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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Peter Ekman, Peter Thilenius, Steven Thompson and Jonathan Whitaker

While much existing research on multinational corporation (MNC) digital transformation has followed a linear design and implementation logic using cross-sectional data…

Abstract

Purpose

While much existing research on multinational corporation (MNC) digital transformation has followed a linear design and implementation logic using cross-sectional data, the multiple and divergent needs of headquarters (HQ) and subsidiaries suggest that MNC digital transformation actually involves a more iterative journey. The purpose of this paper is to apply the theoretical perspective of embeddedness to better define the complexities of MNC digital transformation, and identify how HQ and subsidiaries can navigate the complexities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a longitudinal multi-case study of five Forbes Global 2000 firms that are HQ in Europe with large subsidiaries in the USA. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 26 senior executives at HQ and subsidiaries over a 15-month period.

Findings

The process of digital transformation is significantly influenced by internal embeddedness (relationship of HQ with subsidiaries and across subsidiaries) and external embeddedness (relationship of subsidiaries with their local markets), and also by strategy, financial and technology considerations. While HQ and subsidiaries have different perspectives, an understanding of these influences can help HQ and subsidiaries navigate digital transformation.

Research limitations/implications

HQ and subsidiaries can apply insights from this research to navigate the complexities of digital transformation.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that embeddedness is a useful theory to understand the complexities of MNC digital transformation.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Peter Ekman, Cecilia Erixon and Peter Thilenius

This study aims to investigates the possible gap between the logic of these information technology (IT) systems and industrial firms’ marketing practices. Industrial firms…

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2439

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigates the possible gap between the logic of these information technology (IT) systems and industrial firms’ marketing practices. Industrial firms rely extensively on IT systems for their business.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the contemporary marketing practice (CMP) model, which depicts firms’ marketing practice as ranging from transactional to more relational and networked-based, the logic of IT systems and how users in industrial firms adopt them are amended to create an extended model. The extended model is used to analyze an in-depth case based on 63 interviews regarding one industrial firm’s business with customers and suppliers and how IT is utilized in this setting.

Findings

Results show that industrial firms’ relationship-oriented business is poorly supported by currently used IT systems. This gap between the IT systems, which are transaction-focused, and industrial firms’ marketing practice, which is relationship-based, has severe effects on adoption and efficiency of IT systems. The marketers prefer local, non-integrated, IT with limited usefulness on an overall firm level while resisting the firms’ comprehensive IT systems. This forms an IT–marketing gap given that current IT does not match the marketing practice of relationship-oriented industrial firms.

Originality/value

This study applies an extended CMP model in a novel way focusing one industrial firm, its customers and suppliers and the IT used in this setting. The study shows that all marketing practices of the CMP model can be found in one firm’s business, albeit one category, i.e. interaction marketing (a relationship approach), is dominating. The use of the CMP framework offers new and valuable insights into the fundamental cause to the industrial marketers’ limited use of integrated IT.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

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53910

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Peter Ekman, Peter Thilenius and Torbjörn Windahl

Research has shown that companies focus their internal processes when they adopt enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, the ERP systems need to expand their…

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2085

Abstract

Purpose

Research has shown that companies focus their internal processes when they adopt enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, the ERP systems need to expand their functionality to include customers and suppliers (with e-commerce functionality) to reach their full potential. The purpose of this paper is to consider business relationships as a resource but also a limitation when companies strive to get an extended ERP system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents an illustrative case study of an industrial company's process of developing an extended ERP and how the company's portfolio of business relationships has affected the solution. The analysis is supported by the markets-as-networks theory.

Findings

The process of developing an extended ERP system needs to incorporate the company's business partners (customers and suppliers). It is a simultaneously bottom-up and top-down process given that the operative frontline staff hold the knowledge about the company's business relationships while the corporate management has the means of extending the ERP system functionality and align it with the focal company's strategy.

Research limitations/implications

Companies need to consider the fact that the technological and financial status of their customers and suppliers differ. Thus, an effective and flexible extended ERP system needs to include both a high-end and low-end solution as well as understand that a full interorganizational integration might not be realistic.

Originality/value

The paper puts forth business relationship portfolios as an important factor to consider when extending the ERP system functionality in the supply chain and toward customers.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Amjad Hadjikhani and Peter Thilenius

While an ever‐increasing body of research on business networks has commented on vertically connected relationships, this study embeds the horizontally connected…

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5783

Abstract

Purpose

While an ever‐increasing body of research on business networks has commented on vertically connected relationships, this study embeds the horizontally connected relationships. Constructed on business network theories the paper aims to add more knowledge on business networks by developing a connection model including both vertical and horizontal connections. The model aims to explore the impact of connections on focal business relationships. It differentiates connected relationships on the basis of their vertical and horizontal natures. The purpose is to grasp the impact of these different connected relationships on the focal business relationship. The focal relationship elements are defined by commitment and trust, which capture their properties from the dyadic interaction and the two types of connected relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tests the theoretical construction empirically. The empirical study is based on the IMP2 survey, utilizing information from extensive interviews with 138 firms regarding their relationships with important foreign customers.

Findings

The statistical findings in the form of a LISREL‐model clearly expose the impact of the horizontal connections and verify the validity of the theoretical model. It depicts that trust increase by vertical connections leading to increased commitment, thus strengthening the relationship while horizontal connection, on the contrary, weakens it. The facts also demonstrate how the horizontal connections impose effects on technological long‐term investments.

Originality/value

Marketing researchers advocating certain theoretical views are thereby required to observe respect for the market realities with which managers are confronted.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Amjad Hadjikhani, Cecilia Lindh and Peter Thilenius

With a comparative aim, the purpose of this paper is to challenge the general assumption behind relationship longevity. The question under attention is whether firms'…

Abstract

Purpose

With a comparative aim, the purpose of this paper is to challenge the general assumption behind relationship longevity. The question under attention is whether firms' relationship of a discontinuous nature is different from continuous relationships and if so what this diversity entails. In the essay, a conceptual view is developed and tested statistically. The ambition is to add new knowledge to the field of business relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay's theoretical foundation rests on relationship theory and employs the four relationship behaviour elements of trust, commitment, cooperation and adaptation. Differences/similarities in the effects among these elements are tested for two types of relationships, i.e. those of continuous and discontinuous exchange, using data from 353 Swedish firms.

Findings

The results show that a firm's behaviour in continuous relationships rests on incremental change, in the sense that the relationship elements of trust, commitment, cooperation and adaptation display sequential and progressive effects. This supports the common notion of a gradual strengthening of the business relationship resulting in longevity. Contrary to this, a firm's behaviour in discontinuous relationships is guided by the level of trust, which thus forms the base for the remaining elements. The absence of incremental change in the relationship behaviour and the pivotal role of trust mean that these relationships are weaker and are faced with interruptions and interference from competitors. Thereby business firms are confronted with different marketing challenges. The differences in the relationship behaviour of the two types signify that the view of relationships indeed needs advancement.

Originality/value

Falling from a continuous to a discontinuous business relationship is becoming more common due to reasons such as market crises, business or firm crisis or because of the nature of the businesses as such. While earlier research studied the relationships' continuity and discontinuity separately, this paper enriches the earlier efforts and compares the two types. Understanding the differences between the two types of relationship can enrich the knowledge, not only for researchers but also for business managers.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2012

Annoch Isa Hadjikhani, Andreas Pajuvirta and Peter Thilenius

In this chapter one of few studies made of banks’ internationalization process in emerging markets, focusing on behaviour relating to the political environment is…

Abstract

In this chapter one of few studies made of banks’ internationalization process in emerging markets, focusing on behaviour relating to the political environment is presented. Aiming to understand banks’ behaviour in the Russia, an analytical framework built on the internationalization process model incorporating the impact of political environment is developed. The empirical data in the chapter concern Sweden's four largest banks’ expansion into the Russian market and is presented in form of an longitudinal cross-case study with secondary data between years 1990 and 2010, collected retrospectively. The secondary data consist of newspaper articles, annual reports and press releases. Findings show that in stable periods, Swedish banks have followed the pattern of the internationalization process model when expanding into the Russian market. In periods of instability, the banks’ behaviour is heterogenic and can be opportunistic or cautious.

Details

Business, Society and Politics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-990-5

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Amjad Hadjikhani, Aswo Safari and Peter Thilenius

The purpose is to gain deeper knowledge of young consumers' purchasing behaviour towards web sites' country of origin and compare this with the behaviour of adults. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to gain deeper knowledge of young consumers' purchasing behaviour towards web sites' country of origin and compare this with the behaviour of adults. The question is why web sites from some countries are perceived as safe and others as risky and insecure.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to undertake a focus group methodology for data collection. Two young consumers' groups and two adults' groups are interviewed. Their behaviours towards web sites from Sweden, Russia and Australia are examined. The theoretical view is constructed on relationship elements of trust, commitment and the surrounding networks.

Findings

The research provides an insight into the young consumers' purchasing behaviour towards web sites from different countries and concludes how and why this is similar to or different from that of the adult consumers.

Practical implications

The higher risk‐taking manner of young consumers can help families to pay more attention to their youngsters' purchasing behaviour. It aids business firms to understand why some groups of consumers avoid purchasing from their web sites.

Originality/value

It is an answer to the recent researchers' claim for the need to understand young consumers' behaviour towards web sites from different countries. The development of the theoretical view and the results obtained can add new knowledge and construct new understanding of the phenomenon.

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Virpi Havila, Jan Johanson and Peter Thilenius

This paper addresses the question of whether the dyadic approach to international business relationships should, in some situations, be extended to a triadic one. In…

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6113

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether the dyadic approach to international business relationships should, in some situations, be extended to a triadic one. In studies of business relationships the common view is that the relationship consists of two parties, one selling party and one buying party. However, in some, especially international business relationships an intermediary exists that has contact with both the selling party and the buying party, at the same time as the selling party and the buying party also have direct contact with each other, i.e. these relationships are triadic by nature. The purpose here is to investigate whether a triadic approach should be used in these types of situations. The empirical analysis is based on a subset of the database established within the IMP2‐project. The analysis of the data material was done using LISREL. Trust and commitment, two central concepts in studies within the field of business‐to‐business research, are used to investigate whether business‐relationship triads are different from business‐relationship dyads. The results indicate that this is very much the case.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2012

Abstract

Details

Business, Society and Politics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-990-5

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