نقش تصویر شرکت های بزرگ در سرمایه گذاری های صادرات بنگاه به بنگاه: رویکرد مبتنی بر منابع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23793||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9097 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 5, July 2010, Pages 752–760
Although a growing body of studies suggests that good corporate images have strategic value for the firms that possess them, no research to date has looked at the role of corporate image in export markets. To fill this gap in the extant literature, this study draws on the resource-based view and insights from qualitative interviews to develop a model that links an exporter's financial resources and relationship management capabilities with its corporate image advantage and its performance in the export market. Findings reveal that both financial resources and relationship management capabilities are significant contributors of corporate image advantage, which, in turn, is an important determinant of superior export performance. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for marketing theory and practice and suggestions for future research.
Exporting is a common and relatively low-risk way for small and medium-sized firms to gain access to foreign markets, expand their revenues, and safeguard their local market position (Bello & Gilliland, 1997, Peng & York, 2001 and Salomon & Jin, 2008). The value of worldwide exporting has now exceeded $8.5 trillion dollars per annum and accounts for over 20% of world GDP (International Monetary Fund, 2006 and World Bank, 2006). Further, export trade is expected to continue to grow as a result of increasing globalization, liberalization of national policies, intensifying domestic market competition, and developments in communication, transportation, and information technologies (Albaum & Duerr, 2008 and Hill, 2005). International business scholars have embraced this trend, and identifying managerial characteristics, organizational factors, environmental forces, and strategic marketing elements that affect export behavior and success has been the subject of sizeable empirical research over the last three decades (see Aaby & Slater, 1989, Leonidou et al., 2002, Madsen, 1989 and Zou et al., 2003). Within the export marketing literature, an emerging stream of studies adopts the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm to examine the role of competitive advantage in export market operations (Kaleka, 2002, Ling-Yee & Ogunmokun, 2001, Morgan et al., 2004, Morgan et al., 2006, Piercy et al., 1998 and Zou & Stan, 1998). According to the RBV, firms with resources and capabilities that are valuable, rare, and difficult to imitate and substitute can attain a competitive advantage position and enjoy sustained superior performance (Barney, 1991, Grant, 1991 and Peteraf, 1993). Drawing from this theoretical perspective has helped enrich the export marketing literature and expand our knowledge base on the role of competitive advantage in explaining behavioral and performance differences across exporting firms. Nonetheless, there is a noticeable lack of studies within the RBV line of reasoning investigating corporate image advantage in export markets. Although theorists suggest that interdisciplinary research and cross-fertilization efforts are particularly desirable for topics that are in the early stage of development such as corporate image (Brown, Dacin, Pratt, & Whetten, 2006), research on this topic and RBV remain disjoined. This oversight is important because organizational image may constitute a type of sustainable competitive advantage by virtue of its potential for value creation—theoretical claims and empirical evidence suggest good corporate image triggers positive costumer product judgements and responses (e.g., Brown & Dacin, 1997, Gurhan-Canli & Batra, 2004 and Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001)—and its intangible character which makes replication by competing firms difficult (Aaker, 1996, Ghemawat, 1986 and Hall, 1993). Also, this research void is surprising considering that an organization's desired positioning as perceived by its key stakeholder groups is a pivotal strategic decision (Varadarajan, DeFanti, & Busch, 2006) and obtaining a better understanding of corporate image thus constitutes an urgent research priority (Brown & Dacin, 1997 and Brown et al., 2006). Further, the process of achieving competitive advantage in foreign markets may be different from that in the domestic market, due to the existence of significant differences in cultural, social, economic, political, technological, and allied factors between the two market environments (Kaleka, 2002 and Roth & Morrison, 1992). In an effort to fill this gap in the extant literature, this study draws on RBV theory and insights from qualitative interviews to investigate sources of corporate image advantage and its performance implications in export markets. We organize this article as follows: First, we define corporate image. Then, we provide an overview of the RBV and subsequently explain our research model. We suggest that export financial resources promote export relationship management capabilities and that both export venture financial resources and relationship management capabilities are contributors of export venture corporate image advantage, which in turn is related positively to export venture performance (see Fig. 1). Next, we describe the research methods used to test the hypotheses and present the empirical results. Finally, we discuss the implications of the findings for international marketing theory and practice and provide suggestions for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Good corporate brands have become a strategic mandate nowadays because of their potential for value creation for the incumbent firms. However, our understanding of the role of corporate image in an international context is limited. This is a critical gap in the literature given the increasing trend toward globalization, along with the additional ramifications of managing corporate associations in foreign markets. In addressing this knowledge void, this study investigates antecedents and performance outcomes of corporate image in export markets. Drawing on the RBV of the firm, we view corporate image advantage as a driver of enhanced export performance and an outcome of superior export financial resources and relationship management capabilities. Our data indicate strong overall support for RBV theory predictions. Identification of sources and performance outcomes of corporate image advantage achieved may offer international business practitioners valuable insights into successful corporate brand management and stimulate future research in this important, but understudied, area. A discussion of the study findings follows. The study results suggest that possession of sufficient financial resources is conducive to the deployment of relationship management capabilities in export markets. This finding is linked to empirical findings in the relationship marketing literature suggesting that developing close and enduring customer relationships is a costly process (e.g., Cannon & Homburg, 2001 and Reinartz & Kumar, 2000). It is also consistent with existing evidence from research on service quality indicating that a considerable amount of investment is needed if an organization opts for providing superior customer support (e.g., Roth & Jackson, 1995, Rust et al., 1995 and Zeithaml et al., 1996). Notably, the physical and cultural distances commonly present in international channels of distribution result in lengthy channel structures and longer lead times, increasing the difficulty and costs of servicing organizational customers overseas and call for possession and deployment of higher levels of financial resources (Skarmeas et al., 2008). Further, the study findings show that, in accordance with RBV theory prescriptions, the achievement of a corporate image advantage position by an exporting firm is driven by its superiority in financial resources. This result corroborates findings from branding research highlighting the importance of investing in marketing programs to develop and manage brand equity (e.g., Aaker, 1991, Keller, 2003 and Simon & Sullivan, 1993). While in the not too distant past corporate branding was of peripheral concern to top management, nowadays being seen as a corporate “good guy” has become a critical strategic task (Brown & Dacin, 1997 and Fombrun, 1996). An increasing number of organizations devote considerable financial resources every year to corporate advertising, corporate philanthropy, sponsorships, cause-related marketing, and public image studies in an attempt to favorably influence corporate associations and burnish their corporate image (e.g., Biehal & Sheinin, 1998, Dowling, 2001 and Schumann et al., 1991). In keeping with the RBV framework, the results of this study indicate that deployment of superior export relationship management skills leads to the achievement of a corporate image advantage position. An exporting firm's strong customer relationship building capabilities help the firm understand foreign market characteristics and customer attitudes and behavior (Bello et al., 2003 and Robson et al., 2006), which appears to be an important contributor to the development of a corporate image advantage position. The difficulties inherent in replicating a strong foreign customer relationship appear to account for their value in nurturing a good corporate image. It is critical that export managers develop competence in managing international channel partnerships effectively—inattention to overseas distributor relationships has been identified as a major reason for unsuccessful export results (Styles & Ambler, 2000). The study findings also suggest a strong positive relationship between corporate image advantage and export venture performance results. Consistent with the RBV theory of the firm (e.g., Barney, 1991 and Peteraf, 1993), the competitive advantage literature (e.g., Li & Li, 2008 and Porter, 1985), and the corporate reputation literature (e.g., Gurhan-Canli & Batra, 2004, Roberts & Dowling, 2002 and Walsh et al., 2009), this finding implies that firms have a greater chance of attaining superior performance outcomes if they possess relatively good image in the marketplace. This is particularly important given managers' need to appraise the potential payback from strategic corporate brand-building investments not only in terms of higher goodwill among regulators, potential employees, and the public at large, but also in terms of financial performance. It seems that in seeking to understand and explain the increasingly important export venture performance of firms, researchers and managers can use the RBV to guide diagnostic and evaluative efforts in planning and organizing exporting activities.