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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Olli Kuivalainen, Sanna Sundqvist, Sami Saarenketo and Rod McNaughton

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the conceptual frameworks and concepts with which the research on internationalization patterns of small and…

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9308

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the conceptual frameworks and concepts with which the research on internationalization patterns of small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) should be conducted.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive overview of concepts and a conceptual framework to study internationalization patterns of SMEs is offered.

Findings

The complexities of existing definitions and methodologies for researching internationalization patterns are highlighted, and a synthesis of the issues is provided. An integrative model of internationalization pathways, and their antecedents and outcomes is presented.

Research limitations/implications

It is recommended that future research focuses especially on the time dimension of internationalization patterns. Future research can contribute to the literature by adopting a longitudinal approach with larger samples and more detailed cases to capture the dynamics of internationalization.

Practical implications

Practitioners might map their positions, and look for challenges and opportunities with regard to their chosen internationalization pattern. They can also benchmark other firms’ pathways and fine‐tune their own approach to internationalization.

Originality/value

The paper integrates a large body of research in an important research area in international marketing. It also provides guidance on how to conduct future research in the area, and introduces the content of this special issue of the International Marketing Review.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Sanna Sintonen, Anssi Tarkiainen, John W. Cadogan, Olli Kuivalainen, Nick Lee and Sanna Sundqvist

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the case where – by design – one needs to impute cross-country cross-survey (CCCS) data (situation typical for example among…

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1315

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the case where – by design – one needs to impute cross-country cross-survey (CCCS) data (situation typical for example among multinational firms who are confronted with the need to carry out comparative marketing surveys with respondents located in several countries). Importantly, while some work demonstrates approaches for single-item direct measures, no prior research has examined the common situation in international marketing where the researcher needs to use multi-item scales of latent constructs. The paper presents problem areas related to the choices international marketers have to make when doing cross-country/cross-survey research and provides guidance for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Multi-country sample of real data is used as an example of cross-sample imputation (292 New Zealand exporters and 302 Finnish ones) the international entrepreneurial orientation (IEO) data. Three variations of the input data are tested: first, imputation based on all the data available for the measurement model; second, imputation based on the set of items based on the invariance structure of the joint items shared across the two groups; and third, imputation based both on examination of the invariance structures of the joint items and the performance of the measurement model in the group where the full data was originally available.

Findings

Based on distribution comparisons imputation for New Zealand after completing the measurement model with Finnish data (Model C) gave the most promising results. Consequently, using knowledge on between country measurement qualities may improve the imputation results, but this benefit comes with a downside since it simultaneously reduces the amount of data used for imputation. None of the imputation models leads to the same statistical inferences about covariances between latent constructs than as the original full data, however.

Research limitations/implications

Considering multiple imputation, the present exploratory study suggests that there are several concerns and issues that should be taken into account when planning CCCSs (or split questionnaire or sub-sampling designs). Even if there are several advantages available for well-implemented CCCS designs such as shorter questionnaires and improved response rates, these concerns lead us to question the appropriateness of the CCCS approach in general, due to the need to impute across the samples.

Originality/value

The combination of cross-country and cross-survey approaches is novel to international marketing, and it is not known how the different procedures utilized in imputation affect the results and their validity and reliability. The authors demonstrate the consequences of the various imputation strategy choices taken by using a real example of a two-country sample. The exploration may have significant implications to international marketing researchers and the paper offers stimulus for further research in the area.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Sanna Sundqvist, Kalevi Kyläheiko, Olli Kuivalainen and John W. Cadogan

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the mechanisms by which entrepreneurial‐oriented behaviours (EOB) enhance international business performance. In so doing…

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2323

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the mechanisms by which entrepreneurial‐oriented behaviours (EOB) enhance international business performance. In so doing, the authors demonstrate that different dimensions of EOB may need to be emphasized or dampened, depending on the environmental conditions facing the firm.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 783 Finnish exporters is undertaken, and the relationships between the dimensions of EOB and business performance are assessed.

Findings

It is found that Kirznerian manifestations of EOB have stronger positive relationships with export profits when markets are relatively stable, whereas Schumpeterian manifestations of EOB have stronger positive relationships with export profits when markets are more dynamic.

Research limitations/implications

The study has implications for researchers studying multidimensional strategic orientations. The approach adopted is novel, in that instead of adopting a fully aggregated or fully disaggregated approach to the study of a strategic orientation, the authors use a theoretically derived partial aggregation approach. As a result, EOBs are grouped into two kinds, and the latter are shown to behave differently with respect to relationships with performance outcomes. The study limitations include single source data and its cross‐sectional design.

Practical implications

When markets are relatively stable, businesses need to emphasize the Kirznerian manifestations of EOB (i.e. display high levels of competitive aggressiveness and proactiveness) and downplay Schumpeterian manifestations of EOB (i.e. reduce innovativeness, risk taking and autonomy). However, in highly dynamic markets, managers should focus on Schumpeterian manifestations of EOB at the expense of Kirznerian EOB.

Originality/value

This paper introduces Schumpeterian and Kirznerian entrepreneurial behavior in an international marketing context, and analyses the effects of these activities on international performance under varying levels of environmental turbulence.

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

John W. Cadogan, Sanna Sundqvist, Kaisu Puumalainen and Risto T. Salminen

The study aims to develop and test a model of export performance, focusing on the degree to which firms have different types of export flexibility and the degree to which…

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3859

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to develop and test a model of export performance, focusing on the degree to which firms have different types of export flexibility and the degree to which firms adopt market‐oriented behavior in their export operations (i.e. their degree of export market‐oriented [EMO] behavior). Furthermore, the study seeks to examine the moderating roles that EMO behavior and export environment play with respect to the relationships between export flexibility dimensions and export performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested on a sample of 783 exporting firms. Data were collected via mail survey. Analysis was undertaken using structural equation modeling.

Findings

EMO behavior moderates the relationship between export flexibility and export sales performance. However, EMO behavior's moderating role differs depending on (a) the source of the export flexibility, and (b) the environmental conditions the firms face. Increasing levels of EMO behavior are associated with increased export sales performance under all conditions studied.

Research limitations/implications

Reliance on cross‐sectional data may limit generalizability, as may the reliance on single country data. Additional sources of export flexibility should be modeled, as should more complex models of the export environment.

Practical implications

The findings identify several situations when EMO behavior is most beneficial and others where it is beneficial (but less so). Similarly, the results pinpoint situations where greater levels of export flexibility are a necessity. Managers should look to exploit this knowledge by enhancing EMO behavior and export flexibility.

Originality/value

This study is one of the very few that explicitly identifies export flexibility as a source of competitive advantage in the exporting literature. It is also the first study to suggest that EMO behavior's ability to shape export success is determined in part by other factors internal to the firm (e.g. export flexibility), as well as factors external to the firm (environment).

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Noemi Sinkovics, Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Ruey‐Jer “Bryan” Jean

While the internet enjoys increasing interest regarding its potential to extend the global reach of firms, especially small and medium‐sized firms (SMEs), little work has…

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6057

Abstract

Purpose

While the internet enjoys increasing interest regarding its potential to extend the global reach of firms, especially small and medium‐sized firms (SMEs), little work has been done on the viability of the internet as a new and effective path to internationalization. Specifically, it is unclear how the internet can successfully support export marketing. The purpose of this paper is to examine the drivers and performance outcomes of two patterns of internet use supporting export marketing: the internet as an alternative to a physical presence and the internet as a sales channel.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 115UK‐based SMEs involved in “active online internationalization”. Relationships are examined in a “soft‐modeling” partial least squares (PLS) analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that online channel support positively enhances export performance for SMEs. Yet, the use of the internet as an alternative to a physical market presence does not lead to higher export performance. Specifically, born‐global firms that are relying too much on the internet are prone to fall into the “virtuality trap”. Entrepreneurial firms that use the internet as a sales channel can improve their overall performance, however.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides some empirical evidence of the existence of the notion of the “virtuality trap”. The paper also shows that the internet can serve a valuable complementary role. Traditional exporters are likely to use the internet as a complement to, and thus to support, existing physical operations.

Practical implications

Managers should focus on relationship building and on‐site learning, instead of putting too much emphasis on the internet as a substitute for a physical market presence.

Originality/value

The authors develop a framework and explore previously untested relationships that suggest the internet may play a complementary role in firm internationalization.

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Book part
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Sanna Sundqvist and Olli Kuivalainen

A common weakness of most growth models is the assumption that growth is a desired objective for entrepreneurs (see, e.g. Bird, 1989). However, not all entrepreneurial…

Abstract

A common weakness of most growth models is the assumption that growth is a desired objective for entrepreneurs (see, e.g. Bird, 1989). However, not all entrepreneurial firms seek growth as their primary objective (Covin, Slevin, & Covin, 1990; Porter, 1996), and further there is no reason to expect that all entrepreneurs want their businesses to grow in similar ways (Liao & Welsch, 2003). Thus, in many cases researchers have separated growth orientation from actual growth. In previous studies growth orientation has been defined as precondition to growth (see, e.g. Autio et al., 2000). Growth orientation is an attitudinal concept based on subjective evaluation (Nummela, Puumalainen, & Saarenketo, 2005) and is considered to be particularly important for international growth (Yli-Renko et al., 2002). IGO is thought to be a useful construct for differentiating companies according to their motivation to seek growth in international markets, and also for identifying the factors behind the chosen growth strategies (Nummela et al., 2005).

Details

New Challenges to International Marketing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-469-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2010

Olli Kuivalainen, Sanna Sundqvist and John W. Cadogan

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to study how dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (competitive aggressiveness, proactiveness and risk taking) affect…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to study how dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (competitive aggressiveness, proactiveness and risk taking) affect international performance in competitive and technology-intensive international environments.

Methodology/approach – To address the research questions, structural equation modelling is applied to Finnish survey data (N=271).

Findings – Our findings reveal that the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation are differentially related to international performance, and that their effect is contingent on moderating variables.

Research limitations – One limitation is the use of cross-sectional data as it limits the possibility of drawing strong conclusions from the development of the relationships between the different constructs. Also the fact that the study was conducted in a single-country setting is a limitation.

Practical implications – Results indicate that entrepreneurial behaviour is of importance for international business managers. However, results imply that prior to striving for proactive behaviour, competitive aggressiveness and venturesome risk taking managers should study their international market environments carefully and truly understand the nature of these turbulent markets, as in many occasions strong emphasis on entrepreneurial behaviour did not contribute positively to the international performance indicators, such as increasing sales and profits.

Originality/value of the chapter – Present study extends the works of Zahra and Garvis (2000), Lumpkin and Dess (2001) and Wiklund and Shepherd (2005), for example, by (a) applying entrepreneurial orientation on international business, (b) examining the effects of different dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation on a firm's international performance and (c) extending the research of the role of moderating effects on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance.

Details

Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-088-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Tanja Kontinen and Arto Ojala

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the internationalization of family firms; to investigate how the framework by Bell et al. on the…

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5435

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the internationalization of family firms; to investigate how the framework by Bell et al. on the internationalization patterns of firms could explain the internationalization pathways taken by family‐owned small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs); and to identify typical patterns and features in the various pathways taken by family‐owned SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports findings from an in‐depth multiple case study with eight Finnish family‐owned SMEs.

Findings

The ownership structure had the most important role in defining the internationalization pathways followed by the family‐owned SMEs: a fragmented ownership structure led to traditional internationalization pathway whereas a concentrated ownership base led to born global or born‐again global pathways.

Practical implications

Family entrepreneurs should carefully consider the division of ownership and seek to build new relationships in foreign markets, in addition to their primary co‐operators.

Originality/value

The authors extend the integrative model of small firm internationalization by Bell et al. toward family‐owned SMEs and highlight the most important dimensions in the different internationalization pathways of family SMEs. The ownership dimension is integrated within discussion on differing internationalization pathways. The authors utilize a family business specific perspective (the stewardship perspective), in order to understand the specific features of internationalization among family SMEs, and also how these features differ between family SMEs and other firms.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Anssi Tarkiainen and Sanna Sundqvist

The purpose of this paper is to test the extension of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) in an organic food buying context.

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20557

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the extension of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) in an organic food buying context.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationships between subjective norms and attitudes and intention to buy organic food were studied by applying structural equation modelling.

Findings

The proposed modified model of the TPB model fitted the data better than the original model, implying that in the organic food‐buying context the role of subjective norms differs from the original theory of planned behaviour. In buying organic food subjective norms affected buying intention indirectly through attitude formation. In addition, results showed that the modified TPB model predicts intention to buy organic food better than the original model. Based on the results, it can be said that consumers' intentions to buy organic food can be predicted with their attitudes (R2=0.558), which can further be predicted by subjective norms (R2=0.374), and that behavioural intentions reliably predict self‐reported behaviour (R2=0.824).

Research limitations/implications

First, this study concerned only organic bread and flour products, and therefore the results cannot be expected to explain consumer behaviour for all organically produced products. Second, just one retail channel of organic foods, a hypermarket, was examined. Since the different store formats have also very different characteristics (e.g. price level and number of products), it is likely that also the consumers' buying behaviour differs between different stores.

Originality/value

In past studies on organic food‐buying behaviour, the role of subjective norms has often been neglected – either they are not included in the models or their explanatory power has been weak.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

John W. Cadogan, Nick Lee, Anssi Tarkiainen and Sanna Sundqvist

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model of the role managers and peers play in shaping salespeople's ethical behaviour. The model specifies that sales…

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6463

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model of the role managers and peers play in shaping salespeople's ethical behaviour. The model specifies that sales manager personal moral philosophies, whether sales managers themselves are rewarded according to the outcomes or behaviours of their salespeople, sales team job security, intra‐team cooperation, and sales team tactical performance all influence sales team ethical standards. In turn, ethical standards influence the probability that sales team members will behave (un)ethically when faced with ethical dilemmas.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested on a sample of 154 Finnish sales managers. Data were collected via mail survey. Analysis was undertaken using structural equation modelling.

Findings

Ethical standards appear to be shaped by several factors; behaviour‐based management controls increase ethical standards, relativist managers tend to manage less ethically‐minded sales teams, job insecurity impedes the development of ethical standards, and sales teams' cooperation activity increases ethical standards. Sales teams are less likely to engage in unethical behaviour when the teams have strong ethical standards.

Research limitations/implications

Cross‐sectional data limits generalisability; single country data may limit the ability to generalise to different sales environments; additional measure development is needed; identification of additional antecedent factors would be beneficial.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consciously develop high ethical standards in sales teams if they wish to reduce unethical behaviour. Ethical standards can be improved if sales managers change their own outward behaviour (exhibit a less relativistic ethical philosophy), foster cooperation amongst salespeople, and develop perceptions of job security. How sales managers are rewarded may shape how they approach the management of ethical behaviour in their sales teams.

Originality/value

This paper appears to be the first to simultaneously examine both sales manager‐specific and sales team‐specific antecedents to sales team ethical standards and behaviours. As such, it provides an important base for research in this critical area.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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