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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2020

Mohamed A. Ghonim, Nagi M. Khashaba, Hameda M. Al-Najaar and Mohamed A. Khashan

In recent decades, the concept of strategic alignment has been a center of concern for researchers and practitioners. This alignment is associated with the process of…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent decades, the concept of strategic alignment has been a center of concern for researchers and practitioners. This alignment is associated with the process of strategic planning to achieve high strategic performance and competitiveness. This study aims to investigate the impact of strategic alignment on decision effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were collected from 383 employees of the Directorate of Health Affairs in the Dakahlia Governorate in Egypt, through a self-administered questionnaire. The PLS-SEM approach was used to analyze the collected data.

Findings

The results revealed that strategic alignment significantly and positively affects decision effectiveness and its dimensions, emphasizing the importance of considering all four dimensions of strategic alignment in an integrated model to achieve the greatest impact on the decision effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

This study is applied to a developing country, so a comparative study between both developing and developed countries may be needed. Second, the study was restricted to the nonprofit organization, so further research may examine the profit organizations.

Originality/value

Despite the existence of several studies on the relationship between strategic alignment and decision effectiveness in developed countries, studies conducted in the developing countries are still few. This is one of the earliest studies that adopt the multidimensional approach of strategic alignment in the public sector in emerging economies, which could help directors understand the interdependencies and different roles of strategic alignment dimensions in a novel comprehensive model.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Gomaa M. Agag, Mohamed A. Khashan, Nazan Colmekcioglu, Ahmed Almamy, Nawaf S. Alharbi, Riyad Eid, Haseeb Shabbir and Ziad Hassan Saeed Abdelmoety

Despite the increasing utilization of webpages for the purposes of information seeking, customers’ concerns have become a crucial impediment for online shopping. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasing utilization of webpages for the purposes of information seeking, customers’ concerns have become a crucial impediment for online shopping. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of the effectiveness of web assurance seals services (WASS) and customers’ concerns on customer’s willingness to book hotels through perceived website trust and perceived value.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was administrated to measure the study variables. Using partial least squares–structural equation modeling approach to analyze the data collected from 860 users of online hotel websites.

Findings

The results indicate that WASS influence positively on perceived website trust and negatively on consumers’ concerns. As well as, perceived value and trust play a mediating role in the link between WASS and consumers’ concerns and their intentions. Finally, perceived website trust and perceived value have greater effect on intention to book hotel for low-habit consumers.

Research limitations/implications

This study ignored the cross-culture issue as it concentrates on the customers from developing countries, so further research may need to compare between two or more than two samples from different societies that could give a significant insights. Second, this study stresses on the WASS to predict customers booking intentions that indicates significant results, so further research may need to examine the role of online reviews as a predictor of customers purchase decision as well.

Originality/value

To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first empirical research that investigates and examines the influence of the effectiveness of WASS and consumers’ concerns on consumers’ intentions through perceived value and trust. This research also investigates the moderating role of habit in the link between perceived website, perceived value and consumers’ intentions.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Strategic alignment can be used to boost decision effectiveness in organizations looking to gain a competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives, strategists and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Hussain Albin Shaikh, Sharon Purchase and Gregory Brush

The purpose of this study is to understand the development of social capital in an Arab business environment, and provide an in-depth description of the nature and role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the development of social capital in an Arab business environment, and provide an in-depth description of the nature and role of three key Arabic business relationship characteristics (ehsan, et-moone and wasta), their impact on each other and key influencing factors.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research design was used, in which face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with innovation teams (22 team members) at six industrial small and medium-sized enterprises in Saudi Arabia. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, then analyzed (thematic coding) through NVivo.

Findings

The findings suggest that wasta, ehsan and et-moone align closely with the three social capital dimensions (structural, cognitive and relational); thus, developing these three relationship characteristics most likely results in developing social capital. The findings also expand the description of the three business relationship characteristics. Moreover, ehsan, et-moone and wasta appear to influence each other, and are affected by other factors such as an individual’s age and position, and the duration of the relationship. Ehsan has a positive influence on the development of et-moone, while the existence of et-moone appears to be necessary for the establishment of wasta-capital. A high level of ehsan might influence the relationship between et-moone and wasta-use and limit the negative usage of wasta.

Practical implications

International managers can improve the level of ehsan in their organizational and business relationships through assigning incentives and playing the role of moral champion to encourage ehsan behavior. Managers aiming to increase et-moone may choose team members with a high level of ehsan, emphasizing the development of personal relationships, and providing opportunities for socialization both inside and outside the workplace. A high level of ehsan and et-moone will assist managers to develop and use wasta.

Originality/value

This study makes a threefold contribution to the literature. First, it provides an expanded description of the three Arabic business relationship characteristics and how they align closely with the dimensions of social capital. Wasta aligns with the structural dimension and ehsan aligns with the cognitive dimension, while et-moone aligns closely with the relational dimension. Second, it suggests and shows how the three relationship characteristics might interact with each other. Ehsan appears to influence et-moone, and also the relationship between et-moone and wasta. Et-moone appears to have a positive influence on wasta use. Third, the findings also indicate that there might be other factors (e.g. age and position) that influence the interactions between the three business relationship characteristics.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Ron Berger, Ram Herstein, Daniel McCarthy and Sheila Puffer

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Wasta, a culturally based system of social networks of exchange among in-group members in the Arab world, as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Wasta, a culturally based system of social networks of exchange among in-group members in the Arab world, as exemplified by three groups of Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, and then compares it to Guanxi (China), Sviazi (Russia) and JaanPechaan (India). The use of social networks is a common business model around the world to accomplish business objectives and is especially relied upon in emerging economies where formal institutions are weak. It is important to understand the commonalities and differences in the use of reciprocity in various cultural contexts in order to conduct business effectively. The aim of the paper is to illustrate the structure of Wasta and how it is perceived and constructed among three Arab social groups, and then compare and contrast it with social business models in three other high context cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative approach based on interviews to better understand the relationships involved.

Findings

The findings provide the foundation for a number of critical insights for non-Arab managers seeking to do business in the Arab world. For international managers to conduct business successfully, it is essential to understand how Wasta works, and establish relationships with members of influential social networks by building trust over time such that they create Wasta for themselves and indirectly for their firms. Using Wasta in the Arab world, as noted above, is similar to doing business successfully in other emerging economies such as using Sviazi in Russia (McCarthy and Puffer, 2008; Berger et al., 2017), Guanxi in China (Yen et al., 2011) and Jaan–Pechaan in India (Bhattacharjee and Zhang, 2011). The authors feel more confident in stating this view after comparing Wasta with these other three concepts, and noting that all four are built upon the same fundamental constructs.

Research limitations/implications

The authors recognize that the study is limited in terms of the geographical sample since it does not include any non-Palestinians, although the managers the authors sampled came from various regions in the Palestinian authority. Additionally, Palestinian managers are highly educated and mobile, and can be found in many other Arab countries working in managerial positions (Zineldin, 2002), thus potentially broadening the generalizability of the findings. Nonetheless, the samples would be called ones of convenience rather than randomly drawn from the three groups, since the latter would be extremely difficult to execute not only in the Palestinian Authority but in most of the Arab world due to the culturally based reluctance to provide sensitive information to those outside one’s network. Despite the difficulties that might be involved in exploring such culturally sensitive issues as the authors did in this study, the benefits in knowledge gained can be of significant importance to the study of international business in emerging and transition economies.

Originality/value

Little research has focused on the use of Wasta in the Arab world, a gap which this paper addresses. The authors do so by analyzing the views of Wasta held by three important groups – leaders, business people and students. While each type of reciprocity has its own unique characteristics, the authors focus on three interrelated constructs that have been found to underlie the use of reciprocity in various cultures. In the Arab world, these are Hamola, which incorporates reciprocity; Somah, that incorporates trust; and Mojamala, which incorporates empathy through social business networks.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Ron Berger, Bradley R. Barnes and Avi Silbiger

Managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from developed economies are often cautious to understand the cultural environment where they do business. This is…

Abstract

Purpose

Managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from developed economies are often cautious to understand the cultural environment where they do business. This is predominantly true in developing economies, and even more so in certain Arab countries where MNEs have limited knowledge and experience. The purpose of this study is to report on the development of a research instrument that is applicable to Arab business culture, following the 2011 Arab Spring. The investigation draws on data from three different groups of people, i.e. leaders (business professors and leading politicians), business people and postgraduate business students, all of Palestinian nationality. The article examines the Arabic culturally based business structure called Wasta, a system that relies on social networks and the reciprocal exchange of favors. A research instrument is developed to measure three dimensions of Wasta across these three different groups of people and examines their influence on relationship satisfaction and organizational performance. The findings reveal that the groups are affected differently by these dimensions and see different utility in Wasta. Such insights may be useful for MNE practitioners when entering Arab countries, when seeking to employ younger Arabs and when partnering with Arab businesses or dealing with government officials.

Design/methodology/approach

Research paper

Findings

This study has focused on the impact of Wasta on relationship satisfaction and on relationship performance for three different groups of individuals: business people, students and leaders. It was hypothesized that higher levels of each component of Wasta would contribute positively to relationship satisfaction, and that the latter would in turn lead to higher relationship performance. Findings generally supported these hypotheses with some variations among groups. Furthermore, it was predicted that the model would be relevant to all three groups, but would be structured differently reflecting their different views of business. The findings of this study help answer our research question about the socio-economic, cultural and political factors that influence the business process involving Arab and non-Arab business managers.

Originality/value

Original paper

Details

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

Keywords

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