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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Pervez N. Ghauri and Ulf Elg

Several studies have proposed that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack resources and experiential knowledge to internationalise to distant markets. The authors…

Abstract

Several studies have proposed that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack resources and experiential knowledge to internationalise to distant markets. The authors argue that SMEs can handle the lack of these tangible and intangible internal resources through external collaborations; they can achieve success in international markets by collaborating with business partners. The role of inter-firm marketing collaboration and its impact on internationalisation efforts has not been thoroughly studied, particularly in the context of SMEs. This study will thus advance our understanding of SMEs’ inter-firm marketing collaborations and how they influence performance in international markets. In this chapter, authors conceptually develop this line of arguments through an extensive literature review and develop some hypotheses and a framework that can be empirically tested. The authors believe this framework will serve as a starting point for further studies on this topic. Theoretically, we endeavour to contribute by showing that firms can enhance their level of international performance through inter-firm collaboration. The authors believe this type of study would have considerable theoretical as well as managerial implications in this important field of research.

Details

Key Success Factors of SME Internationalisation: A Cross-Country Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-277-8

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2018

Gábor Nagy, Carol M. Megehee and Arch G. Woodside

The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and…

Abstract

The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and structures, why heterogeneity persists, and why competitors perform differently. The present study applies complexity theory tenets and a “neo-configurational perspective” of Misangyi et al. (2016) in proposing complex antecedent conditions affecting complex outcome conditions. Rather than examining variable directional relationships using null hypotheses statistical tests, the study examines case-based conditions using somewhat precise outcome tests (SPOT). The complex outcome conditions include firms with high financial performances in declining markets and firms with low financial performances in growing markets – the study focuses on seemingly paradoxical outcomes. The study here examines firm strategies and outcomes for separate samples of cross-sectional data of manufacturing firms with headquarters in one of two nations: Finland (n = 820) and Hungary (n = 300). The study includes examining the predictive validities of the models. The study contributes conceptual advances of complex firm orientation configurations and complex firm performance capabilities configurations as mediating conditions between firmographics, firm resources, and the two final complex outcome conditions (high performance in declining markets and low performance in growing markets). The study contributes by showing how fuzzy-logic computing with words (Zadeh, 1966) advances strategic management research toward achieving requisite variety to overcome the theory-analytic mismatch pervasive currently in the discipline (Fiss, 2007, 2011) – thus, this study is a useful step toward solving the crucial problem of how to explain firm heterogeneity.

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Improving the Marriage of Modeling and Theory for Accurate Forecasts of Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-122-7

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Book part
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Cecilia Cederlund

The point of departure for this chapter is a notion that firms at times find it difficult to develop their solution-oriented businesses and to have a broader understanding…

Abstract

The point of departure for this chapter is a notion that firms at times find it difficult to develop their solution-oriented businesses and to have a broader understanding in their organizations of what this changed orientation really means.

The author looks into prevailing perspectives on marketing as such and creates a “map” that organizes marketing logics into a dynamic whole for value creation and change based on theoretical points of departure. Supported by this map, she tailors out a missing perspective based on a sense-making view that could be fruitful for companies to apply. It is basically to create a stronger awareness of and influence from a branding perspective (also in B2B). Based on an empirical example she points at barriers and enablers in implementing such a change of marketing perspective. She also addresses the implications of such a change on organizing and not least the connections between sales and marketing.

This chapter points forward as a way to release energy and to find direction for the development toward a solution-oriented business.

Details

Organizing Marketing and Sales
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-969-2

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2022

Amber Sayal and Saikat Banerjee

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of emerging economies play a key role in driving a country’s economic development. Business-to-business (B2B) SMEs of emerging…

Abstract

Purpose

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of emerging economies play a key role in driving a country’s economic development. Business-to-business (B2B) SMEs of emerging economies play a key role in driving a country’s economic development. Past researchers have recognized that such impacts are simply magnified by B2B entrepreneurs. However, the performance of B2B SMEs and the contributory factors behind such performance has got limited attention. This study aims to explore factors impacting the performance of B2B SMEs of emerging economies as viewed by SME owner-manager.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, we have taken Indian B2B SMEs as our focal point of study. Primary data has been collected from the owner-manager of auto component SMEs of India. This study has examined direct and indirect (mediating) effects of predictors on outcome variables. In this study, structural equation modelling was used through AMOS 22 and the default method-maximum likelihood for estimating the model.

Findings

The result shows that entrepreneurial orientation (EO), growth orientation (GO) and market orientation (MO) directly impact the performance of B2B SMEs. It also reveals that brand orientation (BO) mediates the relationship between EO, GO and MO and performance for B2B SMEs. The result advocates that for B2B SMEs operating in emerging economies, being brand-oriented is a prominent strategic move for sustainable performance.

Originality/value

The current empirical research to bridge the research gap in the context of B2B SMEs from emerging economies by exploring important factors, propose their impact on the performance of B2B SMEs and empirically test those hypothesized relationships. This study deciphers that being brand-oriented impacts the entrepreneurial spirit, growth objectives and market readiness of the B2B SMEs and, in turn, influences the performance of B2B SMEs. The study advocates that B2B SMEs from emerging economies should adopt a BO approach and they should invest in the brand-building process.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Saku Hirvonen, Tommi Laukkanen and Jari Salo

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between brand orientation and business growth in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between brand orientation and business growth in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The authors also explore whether this relationship is moderated by internal firm-related factors (firm age, firm size) and/or external market-related factors (market life cycle, industry type).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and empirically test a conceptual model using data from 396 B2B SMEs operating in Finland. Structural equation modeling is used for testing the research hypotheses.

Findings

Brand orientation contributes to business growth via two indirect paths, the first one going through brand performance and the second one going through brand performance and customer relationship performance. However, although the effects are positive, the results reveal that the regression coefficients are relatively small, implying only a limited impact of brand orientation on growth among B2B SMEs. The results further suggest that firm age, firm size and industry type moderate the brand performance–business growth relationship, whereas market life cycle moderates the effect of brand orientation on brand performance.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could extend this study by examining brand orientation in industrial markets simultaneously with alternative strategic orientations, such as market, technology and innovation orientation. New moderator variables should also be considered, such as market or technological turbulence. Furthermore, given that this study uses a cross-sectional data set, it is recommended that future research should attempt to test the model using longitudinal data sets.

Practical implications

B2B SMEs are able to gain business growth through developing a strong brand. However, brand orientation per se appears to be of limited relevance for such an endeavor. Consequently, managers of small industrial firms should consider brand orientation only with, and in comparison to, alternative strategic orientations.

Originality/value

Brand orientation has been very rarely examined from the perspective of B2B firms or that of SMEs. Interestingly, the findings indicate that the performance benefits of brand orientation seem to be smaller among B2B SMEs than what earlier research would imply. The analysis of moderation effects offers additional insights into whether there are differences between industrial SMEs as to the relevance of brand orientation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Timo Muhonen, Saku Hirvonen and Tommi Laukkanen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the performance effects of brand identity in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the performance effects of brand identity in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine whether brand identity mediates the relationship between brand orientation and brand performance, and further, whether brand performance leads to better financial performance. The authors also study whether these performance effects are moderated by customer type and industry type. Differing from earlier research, this study analyzes brand identity through its constituent components: brand values, brand vision and brand positioning. The data include altogether 721 effective responses from Finnish SMEs. Structural equation modeling is used for testing the research hypotheses.

Findings

Brand positioning and brand vision have a direct positive effect on brand performance, which in turn, positively affects financial performance. Brand orientation drives the components of brand identity. Importantly, there is variation in some of the relationships between brand orientation, brand values, brand vision and brand positioning across business-to-business firms and business-to-customer firms, and across firms in service industries and in production industries.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a single-country sample. Including additional factors for the model with the potential to moderate the described relationships is also called for. Future research could also consider new potential brand identity components currently not addressed in the paper.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by increasing the knowledge of SME branding.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 June 2017

Muhammad Anees-ur-Rehman, Saila Saraniemi, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Pia Hurmelinna-laukkanen

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand credibility, and financial performance of business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

The questionnaire was used in a survey to collect data from 250 Finnish B2B SMEs. The sampled firms were categorized into four clusters according to a two-by-two matrix, and their relationships with the brand performance outcomes were examined using one-way ANOVA and multiple regression.

Findings

The results indicate that strategic hybrid orientation is positively related to all three dimensions of brand performance, showing that two dissimilar orientations can complement each other in improving brand performance outcomes. However, the strength of complementary interaction seems to vary depending on the degree to which brand- and market-oriented attributes dominate in a firm’s strategy.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to provide empirical evidence to support the concept of strategic hybrid orientation for branding in B2B SMEs. This study aims to contribute to existing research on SME branding by capitalizing on B2B branding and strategic management literatures.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Tommi Laukkanen, Gábor Nagy, Saku Hirvonen, Helen Reijonen and Mika Pasanen

The present study sheds light on the role of strategic orientations (SOs) in explaining business growth. The purpose of this paper is to examine how different SOs, namely…

4468

Abstract

Purpose

The present study sheds light on the role of strategic orientations (SOs) in explaining business growth. The purpose of this paper is to examine how different SOs, namely learning orientation, entrepreneurial orientation, market orientation and brand orientation simultaneously affect business performance measured with brand performance, market performance and business growth in SME context and whether these effects vary across countries.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive data set of 1,120 effective responses is collected from two European countries, namely Hungary, representing a post socialist rapidly growing market, and Finland with a stable, highly developed and competitive economy. A multigroup moderation analysis is conducted. Confirmatory factor analysis is used in testing measurement invariance, subsequently followed by structural equation modeling procedure used in testing research hypotheses developed on the basis of a literature review.

Findings

The results show that entrepreneurial orientation, market orientation and brand orientation have a positive effect on business growth in SMEs in both Hungary and Finland through brand and market performance. With regard to learning orientation, a positive yet somewhat weak effect on growth is found only in the Hungarian sample. The moderation analysis reveals that country moderates several of the hypothesized paths from SOs to business performance.

Originality/value

Prior studies on SOs have mainly focussed on single orientations at any given time. However, researchers increasingly argue that many firms are better off if they build their strategies on multiple SOs. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first empirical studies to address multiple (four) SOs in the same research model. Furthermore, little is known about if and how the performance effects of different SOs vary across countries.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Yen-Tsung Huang and Ya-Ting Tsai

Building a strong brand is an important way to build a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Brand-oriented companies regard their brands as strategic resources, and…

2383

Abstract

Purpose

Building a strong brand is an important way to build a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Brand-oriented companies regard their brands as strategic resources, and they create value and increase competitiveness by building a strong brand. However, studies on how companies become brand-oriented and how brand orientation influences brand performance are still rather limited. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical model explaining what factors contribute to brand orientation, as well as the impact of brand orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire surveys were distributed to branding companies in Taiwan. The sample data of 106 branding companies were collected in order to test the theoretical model using partial least squares (PLS).

Findings

The empirical results showed that organizational resources (product differentiation capability), organizational structure (cross-function departmental integration), and organizational culture (members' organizational identification and long-term remuneration criteria) could facilitate the building of brand-oriented companies. It was also found that a higher level of brand orientation contributed to better brand performance.

Practical implications

According to this research, corporate managers can understand how to build brand-oriented companies by shaping their organizational context. In other words, if companies want to become brand-oriented, they should build product differentiation capabilities, promote cross-functional integration among departments, and develop an organizational culture with high organizational members' identification and long-term remuneration criteria.

Originality/value

This paper is the first study to propose some antecedents of brand-oriented companies based on the organizational context perspective. The empirical results of this study illustrate how companies can become brand-oriented by arranging their organizational context, as well as the impact of brand orientation on brand performance.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Helen Reijonen, Szandra Párdányi, Sasu Tuominen, Tommi Laukkanen and Raija Komppula

The purpose of this paper is to examine how SMEs with varying growth intentions differ from each other with regard to market orientation and brand orientation. Both of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how SMEs with varying growth intentions differ from each other with regard to market orientation and brand orientation. Both of these strategic orientations are seen to lead to enhanced market performance. Consequently, the authors investigate whether those small firms that regard growth as an important goal have adopted market or brand orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Responses from 492 SMEs were analysed. They were clustered into four groups according to their growth intentions. These groups included firms that have low growth intention, capital adequacy growth intention, expansion growth intention and high growth intention. ANOVA was used to explore whether these groups differed in their market or brand orientation.

Findings

The results indicate that the higher growth intention group the SME belonged to the more market and brand oriented it is. The biggest differences between the SMEs were found with regards to brand orientation.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that SMEs have acknowledged the positive effect of market and brand orientations on firm growth, thus highlighting the importance of supporting growth-oriented SMEs in their quest to become more market or brand oriented.

Originality/value

The study sheds more light on the little researched themes of market and brand orientations in the context of SMEs. It also offers insights into how growth intentions affect the adoption of different strategic orientations.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 24000