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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Ron Berger, David Lamond, Yossi Gavish and Ram Herstein

The primary purpose of this paper is to fill the research gap regarding the evolution of managerial processes within (largely family) diamond industry firms, especially…

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this paper is to fill the research gap regarding the evolution of managerial processes within (largely family) diamond industry firms, especially over the past seven decades.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were gathered from interviews with 100 managers in the diamond industry in Israel, together with data from Israeli Government, industry and academic sources.

Findings

Over the recent life cycle of the diamond industry, with its changing structures and dynamics, participant firms have evolved through seven stages of engagement, from one based on trust and personal connections to more impersonal, standardized connections that exist today.

Research limitations/implications

In seeking to tell the story of industry participants as a group, the differences in behaviours between the family firms and the non-family firms have not explored. This should be the work of future research, which, if aimed at teasing out the results of this study, may help shed additional light on the strategic processes that occur within family firms.

Practical implications

Although the firms examined in this study were from one industry (and an arguably narrow cultural base), their development over time was not dissimilar to the experience reported in other industries and cultures. This suggests that the components of the evolution of the strategic process that ensues within family firms may be generalizable throughout cultures. In the absence of kin relationships, the importance of trust in their dealings cannot be overstated.

Originality/value

The findings demonstrate how one group of participants in the global diamond industry has responded to the changing economic, social and political contexts of their operations, where trust and personal connections have been replaced by more impersonal, standardized dealings.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Ram Herstein, Netanel Drori, Ron Berger and Bradley R. Barnes

Private-label goods are now available in more than 55 countries worldwide and their total sales value is estimated to be in excess of one trillion US dollars. The…

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1193

Abstract

Purpose

Private-label goods are now available in more than 55 countries worldwide and their total sales value is estimated to be in excess of one trillion US dollars. The prevalence of such goods, however, drastically differs across countries. Whilst market share in some developed economies exceeds 50 percent, penetration appears much lower in emerging economies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate marketing issues surrounding such low-penetration levels in emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were conducted with: 36 store managers and the marketing director of a large emerging market retail chain.

Findings

Eight factors were found to impede the retail chain’s vision regarding implementation of the private branding strategy.

Practical implications

Several implications are extracted from the study, mainly in the context of emerging markets that managers should consider in order to improve their private branding strategies.

Originality/value

Although some research has aimed to shed light concerning the significance of private brands from retailers’ perspectives, such research has not tended to address the issue of how to implement private brand strategies in emerging markets. To bridge the gap, this study investigates these issues from a retail chain management perspective in order to potentially leverage performance advantages associated with the nurturing of private-label branded goods.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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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

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Ron Berger and Ram Herstein

The Chinese diamond industry is dominated by SMEs. The purpose of this paper examines which of the three business strategies prevalent in the global diamond industry is…

Abstract

Purpose

The Chinese diamond industry is dominated by SMEs. The purpose of this paper examines which of the three business strategies prevalent in the global diamond industry is utilized by Chinese diamond SMEs compared to those used in other western countries. In so doing, it maps the major actors in the Chinese diamond industry and identifies the challenges faced by SMEs when entering the highly competitive but very lucrative Chinese diamond industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A two stage approach was undertaken. Step 1 involved exploratory field work with leading institutions. In the second stage a qualitative questionnaire was administered to members of 54 small to medium-sized international diamond SMEs operating in China. The difficulty of acquiring information on this secretive industry was further hindered by the equally secretive nature of Chinese culture.

Findings

Guanxi was found not to be prevalent in the Chinese diamond industry. This is an interesting finding as China is a socially embedded and highly networked society. Chinese diamond SMEs conduct business by implementing a transactional-based approach to business strategy that centers on short-term cash-based transactions.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should use a quantitative questionnaire with a larger set of Chinese SME diamond firms. Studies could also examine whether the transformation from a system based on social networks to a system based on market forces as found in the Chinese diamond industry has been transposed to other Chinese industries dominated by SMEs. This may show the rationalization of the Chinese economy and its progression toward western models of exchange.

Originality/value

This paper is a pioneering work on the structure and business strategy implemented by SMEs in the Chinese diamond industry.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Ron Berger and Ram Herstein

This article aims to present a historical overview of the evolution of business ethics in China and highlights the ways in which its ethical structure lags behind its…

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2230

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to present a historical overview of the evolution of business ethics in China and highlights the ways in which its ethical structure lags behind its rapid economic expansion. Understanding Guanxi, the Chinese social network of reciprocal business relations common in Confucian cultures, has long been recognized as one of the major success factors when doing business in China (Hwang et al., 2009). Recognizing the significant impact of Guanxi and its influence on everyday dealings in China is, thus, crucial for Western firms. Whereas considerable research has dealt with the growth of Chinese industries in recent years, the key relationship between changes in its economy and shifts in Chinese business ethics has been neglected although it impacts the ways Westerners, in particular, both clinch deals and judge Chinese firms. The implications of this disparity for global business are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion draws on the academic literature and the researchers’ experience in how business and business ethics are conducted between Western and Chinese firms. This paper presents a content analysis of theoretical articles and compares them to conceptual and empirical approaches, with an emphasis on a pragmatic approach to fostering a better understanding of the evolution of Chinese business ethics and its implications on business practices.

Findings

Maps the evolution of business ethics in China and need to adapt to an ever changing business environment.

Originality/value

This study offers a new insight to the evolution of Chinese business ethics and highlights its importance in business interactions. It illustrates the co-evolution of business ethics in parallel with the advancement of the Chinese economy. This paper is the first paper that addresses the issue of the evolution and formation of Chinese business ethics and links it to economic progress and opening up to the West.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2013

Ram Herstein, Shaked Gilboa and Eyal Gamliel

The present study aims to investigate the role of brand store image in the context of private and national fashion brands. The study examines two issues: do private brand…

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3168

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to investigate the role of brand store image in the context of private and national fashion brands. The study examines two issues: do private brand consumers differ from national brand consumers in their perception of the attributes they value in their store image? And, do fashion consumers in general differ in their perception of the attributes they value in a store image?

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a field survey comprising 395 respondents: 195 private brand consumers and 200 national brand consumers.

Findings

Findings indicate that the two groups of consumers do not differ in their perception of store image. Cluster analysis reveals two groups of consumers: “Brand Store Image Enthusiasts” who are high in their perception of their brand store image attributes, and “Brand Store Image Indifferent” consumers who are low in their perception of their brand store image attributes. The first group was also found to have greater brand loyalty.

Practical implications

Different marketing strategies are offered to each fashion sector. In addition, distributors in the fashion industry should build a strategy for Brand Store Image Enthusiasts who are high in their perception of all three brand store attributes. It is essential to point out the psychological meaning of the brand when appealing them.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the consumer behavior literature by tying the well-established construct of brand store image to the fashion sector in the context of private and national labels.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 22 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Ron Berger and Ram Herstein

Religion and culture can influence ethical behavior in business. It is suggested that there has been and continues to be, a deep interrelationship between religion…

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5370

Abstract

Purpose

Religion and culture can influence ethical behavior in business. It is suggested that there has been and continues to be, a deep interrelationship between religion, business ethics, and economic activity in India. As India is becoming a major global economic business partner, understanding its unique ethical business infrastructure is gaining in importance. The purpose of this paper is to intend to further the understanding of Indian (“Vendantic”) business ethics, as opposed to Greco – Roman business ethics, as the foundation of business culture in India. This paper further elaborates on the evolution of business ethics and its implications on doing business in and with Indian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors undertook a conceptual approach in order to understand the evolutionary process of Indian business ethics in a holistic view in order to understand better its workings and effect on business interaction.

Findings

The paper explains the constructs of business ethics in India and shows its evolution over time.

Originality/value

This original theoretical paper examines the evolution of Indian business ethics over time in line with environmental changes in the Indian business landscape.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 41 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Ram Herstein, Sigal Tifferet, José Luís Abrantes, Constantine Lymperopoulos, Tahir Albayrak and Meltem Caber

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between three personality traits (individualism, materialism and the “need for cognition”) and two…

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2788

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between three personality traits (individualism, materialism and the “need for cognition”) and two characteristics of shoppers who buy private‐label brands (their predisposition to do so, and the importance they attach to the “brand dimensions”) across four member countries of the Union of the Mediterranean.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire in the local language, using questions, items and scales adapted from previous studies, was completed by 683 undergraduate students. The scaled data were analysed by SPSS, and tested for internal reliability and equivalence.

Findings

Overall, the personality traits were significantly associated with both behavioural characteristics. Specifically, materialism and the need for cognition were linked to inclination to purchase private brands, and materialism and individualism to the perceived importance of brand dimensions. Cross‐cultural differences were found.

Originality/value

The demographic profile of the private‐brand consumer is well known, but not the behavioural profile. This study provides retail planners with valuable new marketing intelligence.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Ram Herstein and Ron Berger

Cities all over the world rebrand themselves in order to refresh their image and attract/continue attracting tourists, industry or whichever group they hope to engage

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3672

Abstract

Purpose

Cities all over the world rebrand themselves in order to refresh their image and attract/continue attracting tourists, industry or whichever group they hope to engage. Cities have tended to rebrand themselves based on varied social events and festivals such as fashion (Milan), food and beverages (Munich), folklore dancing (Rio de Janeiro), film (Cannes) and many more. The most powerful platform for rebranding a city is hosting the Olympic Games. Despite the fact that many city planners and decision-makers tend to perceive the Olympic Games as the highest yielding investment for reinforcing a city image, in the last three decades many host cities have lost millions of dollars, with this rare opportunity to leverage their city's image becoming one big fiasco. The aim of this paper is to present the key rules for making hosting the Olympic Games a very profitable business, in terms of reinforcing the city image.

Design/methodology/approach

Since some host cities are more established in economic terms and some are less, two different approaches (the “Barcelona model” and the “London model”) are discussed.

Findings

The Barcelona model shows how a city can leverage its image, based on the Olympic Games, to become more familiar to millions of potential tourists, and the London model shows how an entire country can also profit from the fact that its capital is hosting the Olympic Games.

Originality/value

The Barcelona model shows how a city can leverage its image, based on the Olympic Games, to become more familiar to millions of potential tourists, and the London model shows how an entire country can also profit from the fact that its capital is hosting the Olympic Games.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Sigal Tifferet and Ram Herstein

The present study has three aims: to find out whether individualism affects consumers' preference for private versus national brands; to assess the effect of individualism…

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4840

Abstract

Purpose

The present study has three aims: to find out whether individualism affects consumers' preference for private versus national brands; to assess the effect of individualism on the perceived importance of brand image dimensions (country‐of origin, packaging design and manufacturer reputation); and to assess the degree of cross‐cultural differences in individualism within a specific country, Israel.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 400 private brand customers participated in the study. Participants were students from eight universities and colleges in Israel. Students were carefully chosen to represent diverse cultural groups, based on their mother tongue: 100 students were native speakers of Arabic, 100 native speakers of Russian, 100 native speakers of Amharic and 100 native speakers of Hebrew.

Findings

Individualism predicted the inclination to purchase store brands better than demographic variables such as age, sex and income. Culture affected the importance of country of origin, and moderated the effect of individualism on the importance of manufacturer identity..

Originality/value

The paper documents research that is unique in studying psycho‐behavioral aspects of private brand consumers from the perspective of cultural differences, a venture that has rarely been taken in the past.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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