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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2007

Yang Xia, Yiyun Qiu and Ahmed U. Zafar

Many FDI studies focus on the advantages that businesses can gain through internationalization and internalization. More recent research has indicated that such…

Abstract

Many FDI studies focus on the advantages that businesses can gain through internationalization and internalization. More recent research has indicated that such traditional theories or perspectives may not sufficiently explain the subsequent success or failure of a firm’s operation in a foreign country, because the advantages gained through FDIs could be greatly affected by their strategic management in the host country environment. This study focused on the issue of a firm’s resources on its subsidiary’s competitiveness in a foreign country. A survey was undertaken in China. All companies participating in the study were small and medium‐sized Singapore‐China joint ventures and Singaporean wholly owned enterprises in China. The findings indicated that the variance in a firm’s performance in a foreign country can be largely explained by the six dimensions of firm resources: (1) technological resources, (2) owner/top manager’s managerial skills and capabilities, (3) employee’s Guanxi skills, (4) employee’s professional/technical knowledge, (5) the firm’s internal relationships and, (6) the firm’s external relationships. Among these six dimensions, employees’ professional knowledge and Guanxi skills, as well as a firm’s internal and external relationships, are significant predictors of Singaporean SMEs’ success in China.

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Multinational Business Review, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Abstract

Details

Asian Financial Crisis Financial, Structural and International Dimensions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-686-2

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Cristelle Msaed, Sam O. Al-Kwifi and Zafar U. Ahmed

The purpose of this study is to determine the factors that underpin consumer switching intention in the smartphone industry. Most of the literature on brand switching uses…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the factors that underpin consumer switching intention in the smartphone industry. Most of the literature on brand switching uses conventional models that lack the ability to explain this behavior for high-technology products. Such products have unique characteristics that make the switching process more challenging from the consumer perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed model is built based on the related theories that consider the distinctive aspects of high-technology products. Furthermore, two variables “relative advantage of product features” and “company innovativeness” are introduced for the first time to evaluate consumer attitude to switch a high-technology product. The smartphone industry was selected to test the proposed model, where an online survey was sent to Apple and Samsung users.

Findings

The results confirm the expectation that perceived product usefulness, perceived ease of use and relative advantage of product features are the major factors driving the intention of users to switch, whereas subjective norms have limited impact. The financial cost of switching is the main barrier to consumers’ decision to switch to a new technology. The pleasure consumers feel toward their brand and the other brand is positively associated with their attitude toward switching.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the literature on brand switching by introducing a comprehensive model that explains consumer switching behavior of high-technology products. Research findings would allow managers to draft better marketing strategies to improve consumer brand awareness.

Originality/value

The majority of literature on brand switching uses simple models to explain consumer behavior. This study is the first attempt to build a comprehensive model that considers the characteristics of high-technology products and how they shape consumer behavior during the decision-making process.

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Dana-Nicoleta Lascu, Zafar U. Ahmed, Irfan Ahmed and Tan Hui Min

Previous research has posited country image to operate at two levels: the country’s macro image, based on general politico-economic descriptors of the country, and the…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has posited country image to operate at two levels: the country’s macro image, based on general politico-economic descriptors of the country, and the country’s micro image, based on perceptions of products from the country. The purpose of this paper is to further explore this premise in a practical study, using a psychometric assessment of macro and micro country images by ascertaining the nature of differences in macro and micro images of leading exporters, the USA and China, for consumers in Malaysia, a top import destination of US and Chinese goods; the images of Malaysian goods were similarly assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a systematic sample, with questionnaires distributed to adult respondents using a street intercept. Interviewers asked every other passer-by to fill out a questionnaire, and stood in close proximity to address any questions from respondents. The study hypothesized that there is a significant difference between country macro and micro image, respectively for the USA, China and Malaysia, and that there is significant relationship between country macro image and country micro image in each country, respectively, USA, China and Malaysia.

Findings

The study found support for the reliability of existing country micro and macro image measures, and further refined them for increased validity. The study compared between the countries and found significant differences on both macro and micro dimensions of country image. The US scored highest on technological research, high quality products, standards of living, labor costs, welfare system, industrialization, civilian government, development, literacy, free-market system and democracy, followed by China on technological research, industrialization, development and free-market system, with Malaysia scoring higher on product quality, labor costs, welfare system, civilian government is civilian/non-military, literacy, free-market system and democracy.

Research limitations/implications

A broader study of countries that share geopolitical and cultural similarities might offer additional insights into country macro and micro image.

Practical implications

The study cautions marketers to assess the acceptance of their products in the context of their country’s macro and micro image perceptions in target markets, and steer those perceptions in a manner that would be beneficial to their marketing efforts.

Originality/value

The conceptualization of the macro and micro aspects of country image has been one of the less studied dimensions of country image. This study is the first to address these dimensions from an emerging-market perspective, suggesting that, at the macro level, country perceptions regarding technology, economy, and politics contribute to an overall impression of the country, which would then influence the desirability of its products originating there. For the micro country image, products from countries perceived as innovative, excelling in product design, and producing prestigious products, are likely to be perceived as desirable.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Zafar U. Ahmed

This study was designed to examine the dimensions of tourist image as it may affect the promotion strategy for a given tourist destination. Identification of the different…

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the dimensions of tourist image as it may affect the promotion strategy for a given tourist destination. Identification of the different constituents of a destination's tourist image may provide important information that can be used in developing focused promotional strategies in well segmented markets to promote a tourist destination. Constituents of a destination's tourist image for the state of Utah were identified using factor analysis based upon a priori assumptions about the nature of constituents of a state's tourist image. Four major constituents of a destination's/state's tourist image emerged. Each dimension represents a potential source of focus for regionally promoting a given destination to various target segments.

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The Tourist Review, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0251-3102

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Osama Sam Al-Kwifi, Allam Abu Farha and Zafar U. Ahmed

Since Islamic markets are growing substantially, there is an urgent need to gain a better understanding of how Muslim consumers perceive products from a religious…

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5206

Abstract

Purpose

Since Islamic markets are growing substantially, there is an urgent need to gain a better understanding of how Muslim consumers perceive products from a religious perspective. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the brain responses of Muslim consumers to Halal and non-Halal products using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model is a simplified version of the theory of planned behavior. The initial experiment began by asking participants to divide a set of images into two groups: Halal and non-Halal products. The fMRI experiment uses a blocked design approach to capture brain activities resulting from presenting the two groups of images to participants, and to record the strength of their attitudes toward purchasing the products.

Findings

Across all participants, the level of brain activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex increased significantly when Halal images were presented to them. The same results emerged when the Halal images showed raw and cooked meat. The variations in the results may be due to the high emotional sensitivity of Muslim consumers to using religious products.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses a unique approach to monitor brain activity to confirm that consumers from specific market segments respond differently to market products based on their internal beliefs. Findings from this study provide evidence that marketing managers targeting Muslim markets should consider the sensitivity of presenting products in ways that reflect religious principles, in order to gain higher acceptance in this market segment.

Originality/value

Although the literature reports considerable research on Muslim consumers’ behavior, most of the previous studies utilize conventional data collection approaches to target broad segments of consumers by using traditional products. This paper is the first to track the reactions of the Muslim consumer segment to specific types of market products.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2020

Osama Sam AL-Kwifi, Viput Ongsakul, Allam K. Abu Farha, Ahmed U. Zafar and Mahmoud Karasneh

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between product innovativeness and the process of technology switching. This issue is important for two reasons…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between product innovativeness and the process of technology switching. This issue is important for two reasons: (1) in mature markets, the only way to increase market share is through consumers' switching from competitor firms and (2) it is essential to determine whether the product innovation strategy can meet users' needs in high-technology markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Research centers (university hospitals) specializing in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the lead users of the MRI market. In this market, the technology switching process was tracked using an annual conference database. Interviews with industry experts and lead users were conducted in order to determine the relationship between product innovativeness and technology switching.

Findings

The findings reveal that in the lead users' segment, technology switching is occurring at a significant level. The interviews emphasized the influence of product innovativeness on technology switching in the global MRI market, as well as the importance of adopting an open innovation process as a strategy to enhance product innovativeness.

Practical implications

The results can be generalized to industries with similar characteristics, such as high rates of technological change and technology heterogeneity. In high-technology markets, managers should monitor switching behavior. They should also study the influence of product innovativeness on such behavior in order to determine the correct product innovation strategy and meet users' preferences effectively.

Originality/value

The literature reports considerable research that investigates switching behavior, but most publications use data from a short time period and cover a limited geographical region. This is the first study that uses data to track the switching behavior of high-technology products on a global scale over a 22-year period.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Abdulla Hamad MA Fetais, Osama Sam Al-Kwifi, Zafar U Ahmed and Dang Khoa Tran

In 2017, Qatar Airways was recognized as the world's number-one airline by SKYTRAX World Airline Awards. These international awards have been described as “the Oscars of…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2017, Qatar Airways was recognized as the world's number-one airline by SKYTRAX World Airline Awards. These international awards have been described as “the Oscars of the aviation industry,” reflecting global recognition and excellence in conducting business activities at the international level. The main purpose of this case-based research is to explore and evaluate the internationalization strategies employed by Qatar Airways in becoming known as one of the best airlines in the world.

Design/methodology/approach

In accordance with the nature of this study, data were collected by interviewing managers from Qatar Airways as well as by exploiting supporting materials from secondary sources and airline-specific records. The recorded interviews were analyzed via content analysis to define airline strategies aimed at expanding globally and building a global brand.

Findings

The findings reveal that Qatar Airways has adopted effective strategies that have facilitated its aggressive global expansion and enhanced its global consumer recognition – mainly as a fast-growing network connecting important destinations that maintains a focused consumer orientation dedicated to providing an optimal travel experience. These strategies have been focused on building a superior consumer experience marked by exceptional comfort.

Practical implications

Qatar Airways' implementation of internationalization strategies in the airline industry represents an innovative approach marked by efficient operations and high-quality standards. Both international business managers and academics can learn from these strategies and their implications for enhancing airlines' global reputation and overall quality performance.

Originality/value

Unlike other research studies that investigate a wide range of firms across industries, this study focuses on exploring the factors that support the successful internationalization of a single firm, thus providing in-depth understanding of specific strategies to achieve global recognition. This study provides unique insights to analyze strategies and assess their practical relevance.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Abdel Hafiez Ali Hasaballah, Omer Faruk Genc, Osman Bin Mohamad and Zafar U. Ahmed

The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the influence of different relational variables on export performance and the interaction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the influence of different relational variables on export performance and the interaction between those relational variables.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical paper building upon the relational variables and export performance literatures.

Findings

A theoretical model was developed based on the existing studies and findings. In the proposed model, relational outcome variables mediate the effect of relational contextual variables on export performance.

Research limitations/implications

The model developed in this study opens new avenues for future research because it provides a different perspective on how relational variables interact with each other in terms of their impact on export performance.

Practical implications

Relational variables have great importance for firms’ export performance. This study provides a framework about how these variables affect export performance, which should be taken into consideration in firms’ strategies and decisions with regard to the relations with partners.

Originality/value

Despite the consensus about the importance of relational variables, the evidence is mixed with regard to the way they affect export performance. With the proposed model, this study aims to fill this gap by providing a framework that explains how relational variables interact with each other and how they affect export performance.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1991

Zafar U. Ahmed

Today's tourism marketing is heavily focused on conveying a positive image to prospective consumer segments. Doing so is fully consistent with traditional marketing…

Abstract

Today's tourism marketing is heavily focused on conveying a positive image to prospective consumer segments. Doing so is fully consistent with traditional marketing practices that attempt to develop the product, price it, promote it, and distribute it in a manner most likely to convey the most positive image attributes possible.

Details

The Tourist Review, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0251-3102

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