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Article

Boris Urban and Mandla Maphumulo

Research shows how with the evolution of technologies, technological opportunism enables firms to effectively identify and exploit innovations and opportunities through…

Abstract

Purpose

Research shows how with the evolution of technologies, technological opportunism enables firms to effectively identify and exploit innovations and opportunities through strategic management practices, such as adopting an entrepreneurial orientation. The study’s purpose is to explain the nature of the relationship between technological opportunism and innovation performance, while accounting for any possible moderating effects of entrepreneurial orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional design was used to collect primary data from targeted respondents (n = 347) in the South African banking sector. Initially, instrument validity and reliability is established and the hypotheses are tested using multiple regression analyses.

Findings

The findings support the hypotheses insofar higher levels of technological opportunism are positively associated with higher levels of innovation performance, which is moderated by entrepreneurial orientation in terms of innovativeness, risk-taking and proactiveness. Moreover, competitive hostility, as a control played a significant role in the moderation effect between technological opportunism and innovation performance.

Practical implications

Leaders need to appreciate the importance of an entrepreneurial organization in leveraging technological opportunities which is pivotal for emerging economies, rather than individual entrepreneurial activities, which are rarely scalable in African economies.

Originality/value

The study provides an original contribution by increasing the theoretical and empirical reach of research on entrepreneurial orientation and technological opportunism. Since the original scales have primarily been employed in developed economies, by verifying their psychometric properties, this now allows for further replication studies to take place in other similar emerging market contexts.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article

Nils Høgevold, Göran Svensson and Mornay Roberts-Lombard

This study explores a seller’s perspective in business relationships to validate whether the findings reported in previous studies based on buyer business relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores a seller’s perspective in business relationships to validate whether the findings reported in previous studies based on buyer business relationships apply to seller business relationships. The purpose of this study is to test whether satisfaction functions as a connector between positive antecedents (trust and commitment) and negative postcedents (opportunism and conflict) in a business-to-business (B2B) relationship, based on a seller perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive research design was applied and data was collected from Norwegian companies from the database of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. Respondents (Sales or Marketing Managers/Directors or Key Account Managers) were asked to identify one main business customer with whom they had interacted in the past year. A total of 213 responses could be used for data analysis. In addition, the measurement and structural models were assessed.

Findings

Trust was established as a positive alter ego of opportunism and opportunism as a negative alter ego of trust. The commitment was also determined to be a positive alter ego of conflict, with conflict being a negative alter ego of commitment. Furthermore, it was proven that alter egos are not opposites, but facets of antecedents and postcedents in relation to a connector, satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The tested model endorses the hypothesised relationships between trust, commitment, satisfaction, opportunism and conflict in Norwegian B2B relationships. Satisfaction is linked to its two antecedents and its outcomes and the hypothesised relationship between opportunism and conflict is also endorsed from a seller’s perspective in B2B relationships.

Practical implications

The findings can assist the B2B industry to understand how trust and commitment foster satisfaction, how satisfaction influences opportunism and conflict, and how opportunism relates to conflict in a seller-business relationship.

Originality/value

No previous study has focussed on relationship marketing in B2B relationships from a seller’s perspective to establish whether satisfaction functions as a connector between trust and commitment and opportunism and conflict.

Details

European Business Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article

Yin Zhou, Wei Yang and Guijun Zhuang

The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of how relational embeddedness offers marketing channel partners both benefits and hazards. The nonlinear…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of how relational embeddedness offers marketing channel partners both benefits and hazards. The nonlinear effect of relational embeddedness on channel opportunism is investigated. Influence strategies (i.e. coercive and noncoercive influence) are also examined as mediators of this nonlinear effect.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data are gathered from a sample of 149 manufacturers in China. The hypotheses are tested through regression analysis.

Findings

The results support the hypothesis that relational embeddedness has a U-shaped effect on opportunism, and that this relationship can be mediated through noncoercive influence strategies. The results also indicate that coercive influence has an inverted U-shaped effect and noncoercive influence has a U-shaped effect on opportunism.

Research limitations/implications

This research serves as a launching point for further investigations into the “black box” of the double-edged effects of relational embeddedness. Other channel behavior constructs can be explored in future studies.

Practical implications

Firms should be aware of the benefits and pitfalls associated with relational embeddedness in marketing channels. They should be alert to using influence strategies when managing channel opportunism.

Originality/value

This study addresses the dilemma of embeddedness in marketing channel relationships and reveals its causes and mechanisms by exploring the mediating effects of influence strategies.

Details

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

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Article

Smita Chaudhry

The paper seeks to understand the implications of partner opportunism for project relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to understand the implications of partner opportunism for project relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the theoretical literature, the paper presents a conceptual model considering the perspective of the organization impacted by partner opportunism.

Findings

The model proposes that partner opportunism lowers willingness to engage by creating perception of loss. The undesirable impact of opportunism on perceived loss is less if the partner has made high relation-specific investments. Also, the negative impact of perceived loss on willingness to engage is less if the partner is difficult to substitute.

Research limitations/implications

The model can be tested in the context of information technology (IT) relationships because of scope for opportunism in IT project relationships. Data can be collected through experimental vignettes.

Originality/value

The model contributes by investigating novel aspects of governance, behavioral consequences of opportunism and relation-specific investments in project relationships. The paper suggests that organizations can protect themselves against the ill effects of partner opportunism by enabling their stakeholders to invest substantial time and effort in the relationship and fortify relational quality and bonding.

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Article

Lei Wang, Chun Zhang, Jun Li, Dong Huo and Xing Fan

This study examines how unilateral supplier transaction-specific investments (TSIs), directly and indirectly, influence international buyer opportunism and the extent to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines how unilateral supplier transaction-specific investments (TSIs), directly and indirectly, influence international buyer opportunism and the extent to which detailed contracts enable suppliers to safeguard against international buyer opportunism. The study also examines whether relationship length affects the efficacy of detailed contracts in cross-border outsourcing relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses are tested by using data collected from multiple informants working for 229 manufacturing suppliers in China. Multiple regression with a three-way interaction is used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Unilateral supplier TSIs encourage international buyer opportunism through increased supplier dependence. Contract specificity negatively moderates the effect of supplier dependence on international buyer opportunism. This moderating effect is stronger in long-term cross-border buyer–supplier relationships than in short-term ones.

Originality/value

The current study extends the cross-border outsourcing literature by examining how emerging-market suppliers in a weak power position can proactively safeguard against international buyer opportunism by using detailed contracts. Our findings show that supplier dependence mediates the relationship between unilateral supplier TSIs and international buyer opportunism; detailed contracts, however, can help dependent suppliers safeguard against international buyer opportunism. In particular, the findings highlight the importance of long-term buyer–supplier relationships that enhance the efficacy of detailed contracts.

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Article

Richard J. Miller, Laura Munoz and Michael Mallin

This study aims to examine how contractual mechanisms, trust and ethical levels impact opportunism in marketing channel relationships between manufacturers and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how contractual mechanisms, trust and ethical levels impact opportunism in marketing channel relationships between manufacturers and distributors. Because the type of interactions, short-term or transaction-based vs long-term or relation-based, may also affect the level of opportunism, the study includes two scenarios to assess the impact of interaction type.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from 145 distributors were collected with 69 being transaction-based and 75 being relation-based interactions.

Findings

The sole use for transaction-based and relation-based interactions is not a significant deterrent for opportunistic behavior by a distributor. Ethical level is negatively related to opportunism in transaction-based interactions, perhaps because of calculative commitment. Trust positively moderates the relationship between contractual enforcement and opportunism in transaction-based interactions. Under relation-based interactions, the opposite occurs as trust reduces contractual enforcement efforts, and thus, opportunism is reduced as well. Ethical level negatively moderates the relationship between contractual enforcement and opportunism in transactional and relational based interactions.

Originality/value

Researchers have called for a more holistic approach to better understand phenomena. This study addressed that call by being the first to include contracts, trust, ethical level and opportunism within the context of the transaction and relation-based interactions between a manufacturer and a distributor. Contractual enforcement is not a significant deterrent of opportunism for transactional or relational interactions. Trust is negatively related to opportunism only in transaction-based interactions; perhaps, the threshold for acting opportunistically may be lower because of the short-term nature of the interaction. The ethical level is negatively related to opportunism in transaction and relational interactions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Tore Mysen and Bård Tronvoll

This paper aims to examine the extent to which exporter difficulties in evaluating foreign sales agent performance affect export performance, either directly or as…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the extent to which exporter difficulties in evaluating foreign sales agent performance affect export performance, either directly or as mediated by opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

In developing the hypotheses, the study integrates transaction cost theory and principal-agent theory. The proposed relationships between the constructs (performance ambiguity, opportunism, and export performance) are examined for a multi-industry sample of Norwegian exporters in their dealings with foreign sales agents. A survey of 410 qualified key informants yielded 101 usable questionnaires – a response rate of 24.6%. Structural equation modeling is used for data analysis and hypothesis testing.

Findings

The analysis finds support for the hypothesis that sales agent performance ambiguity relates negatively to export performance. While performance ambiguity is positively related to sales agent opportunistic behavior, opportunism does not significantly influence export performance. It seems that the adaptation costs created by the evaluation problem are of greater importance in reducing export performance than the costs created by opportunistic behavior.

Research limitations/implications

In focusing on the core dimensions of sales agent performance in foreign markets, other factors influencing export performance are not included. The fact that small Norwegian firms dominate the sample, further limits application and generalization of the findings. Hence, results should be interpreted with caution and the study considered as investigative. Nevertheless, the results indicate to export managers and theory potentially deteriorating dimensions in the relationship between exporter and foreign independent sales agent.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to examine how performance ambiguity and opportunistic behavior among foreign sales agents affect export performance. By concentrating on basic deteriorating dimensions, the study adds to the few that focus on inhibiting drivers of exporter – foreign–sales–agent relationships.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article

Naiding Yang, Yue Song, Yanlu Zhang and Jingbei Wang

The purpose of this study is to enhance the comprehensive understanding of the roles of resource investments, explicit contracts and three components of guanxi (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to enhance the comprehensive understanding of the roles of resource investments, explicit contracts and three components of guanxi (i.e. renqing, ganqing and mianzi) in asymmetric research and development (R&D) partnerships. Treating dependence asymmetry as a multidimensional construct, this study examines the moderating effects of these elements on the relationships between resources and information asymmetry and opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was executed by issuing questionnaires to R&D managers participating in R&D projects and collaborations in the Shanghai and Jiangsu provinces via e-mail and face to face surveys. A multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical test generally supported the conceptual model and produced the following findings: first, resources and information asymmetry significantly and positively affect opportunism. Second, the partner’s resource investments can weaken the effect of resources and information asymmetry on the partner’s opportunism. Third, explicit contracts can reduce the impact of information asymmetry on the partner’s opportunism. Fourth, renqing and ganqing but not mianzi can weaken the influence of information asymmetry on the partner’s opportunism.

Originality/value

This study provides a comprehensive and clear understanding of how opportunism can be curbed by jointly considering resource investments, explicit contracts and guanxi in asymmetric R&D cooperative relationships. Moreover, dependence asymmetry and guanxi are measured as a multidimensional construct and reveal their underlying structure, which expands previous understandings of risk management in R&D collaborations.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Claus Steinle, Holger Schiele and Tobias Bohnenkamp

In light of increasingly tight buyer–supplier relationships, opportunism is a problem of increasing relevance. So far, opportunism has mainly been researched as a…

Abstract

Purpose

In light of increasingly tight buyer–supplier relationships, opportunism is a problem of increasing relevance. So far, opportunism has mainly been researched as a detrimental action by suppliers and interpreted with an institutional economics lens. Recent conceptual work, however, has argued more for a behavioral approach to operations management, suggesting benefits of taking a social capital perspective on opportunism. Based on a large empirical sample of buyer–supplier relations, this paper aims to provide an empirical study using social capital as theoretical lens. Further, it analyzes both supplier and buyer opportunism at the same time.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper, through following a quantitative approach, considers the interacting dyad of buyer and supplier opportunism, its antecedents as well as its performance implications.

Findings

Findings did not support the expectation that supplier opportunism will be countered by buyer opportunism in a single relationship. However, social capital in the form of cognitive and relational capital has been found as a good predictor of opportunism. This study proposes new measures for structural capital. Further the study confirms the detrimental effect of opportunism on performance of the buyer–supplier relationship, highlighting the mediating role of innovation as building block of relational competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

Previous studies on opportunism in buyer–supplier relations were mostly transaction cost-oriented, thus neglecting the behavioral aspects of exchange processes. Introducing social capital theory revealed to be a rewarding amplification of the perspective. Next, most research up till now was focused on explaining supplier opportunism only. This study contributes by analyzing both sides of the interacting dyad. Finally, this research closes a research gap by not only explaining the occurrence of opportunism but by also testing its performance outcomes. Accordingly, this study contributes to the opportunism literature, social capital theory development and to the management of buyer–supplier relations.

Practical implications

Building up cognitive and relational capital is likely to be a tool to reduce the danger of opportunism – both with the partner firm, as well as inside the own organization. As such, firms need to make sure that both forms of social capital are present to a higher extent. If this is not the case, opportunistic actions on both buying and supplying side might occur which have damaging impacts on the generation of innovation as well as the achievement of strategic advantages.

Originality/value

While previous studies have focused on explaining supplier opportunism, an analysis of both sides of the interacting dyad between buyer and supplier opportunism is missing. Not only does this research provides further insights with regard to the latter, but further considers the role of social capital as underlying factor explaining both buyer and supplier opportunism. Also, this research answers the call on more research about the relation between opportunism and performance, specifically focusing on innovation and strategic advantage generation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Lu Shen, Chuang Zhang and Wenbo Teng

This study aims to examine the double-edged effects of guanxi on opportunism and the moderating effects of legal enforceability and partner asset specificity. It thus…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the double-edged effects of guanxi on opportunism and the moderating effects of legal enforceability and partner asset specificity. It thus differs from the current literature, which primarily focuses on the benevolent effects of guanxi.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on matched data collected from 268 sales manager and salesperson dyads, this study tested hypotheses using hierarchical regressions.

Findings

The empirical test supports the conceptual model and demonstrates two findings. First, guanxi between boundary spanners follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with inter-firm opportunism. Second, both the benefits and drawbacks of guanxi are stronger under the condition of low legal enforceability and high partner asset specificity.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not untangle guanxi into different dimensions and did not investigate how firms should make trade-offs between the benefits and drawbacks of guanxi. Therefore, future research could further explore this question by using a multidimensional approach.

Practical implications

The study alerts managers that guanxi is a double-edged sword, so they should complement it with formal control mechanisms, particularly when they are operating in legally inefficient regions or when their partner firm’s asset specificity is high.

Originality/value

The study offers a more balanced view of guanxi by showing both its positive and negative effects on opportunism. It also uncovers legal enforceability and partner asset specificity as two boundary conditions that influence the curvilinear effects of guanxi on opportunism.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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