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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Ulf Elg, Jens Hultman and Axel Welinder

The purpose is to explore the different and often contradictory perceptions individual managers have about corporate sustainability within a global retailer.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to explore the different and often contradictory perceptions individual managers have about corporate sustainability within a global retailer.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study method is used, including interviews and document studies. The authors study the global retailer IKEA. In total the authors have interviewed respondents on both the global level and the country level, within the sustainability organization as well as corporate, sales and communication management. The study includes managers in Sweden, the UK and Germany.

Findings

The research is based on institutional theory, focusing upon cognitive and normative aspects; the authors propose that managers may have a proactive, forceful view on sustainability or a reactive view. These need to coexist. The authors also show how global retailers can balance sustainability goals with other business considerations, as well as about the implications of the sustainability approach for the retailer's business model.

Practical implications

Retail managers need to recognize and integrate the contradictory views on sustainability that managers hold. The authors show how sustainability can be given different impact depending on the context and the strategic issue it is linked to.

Originality/value

Most studies have focused on how sustainability is managed on an organizational level and how different goals can co-exist. The authors’ focus is on individual managers and their perceptions of sustainability – what it includes, how they want to manage sustainability issues, and the priority it should be given.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Ulf Elg and Pervez Nasim Ghauri

The authors discuss a dominant logic as the main idea behind a global marketing logic (GML) of an MNE and investigate how local stakeholders’ influence the feasibility of applying…

3210

Abstract

Purpose

The authors discuss a dominant logic as the main idea behind a global marketing logic (GML) of an MNE and investigate how local stakeholders’ influence the feasibility of applying the GML in emerging markets. The aim of the paper is to enhance the understanding of the factors that influence the local stakeholders' acceptance of the MNEs' GML and the different activities of MNEs that may increase the acceptance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply a qualitative case study method investigating three Swedish MNEs and their activities while implementing a GML in the big emerging markets. The authors study their relationships with business, political and social stakeholders.

Findings

The authors identify three persistent contents of the GML: (1) a consistent value chain role across markets, (2) standardized, premium products/services and promotion strategies, (3) a corporate brand-based identity. The development of trust, commitment, legitimacy and power within local stakeholders’ relationships influences the approval. The acceptance of the MNE's GML by local stakeholders strengthens its market position.

Originality/value

The authors extend the knowledge by investigating the nature of a GML and explain to what extent it may help MNEs to gain a competitive position. The authors also discuss how global and local activities may influence local stakeholders' acceptance. This study contributes towards a better understanding of how and to what extent a GML can be successful.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Ulf Elg

Existing market orientation frameworks are based mostly on studies of manufacturers. Therefore, there is a need of a modified approach that acknowledges the special conditions for…

3644

Abstract

Existing market orientation frameworks are based mostly on studies of manufacturers. Therefore, there is a need of a modified approach that acknowledges the special conditions for retailers. A framework is presented that includes both internal and relational aspects. Inter‐firm market orientation is presented as especially relevant for retailers. Antecedents to market orientation on a relationship level are also considered. Kohli and Jaworski’s three basic components are used, but the paper then discusses indicators that are especially useful in order to capture market orientation in a retail context. The suggested framework is further developed using a case study of a major British food retailer.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Ulf Elg and Ulf Johansson

Managing a set of relationships to other firms is a complex task, since each relationship is likely to have consequences on the other ones. Highlights the co‐ordination of…

1075

Abstract

Managing a set of relationships to other firms is a complex task, since each relationship is likely to have consequences on the other ones. Highlights the co‐ordination of interorganizational ties during a process of internationalization, and the consequences that different types of relationships have on a firm’s overall relational marketing opportunities. Systematizes the relational issues that face a firm when the boundaries surrounding its home market network dissolve. Presents a framework which stresses four types of relationships and the interplay between them. Based on the notion that a firm must co‐ordinate the management of horizontal and vertical dependencies, and pursue new marketing opportunities while simultaneously safeguarding its original relations. Illustrates the significance of the framework and the interplay between the four relational issues, by the alliances presently developed by two Swedish food companies to organizations in other EU countries.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2023

Abstract

Details

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Position: Ethical Challenges for International Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-252-0

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2023

Pervez N. Ghauri, Ulf Elg and Sara Melén Hånell

In this chapter, we discuss the main themes of the book and give examples of how the rest of the chapters are related to these themes. We have identified two main aspects that are…

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss the main themes of the book and give examples of how the rest of the chapters are related to these themes. We have identified two main aspects that are partly overlapping and are equally relevant for international firms’ work with ethical questions related to their business. One concerns how ethical behaviour related to sustainability can be applied as a main part of firms’ corporate strategy and how this may strengthen the international competitive position. This is particularly relevant when considering that it cannot be taken for granted that there is always a positive relationship and that actors may sometimes question an emphasis on ethical behaviour that goes beyond the accepted norms and regulations. The other main theme is related to international firms’ crucial role in supporting sustainability on an international level and contributing towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Solving many of the challenges related to climate change, migration, poverty and inequality is likely to require the involvement of international firms. The book identifies several routes forward to achieve this.

Details

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Position: Ethical Challenges for International Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-252-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2012

Amjad Hadjikhani, Ulf Elg and Pervez Ghauri

Abstract

Details

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

Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2012

Ulf Elg, Janina Schaumann and Pervez Ghauri

This study investigates how firms can influence political actors on emerging markets through their network partners in order to support a market-driving strategy. On emerging…

Abstract

This study investigates how firms can influence political actors on emerging markets through their network partners in order to support a market-driving strategy. On emerging markets, political actors typically play a more central role than is the case on mature western markets. However, most firms do not have the understanding of or influence upon political actors in emerging markets that is required to interact with them directly. Consequently, gaining the support of different network partners will be essential. We discuss how network collaborators may manage political factors in order to influence four different dimensions of the market-driving strategy. We have conducted in-depth case studies of two Swedish firms and their activities in India. Based upon this we develop a conceptual model and discuss how a firm can collaborate with partners in order to influence political actors proactively as well as to reactively reduce harmful effects of political decisions.

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2023

Annette Cerne and Ulf Elg

This book chapter takes an institutional perspective on competing logics in global markets concerned with sustainability values and how market actors in the form of buyers and…

Abstract

This book chapter takes an institutional perspective on competing logics in global markets concerned with sustainability values and how market actors in the form of buyers and sellers attempt to solve these conflicting situations. We do this by identifying competing institutional logics in global market contexts aiming for sustainability values, together with techniques for navigating these competing institutional logics in the organizational field studied. As an empirical illustration, we use a case study of buyers and sellers in two different markets where sustainability has come into focus for their market relationships. This viewpoint allows us to better understand how global market actors deal with the competing institutional logics in their market context. We make three contributions with this research: firstly, we identify the institutional logics in global markets towards sustainability; secondly, we demonstrate how global market actors prioritize among the competing logics and their market relationships and thirdly, we outline what this means for the relationship between buyers and sellers in global markets towards sustainability.

Details

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Position: Ethical Challenges for International Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-252-0

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2023

Ulf Elg and Pervez N. Ghauri

We discuss how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can play a leading role and take more responsibility towards reducing inequalities by developing a global sustainability regime. We…

Abstract

We discuss how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can play a leading role and take more responsibility towards reducing inequalities by developing a global sustainability regime. We especially focus on how this may contribute towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Our purpose is to identify and discuss the components and activities that are needed to develop such a strategy and implement it in markets with different structural and institutional conditions. We will especially discuss interactions between the head office and the local subsidiaries/organizations as well as interactions with different salient groups of stakeholders. We focus on three highly significant groups: business, social and political actors. We identify four key components of a global sustainability approach – namely, (i) make it relevant within the organization, (ii) establish a legitimate sustainable network position, (iii) present incentives and gains that stimulate action and (iv) establish long-term salient structures. These components and the associated activities have not been discussed in a coherent manner although some aspects have been put forward in earlier studies. We present a comprehensive framework that suggests what role MNEs can play and what challenges they face while doing so. The chapter is based on more than 10 years’ experience of studying MNEs’ activities in developing as well as developed markets, including how they work with sustainability. The study is based on data from four Swedish MNEs and three major research projects.

Details

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Position: Ethical Challenges for International Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-252-0

Keywords

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