اثرات ارتباطات مشترک در توسعه قابلیت های بازار ارتباطی و معیارهای عملکرد رابطه ای در بازارهای صنعتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22851||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8800 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 42, Issue 8, November 2013, Pages 1181–1191
Research in marketing suggests that collaborative communication is important for firms to sustain competitive advantage, especially in industrial markets. This study integrates relational and resource-based views to articulate how collaborative communication influences different relational performance metrics. Based on a survey of 167 marketing executives in Taiwan's electronics industry, empirical findings indicate that market-relating capabilities (i.e., market-linking and marketing capabilities) completely mediate the collaborative communication–financial performance relationship, while market-relating capabilities partially mediate the collaborative communication–customer-focused performance relationship. In addition, collaborative communication directly influences customer cooperation performance instead of indirectly affecting it through the development of market-relating capabilities. The results of this study provide new insights into the role of collaborative communication as well as important theoretical and managerial implications.
The importance of collaborative communication has been well noted by marketing and management scholars, especially in business-to-business market research (e.g., Joshi, 2009, Mohr and Nevin, 1990 and Paulraj et al., 2008). Drawing from the relational perspective, collaborative communication helps firms develop and maintain quality relationships with customers (Mohr and Nevin, 1990, Morgan and Hunt, 1994 and Palmatier et al., 2006), with a large body of empirical studies examining its effect on various relational performance outcomes, such as satisfaction, commitment and collaboration (Meek et al., 2011 and Mohr et al., 1996). In addition to the development of the buyer–seller relationship, Ballantyne and Varey (2006) suggest that communicative interaction also supports the firm's knowledge development and application by learning from the customer. In this regard, collaborative communication seems to be beneficial for developing or enhancing organizational capabilities since the knowledge of the firm acts as the basis for capability development (Atuahene-Gima, 2005 and Kogut and Zander, 1992). This suggests that collaborative communication may improve organizational capabilities and in turn facilitate superior organizational performance. However, past research regarding collaborative communication focuses largely upon the direct effect of collaborative communication on various relational performance outcomes (e.g. Meek et al., 2011, Mohr et al., 1996 and Schultz and Evans, 2002) without addressing the potential role played by collaborative communication in developing organizational capabilities. Such a focus upon direct performance effects, while certainly beneficial, impedes our understanding of how collaborative communication contributes to the firm's competitive advantage (i.e., the process of influence is not well defined). Given this, the focus of this study is to investigate how a firm's collaborative communication affects relational performance through the development of organizational capabilities. Furthermore, relational performance outcomes are generally distinguished into three types, including 1) customer-focused outcomes (i.e., customer relationship performance), 2) dyadic outcomes (i.e., customer cooperation performance) and 3) seller-focused outcomes (i.e., financial performance) (Palmatier et al., 2006). Despite the importance of collaborative communication as noted above, insights as to its impact on seller-focused financial performance are rare in the existing literature. Hence, this study aims to advance the communication literature by investigating whether and how collaborative communication influences financial performance. Following this, the current study proposes that collaborative communication affects various relational performance metrics through two mechanisms. One mechanism, based on a relational view, refers to the rationale that collaborative communication may lead to improved customer trust and commitment and decreased opportunistic behavior, thereby improving relational performance. Another mechanism, based on a resource-based view (RBV), suggests that collaborative communication may improve the development of market-relating capabilities by means of acquiring market knowledge from customers and, therefore, in turn achieve superior relational performance. In summary, this study integrates the above viewpoints and proposes a conceptual framework and set of hypotheses. Hypotheses are empirically tested using data from 167 marketing executives in Taiwan's electronics industry. The results demonstrate that collaborative communication, indeed, enhances the development of market-relating capabilities, which in turn influence different relational performance metrics through different mechanisms. Managerially, this study provides insights into the relational performance implications of collaborative communication and the underlying mechanisms which link collaborative communication to different relational performance metrics. In the next section of the manuscript, the conceptual framework and hypotheses are introduced. Then, the research methodology and analytical results are presented. Finally, the study's findings and implications are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The central theme of our research is that a firm's collaborative communication enhances the development of market-relating capabilities, which in turn improve firm performance. This study empirically demonstrates that the inclusion of market-relating capabilities is important to explaining how collaborative communication affects different relational performance metrics. Specifically, the relationships between collaborative communication and customer-focused performance (i.e., customer-focused relational outcomes) and financial performance (i.e., seller-focused relational outcomes) are clearer when considering the indirect mediating effect of market-relating capabilities. The results of this study find that collaborative communication positively affects customer-focused performance not only directly but also indirectly through the market-relating capabilities (i.e., market-linking and marketing capabilities) it helps to enhance. Thus, more collaborative communication may help improve customer trust and commitment, with the ultimate result of achieving superior customer relational performance (e.g., customer retention and satisfaction). In addition, such improved communication may also improve market information flows between the firm and its customers, yielding superior market-linking and marketing capabilities to developing superior product offerings and better customer relationships. However, we find no support for indirect effects of collaborative communication on customer cooperation performance through increased market-relating capabilities. Rather, neither market-linking capability nor marketing capability is able to improve customer cooperation behaviors, and collaborative communication only has a direct and positive effect on customer cooperation performance. This means that adopting collaborative communication enables both firms and customers to have better understanding of mutual benefits and relationship-specific investments, in turn leading to increased customer cooperative behaviors. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that collaborative communication improves financial performance through the mediating effects of market-linking and marketing capabilities rather than directly influencing financial performance. This implies that collaborative communication strategies are only potential resources and may not be inherently valuable for financial performance. In other words, when adopting collaborative communication strategies, firms have superior market-relating capabilities to effectively acquire and retain valuable customers as well as develop product/service distribution activities, thereby creating superior financial performance. Taken together, by focusing on the mediating effects of market-relating capabilities, this study provides a deeper understanding of how collaborative communication strategies realistically influence firm performance in terms of various relational outcomes. Specifically, this study makes several contributions to the field. First of all, even though the benefits of collaborative communication have been widely discussed (Joshi, 2009, Mohr and Nevin, 1990 and Paulraj et al., 2008), the influence of collaborative communication in the development of organizational capabilities is still uncharted and has yet to be empirically investigated. This study addresses this research void by examining the linkage between collaborative communication and market-relating capabilities. The findings suggest that collaborative communication is effective in developing market-relating capabilities. It presents new insights into the functions of collaborative communication. Second, by investigating the mediating role of market-relating capabilities, this study reveals that collaborative communication influences different relational performance outcomes through different theoretical pathways (i.e., underlying mechanisms). More specifically, the findings of this study show that market-relating capabilities play an important role in relational performance, as predicted by the RBV, by completely mediating the effect of collaborative communication on financial performance and partially mediating the effect of collaborative communication on customer-focused performance. That is, firms take actions to capitalize on collaborative communication strategies and then develop market-relating capabilities to improve several relational performance outcomes (i.e., financial and customer-focused performance). This is consistent with the RBV's contention that collaborative communication is not intrinsically valuable to firm performance, whereas their value is demonstrated through market-relating capabilities. As a result, examining only the direct effect of collaborative communication may result in an inappropriate view of its power and incorrect implications about its role in firm performance. Third, contrary to the RBV tenet, collaborative communication is intrinsically valuable to customer cooperation performance since it has a direct and unmediated effect on customer cooperation performance. This is consistent with the traditional wisdom of the relational view that collaborative communication is inherently valuable for firms to align the mutual goals of firms and customers and further identify cooperative opportunities in the value creation process (Anderson and Weitz, 1992 and Morgan and Hunt, 1994). Thus, in terms comparing the theoretical viewpoints, the relational view is more useful than the RBV in explaining the effect of collaborative communication on customer cooperation performance, while the RBV is better than the relational view in clarifying the influence of collaborative communication on financial performance. Following this, it is important to note the need for further studies to center on the explicit articulation of the functions of collaborative communication and the consideration of the different underlying mechanisms behind the links between collaborative communication and different relational performance metrics, thereby having a more nuanced understanding of collaborative communication. Importantly, the firm's effectiveness in improving various relational performance metrics can be clearly understood. Fourth, from a managerial point of view, this study highlights that collaborative communication plays an important role in customer–firm relationship development. Managers should be aware of the importance of developing effective collaborative communication strategies, especially in industrial markets. Managers should help firms communicate with their customers on a frequent, formal, and reciprocal basis while adopting rationality as a means to effectively influence them. By improving the ability to implement these activities, firms could more effectively establish quality relationships with their customers. In addition, there is a clear message that collaborative communication can be leveraged to acquire and generate important market information or knowledge which can be used to improve market-relating capabilities. Since the importance of market-relating capabilities has been well noted (Day, 1994 and Song et al., 2007), collaborative communication provides firms with a promising way to cope with this imperative issue. To do so, the thirteen-item, collaborative communication scale, inclusive of its four dimensions adopted in our study, could be a good beginning for managers in evaluating and enhancing the degree of collaborative communication in their firms. Further, given the important role of collaborative communication in firm performance, managers could think about improving the degree of collaborative communication from two directions. On the one hand, managers could help firms apply information technologies or systems to establish more convenient and flexible electronic communication platforms, further assisting in developing effective collaborative communication with customers (Paulraj et al., 2008). On the other hand, researchers indicate that effective communications and interactions among different functional units within a firm enables the firm to have enhanced information exchange and communications with its customers or partners (Chen et al., 2013 and Hillebrand and Biemans, 2003). Hence, managers could make use of enhanced interfunctional coordination to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of collaborative communication strategies. Moreover, even though the results indicate that collaborative communication may improve financial performance, this study cautions that it is not collaborative communication per se that directly affects financial performance. That is, collaborative communication acts as a thrust that fosters the development of market-relating capabilities, which in turn lead to superior financial performance. This suggests that collaborative communication merely has a potential value to strengthening financial performance. Managers should help firms transform collaborative communication into market-linking and marketing capabilities. More specifically, managers should not only focus attention on adopting collaborative communication strategies, but also on continuously monitoring the underlying process (i.e. collaborative communication → market-relating capabilities → financial performance) so as to effectively improve market-relating capabilities and financial performance. Finally, the firm's investment of collaborative communication activities is generally regarded as marketing expenditures. It is important for top managers to design appropriate performance indices so as to evaluate the value return on collaborative communication investment. In this regard, the current study indicates that collaborative communication improves not only various relational performance outcomes but also market-relating capabilities, letting top managers have a more comprehensive view to establish performance evaluation on collaborative communication investment. For example, some managers often ignore the effect of collaborative communication on market-relating capabilities and focus on its impact on relational performance. It is possible to specify the development of marketing and market-linking capabilities as a short-term performance indicator of collaborative communication and designate financial performance as a long-term performance indicator.