its value to the retail portfolio being that it attracts new and latent customers, mitigates existing inhibiting factors and drives them to other touchpoints.

Research limitations/implications

Ideas about the different characteristics of new store formats and their potential to shape the customer experience are extended. New formats reflect innovation in retailing and are part of a retail portfolio which generates different customer expectations and determinants from traditional store formats which provide the customers' existing reference point.

Practical implications

The contributions of new formats should be evaluated in light of other existing formats in the portfolio and not isolated. This is particularly true when considering format cannibalisation and the potentially extended customer journey that arises when customers use traditional format stores and new concept format stores simultaneously.

Originality/value

Previous research, using sales metrics and market-based results as performance determinants, suggests negative outcomes for format diversification. Our study suggests that the contributions of the concept store format should be viewed from an overall customer journey perspective and the “performance” of different format based touchpoints are not best captured through traditional sales evaluation methods.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 December 2018

Lisa Källström and Jens Hultman

Using service-based logic as its theoretical lens, this study aims to approach residents’ place satisfaction in a novel way. The purpose is to explore residents…

Abstract

Purpose

Using service-based logic as its theoretical lens, this study aims to approach residents’ place satisfaction in a novel way. The purpose is to explore residents’ perception of the place in which they live and to shed new light on their place satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on explorative qualitative focus group research. Data were collected in two typical municipalities in southern Sweden. The sampling procedure was purposive, resulting in six focus groups, consisting of a total of 33 residents. The empirical material was transcribed and analyzed using a structured content analysis inspired by grounded theory.

Findings

A model for understanding residents’ perceptions of what constitutes a good place to live is introduced. The model shows that many value propositions are produced in the provider sphere, independent of the user, for example by the municipality or the business sector. Other value propositions are co-created in a joint sphere, meaning that the user is actively involved in the production of these value propositions. The resident then uses different value propositions to create value-in-use in the resident sphere, independent of the provider, and to co-create value-in-use in the joint sphere.

Originality/value

The study creates a bridge between the stream of research on place satisfaction and studies that take stakeholders and co-creation into consideration; it shifts from the prevalent provider perspective on place branding and static place attributes to a focus on the relationship between users and providers.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Susanne Hertz, Jens Hultman and Joakim Wikner

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2008

Lars Torsten Eriksson, Jens Hultman and Lucia Naldi

The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore small business e‐commerce development and usage of the emerging ICT‐infrastructure for e‐commerce in Sweden. For more…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore small business e‐commerce development and usage of the emerging ICT‐infrastructure for e‐commerce in Sweden. For more than a decade firms in countries with appropriate infrastructures in place have generally been able to exploit internet technologies for business purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents the results from a telephone survey on Swedish small businesses. The 160 firms surveyed were independent manufacturing firms in Sweden with a number of employees ranging from ten to 50 and a turnover not surpassing €10 million. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS.

Findings

The paper presents empirical data on e‐commerce development among small businesses in Sweden. The study shows that a significant share of the studied firms have adopted internet technologies, but also that more than 70 per cent of the small businesses in the study have more than five years of experience of e‐commerce. The study finds that small businesses in Sweden show remarkably high levels of e‐commerce adoption. The study shows strong penetration of web site and e‐mail use among small businesses in Sweden, but also that advanced applications are still not broadly applied.

Originality/value

Statistics presented by the OECD have recurrently shown that the Scandinavian countries are in the lead as regards building an ICT infrastructure. Sweden's leading position in ICT has been confirmed by several studies. Because of scarce resources and lack of knowledge, small businesses are generally known to be lagging in terms of ICT use. This study empirically explores small business e‐commerce development in Sweden and contributes to the stream of research aiming at benchmarking e‐commerce development.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Ulf Elg and Jens Hultman

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a retailer’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and image influence consumer perceptions regarding the firm’s…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a retailer’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and image influence consumer perceptions regarding the firm’s social responsibility, and how CSR aspects influence consumers buying decisions in store for a specific product.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study method is used, including interviews, document studies and observations. The CSR approach of a Swedish retailer is investigated at corporate level and in the store, and how this interacts with the views of consumers as they make decisions regarding the purchase of a disposable product.

Findings

The authors propose the concept CSR identity to capture the internal efforts and positioning that a retailer attempts to achieve. Store activities and external independent stakeholders will have a main influence on whether the identity is regarded as credible by consumers. Furthermore, factors such as self-image and influences from the social network will influence whether a consumer will be committed to prioritize CSR aspects in the store.

Practical implications

Gaps between the retailer and the consumer perspective on CSR, particularly relevant for disposable, low-involvement products are identified. It is critical for retailers to be aware of and address these gaps.

Originality/value

The study captures corporate level, store level and consumer behaviour for a single retailer and is able to reflect upon how specific activities from the retailer interact with consumer attitudes and activities in the store. The authors connect various streams of research on CSR and retailing into one consistent framework.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Johan F. Lundin and Andreas Norrman

The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for describing and analyzing misalignments in supply chain management related to changes in supply chain structures…

1728

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for describing and analyzing misalignments in supply chain management related to changes in supply chain structures, processes and management components.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the systems approach, a single‐case study including several embedded cases from the same supply chain was deployed. This was done according to the abductive research approach, which is favourable when extending existing and developing new theory. Data were collected through observations, interviews and workshops, and later analyzed through pattern matching. The case studied was the Swedish cash supply chain, which was appropriate since it has gone through several changes in its supply chain structure and management.

Findings

A framework to describe and analyze misalignments in the supply chain was developed. The framework consists of three steps: first, identify changes in the supply chain, second, Identify Misalignments, and third, identify symptoms. For each step, a specific and more detailed framework was developed in order to facilitate the identification processes.

Originality/value

Using the framework described in this paper a researcher or practitioner acquires a structured approach to mapping the management of a supply chain so that its current misalignments can be identified.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Frederik Zachariassen and Dennis van Liempd

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain management (SCM) as a management implement from a symbolic perspective on a dyadic level. So far, no research has…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain management (SCM) as a management implement from a symbolic perspective on a dyadic level. So far, no research has investigated SCM from such a perspective, although SCM researchers implicitly have noted that it would be useful to have such a study in order to broaden the understanding of the SCM concept, as such a study allows for the use of alternative sociological theories.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study was chosen in order to investigate a focal firm's use of SCM. A total of 27 hours of interviews and 15 hours of observations were carried out at the focal firm and with a number of the firm's suppliers in order to investigate the subject.

Findings

The paper found that the SCM concept impacts the relationship between buyer and supplier in different ways depending on two dimensions: SCM as tool vs symbol and arm's length relationships vs strategic partnerships. Contrary to the mainstream idea of SCM as a tool for increased effectiveness of supply chains and increased collaboration with key suppliers, this paper found that SCM from a symbolic perspective at the focal firm came to function as either a justification or as a post‐rationalization for actions taken by the focal firm depending on whether the relationship can be considered a strategic partnerships or an arm's length relationship, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The paper was conducted from a dyadic, buyer‐supplier perspective. Being a limitation of the study, future research should investigate the proposed claims set forward in this paper on different levels (focal, chain, and network) in order to either strengthen or weaken the credibility of this present paper.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to investigate the management implement of SCM from a symbolic perspective.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Erik Hofmann

The purpose of this paper is to research the nature of supply chain strategy (SCS). It represents one stage of an on‐going research initiative aimed at providing a…

8412

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to research the nature of supply chain strategy (SCS). It represents one stage of an on‐going research initiative aimed at providing a framework for systematic understanding of the linkages between corporate strategy (CS) making and supply chain management (SCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explored the theory and literature related to strategic management and SCM. Four generic levels of strategy were linked to SCM, and synthesized into an explanatory SCS‐framework. Propositions for future research were presented based on the framework.

Findings

The paper shows that most of the literature on SCS relates to the functional level. Largely undiscovered are the links between corporate and business unit strategies with supply chain strategies and capabilities, especially on the network level (NL).

Practical implications

A fit between CS and SCM positively impacts the performance of a firm. The framework developed can be used by managers to assist in thinking through possibilities to link supply chain capabilities with the CS making processes.

Originality/value

By distinguishing between functional, business, corporate, and NLs, the paper provides a framework for future research to enhance knowledge related to supply chain strategies and capabilities.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Anders Haug, Anne Pedersen and Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn

Many companies are part of parent‐subsidiary supply chains, i.e. organisations where a parent company receives products from its subsidiary or the other way around. Having…

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Abstract

Purpose

Many companies are part of parent‐subsidiary supply chains, i.e. organisations where a parent company receives products from its subsidiary or the other way around. Having this close relationship in a supply chain network opens the possibilities for different setups of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across such companies. This paper clarifies the different ERP system strategies for companies in parent‐subsidiary supply chains and the consequences of choosing the different strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to position the contributions of the paper, literature on the use of ERP systems in supply chain management (SCM) is investigated. Next, four archetypical ERP system setups across parent‐subsidiary supply chains are defined. The consequences of the four defined setups are deduced. Three case studies are presented to justify the relevance of the defined four ERP system strategies and to further investigate the consequences of choosing these (one case study represents two strategies).

Findings

The paper shows that there are significant impacts of choosing one of the four ERP system setups across parent‐subsidiary supply chains, e.g. quality of communication, degree of local management, synergy effects, etc. Furthermore, the paper shows that extant literature dealing with ERP systems and SCM fails to consider this aspect, which may at worst lead to incorrect generalisations.

Research limitations/implications

The paper clarifies the importance of considering different ERP system setups in parent‐subsidiary relationships. Future research in ERP systems and SCM needs to focus more on this aspect.

Practical implications

The paper provides an improved basis for companies in parent‐subsidiary supply chains that are to implement ERP systems or are to rethink their current ERP strategy.

Originality/value

The definition of ERP system setups across parent‐subsidiary supply chains and the clarification of the consequences of these strategies represent new and useful contributions to the SCM and the ERP literature.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

1 – 10 of 33