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Article

Valarie A. Zeithaml, P. “Rajan” Varadarajan and Carl P. Zeithaml

The contingency approach and its relevance to theory building and research in marketing is described. The approach is delineated and its theoretical foundations traced…

Abstract

The contingency approach and its relevance to theory building and research in marketing is described. The approach is delineated and its theoretical foundations traced. Several established contingency theories within the management discipline are outlined and the research they have stimulated on related topics in marketing are highlighted. An assessment of the current state of the contingency approach in marketing literature is then provided.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Liping Qian, Pianpian Yang and Yao Li

The purpose of this study is to reconcile the positive, non-significant and even negative effects of guanxi on firm performance from two aspects. First, it explores the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to reconcile the positive, non-significant and even negative effects of guanxi on firm performance from two aspects. First, it explores the linear and curvilinear relationships between guanxi and distinct performance dimensions. Second, it examines the moderating effects of both exchange-related behavioral risk (reflected by contract enforcement in this study) and market-related environmental risk (reflected by market turbulence in this study) on the above relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on data for 206 samples collected from distributors of house furnishings, computers and their components, a moderated regression is used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical test generally supports the conceptual model and demonstrates three findings. First, guanxi has a linear, positive effect on financial performance and an inverted U-shaped effect on strategic performance. Second, contract enforcement decreases the effect of guanxi on financial performance and enhances its effect on strategic performance. Third, market turbulence enhances the effect of guanxi on financial performance and weakens its effect on strategic performance.

Research limitations/implications

First, this study collects data only from China. Future studies should collect data from other emerging markets to allow for either model validation or cross-country comparisons. Second, the data come only from buyers, and suppliers’ viewpoints are not included. Third, in addition to contract enforcement and market turbulence, other important contingencies should be considered in the guanxi–performance link.

Practical implications

The results provide important implications for managers to manage guanxi in an emerging economy. Managers should be very clear about their primary goal (i.e. pursuing short-term financial revenue or long-term strategic targets); next, they should understand how to match guanxi with various levels of contract enforcement and market turbulence to achieve that goal.

Originality/value

First, prior research has documented guanxi’s role in channel relationships, but it has not achieved consistent conclusions. Second, although existing studies have analyzed the contingencies of guanxi at the firm level, market level and institutional level, another important contingency “the dyadic relationship condition” is rarely considered. Third, although the extant research has realized the value of guanxi contingent on various market conditions, conflicting views exist. This study contributes by addressing these issues.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Omar Merlo

Based on the widely held view that influence is exercised power, and in light of the suitability of power theory to studies of marketing's relative influence within the…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the widely held view that influence is exercised power, and in light of the suitability of power theory to studies of marketing's relative influence within the firm, this paper seeks to explore marketing's level of influence from a power perspective. The paper proposes and empirically tests a model in which the marketing function's four key types of power (bureaucratic power, critical contingencies power, network power, and psychological power) act as antecedents to marketing's influence within the firm. The model also aims to consider the contingency effect of market turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs data drawn from a sample of senior managers in medium and large manufacturing firms. The model is tested using hierarchical ordinary least squares regression analysis.

Findings

The findings provide support for a link between all types of power and marketing's influence, with the exception of psychological power. Market turbulence is also found to strengthen the positive link between marketing's critical contingencies power and marketing's level of influence.

Practical implications

The study identifies and discusses power mechanisms that may be employed by marketing subunits to maintain or strengthen their influence within the firm.

Originality/value

Empirical evidence has shown that strong marketing functions are still needed, yet are slowly disappearing. This study approaches the question of how marketing departments can protect or regain their influence by adopting a power perspective. The findings suggest that marketing departments can tap into different types of power to further their influence. The study discusses the key theoretical and managerial implications and proposes some directions for future research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 45 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Wai‐sum Siu and David A. Kirby

Though academic research into the marketing/ entrepreneurship interface is of only relatively recent origin, it would seem that the basic principles of marketing appear to…

Abstract

Though academic research into the marketing/ entrepreneurship interface is of only relatively recent origin, it would seem that the basic principles of marketing appear to be equally valuable to both large and small firms. This article provides a critical review of the research into the role and process of marketing in small firms and attempts to classify the existing studies. In so doing, it identifies four approaches, namely the stages/growth model; the management styles model; the marketing as a management function model and the contingency model. From this, it concludes that in order to advance the theory of small business marketing a theoretical framework integrating the contingency approach and the process model appears to hold the greatest potential.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 32 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Feng Wang, Xinyan Li and Man Chen

The aim of this study is to investigate the differential effects of pure and creative imitation on customer equity and the moderating roles of market contingency (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate the differential effects of pure and creative imitation on customer equity and the moderating roles of market contingency (i.e. competition intensity) and institutional contingency (i.e. enforcement inefficiency).

Design/methodology/approach

A lab experiment with 181 subjects and a survey of both senior and middle managers from 149 pharmaceutical firms in China were conducted.

Findings

Pure imitation decreases customer equity, but creative imitation increases it. Competition intensity attenuates the negative effect of pure imitation and the positive effect of creative imitation, whereas enforcement inefficiency only attenuates the negative effect of pure imitation.

Practical implications

The findings have significant implications for managers seeking to implement product imitation strategies in emerging economies. They can help managers understand the effects of two kinds of imitation strategies on customer equity. Furthermore, this shows that product imitation strategies should be aligned with various market and institutional contingencies to achieve better performance.

Originality/value

The authors distinguished between pure and creative imitation. Whereas previous studies have investigated the effects of pure and creative imitation on financial and market performance, the focus was on their differential effects on customer equity and the moderating roles of environmental contingencies at the market and institutional levels.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article

Pablo Cabanelas, Luciana C. Manfredi, Juan M. González-Sánchez and Jesús F. Lampón

Multimarket competition is an area of competitive dynamics focused on studying situations where firms compete against each other simultaneously in more than one market

Abstract

Purpose

Multimarket competition is an area of competitive dynamics focused on studying situations where firms compete against each other simultaneously in more than one market. The intensity of competition depends on the aggressiveness and the market contingencies, influencing the competitive strategies. Particularly, the purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of multimarket competition and market contingencies on innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory qualitative approach using the Grounded Theory is applied with conceptual purposes. The data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews and additional observations with senior strategies and decision-makers. The paper follows an extensive narrative to understand decision-taking processes on competitive strategy with the support of analytical software. The paper was performed in the automotive components industry making seats in two different countries to acknowledge the influence of market contingencies.

Findings

The results suggest that multimarket competition does not reduce the level of aggressiveness, but it offers a background that favors opportunities for companies and new business in circumstances of crisis associated to innovation. Depending on the market contingencies, strategies can foster a higher technological innovation, in those cases of high development in the industry, or diversification, when the development is lower.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to enrich multimarket competition theory with the study of innovation strategies in different market conditions, a topic not much explored in multimarket literature. Additionally, it suggests implications for managers attending to different market contingencies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Mona Rashidirad, Hamid Salimian and Ebrahim Soltani

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of the fit between product-service strategy and sensing capability on novelty, and the potential moderating impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of the fit between product-service strategy and sensing capability on novelty, and the potential moderating impact of contextual factors (i.e. technological and market turbulence) on novelty.

Design/methodology/approach

In line with the aim of the study, a quantitative approach is adopted and a multi-item scale survey is designed to collect primary data. Using a mixed mode survey, a total number of 491 questionnaires are collected from a sample of UK-based telecommunications firms. Multiple regression is used to test the hypotheses and predict the outcomes.

Findings

The results support the positive contribution of a contingency approach to the study of the impact of the fit between product-service strategy and sensing dynamic capability on novelty. The results also partially confirm the reinforcing impact of technological and market turbulence on novelty.

Originality/value

This study extends research on product-service strategy and sensing capability by adopting a contingency view, which intends to serve two purposes: to complement the existing reductionistic explanations and to explore how the relationship between product-service strategy and sensing capability could create novelty as well as the degree to which this relationship could be moderated in light of the external contextual factors.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Content available
Article

Theresa Eriksson, Alessandro Bigi and Michelle Bonera

This paper explores if and how Artificial Intelligence can contribute to marketing strategy formulation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores if and how Artificial Intelligence can contribute to marketing strategy formulation.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research based on exploratory in-depth interviews with industry experts currently working with artificial intelligence tools.

Findings

Key themes include: (1) Importance of AI in strategic marketing decision management; (2) Presence of AI in strategic decision management; (3) Role of AI in strategic decision management; (4) Importance of business culture for the use of AI; (5) Impact of AI on the business’ organizational model. A key consideration is a “creative-possibility perspective,” highlighting the future potential to use AI not only for rational but also for creative thinking purposes.

Research limitations/implications

This work is focused only on strategy creation as a deliberate process. For this, AI can be used as an effective response to the external contingencies of high volumes of data and uncertain environmental conditions, as well as being an effective response to the external contingencies of limited managerial cognition. A key future consideration is a “creative-possibility perspective.”

Practical implications

A practical extension of the Gartner Analytics Ascendancy Model (Maoz, 2013).

Originality/value

This paper aims to contribute knowledge relating to the role of AI in marketing strategy formulation and explores the potential avenues for future use of AI in the strategic marketing process. This is explored through the lens of contingency theory, and additionally, findings are expressed using the Gartner analytics ascendancy model.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article

Sungwook Min, Namwoon Kim and Ge Zhan

The purpose of this study is to offer explanations of the wide variation in the impact of market size on new market entry decisions – i.e. its positive impact lessens…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to offer explanations of the wide variation in the impact of market size on new market entry decisions – i.e. its positive impact lessens because of unreliable predictability of market size on post-entry profit and entry motivations other than post-entry profit.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of the two explanations, this paper builds a contingency frame that the impact of market size on new market entry depends on entry-context-specific variables. It validates the contingency frame, empirically analyzing 219 parameter estimates of the impact of market size on market entry obtained from 41 existing empirical studies.

Findings

The meta-analysis results reveal that the entry-context-specific variables used in this study – niche market entry, high-tech market entry, entry by industry incumbent firms and the year of market entry – notably moderate the impact of market size on new market entry decisions, as the research frame suggests.

Research limitations/implications

This study examines the various literature and study outcomes in the areas of marketing, economics and strategy to elucidate whether and when market size is a critical driver of new market entry. In most cases, the greater the new market size, the greater is the propensity to enter the market. However, the contingency arguments stated in this paper suggest that firms may and do enter a new market even if the market size is not large at the time of entry.

Originality/value

This paper enhances the understanding of the relative importance of market size in market entry decisions, which depend on various entry contexts. It clarifies the direction and magnitude of the impact of such entry contexts.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article

Henry F.L. Chung, Cheng Lu Wang and Pei‐how Huang

Although the relation between standardization/adaptation strategy and performance has been extensively examined in the international marketing literature, the findings…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the relation between standardization/adaptation strategy and performance has been extensively examined in the international marketing literature, the findings concerning these factors are still inconclusive. The conflicting results might relate to the analysis approach adopted in prior research, which tends to focus on the direct effect of marketing strategies. By utilizing the contingency theory, the purpose of this paper is to uncover the moderation factors for the strategy‐structure‐performance paradigm in the export sector. Internal, external and product‐related factors are explored.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on four strategy and structure combinations: The global approach (standardization‐centralization); the glocal approach (standardization‐decentralization); the regcal approach (adaptation‐centralization); and the local approach (adaptation‐decentralization). The interactive effect of the four approaches and a set of contingent factors are examined based on the experience of 151 exporting firms operating in the EU region. The respondent firms operate in various manufacturing and service industries.

Findings

It is revealed that firm size, international business experience, consumer characteristics, the legal environment, cultural distance and the nature of the products play a moderating role between a firm's adoption of a particular approach and its performance, as measured by market share and sales growth, dependent on the relevant marketing program elements (i.e. product, price, promotion and place).

Originality/value

The research findings presented in the paper have significant implications for future research and strategic application.

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