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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2669||2006||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 35, Issue 3, April 2006, Pages 359–372
This study extends research on entrepreneurial behavior by investigating the relationship between the marketing strategy innovativeness (MSI) and new product performance in technology-based new ventures in China. Specifically, premised on contingent resource-based view we argue that MSI is a firm capability that must be bundled with external managerial relationships and be deployed in the appropriate environment to ensure its success. We found that the team's extra industry relationships and market dynamism enhanced the impact of MSI on new product performance. In contrast, top management team's intraindustry relationships, financial relationships, and technology dynamism hindered the impact of MSI on new product performance.
The vast majority of research on organizational innovation adopts a resource-based perspective that predicts positive returns to organizational resources and capabilities. This work has been restricted, however, to the narrow context of product innovation. Although product innovation enhances firm performance only when it is successfully commercialized, prior research tends to pay little attention to accompanying marketing innovations (Shervani & Zerrillo, 1997). The current study concerns a neglected, yet potentially positive entrepreneurial strategic activity — marketing strategy innovativeness (MSI) — which refers to the degree to which the marketing strategy which accompanies a new product differs from competing strategies and conventional practices (Andrews and Smith, 1996, Hambrick et al., 1996, Menon et al., 1999 and Sethi et al., 2001). Examples of MSI practices include the use of new packaging, new distribution methods and channels, new advertising media and content, ingenious pricing and payment methods. MSI ensures the new product enjoys a unique competitive position because it is radical, departs from the status quo, is proactive, unconventional and unpredictable (Andrews and Smith, 1996, Hambrick et al., 1996 and Menon et al., 1999). Thus, MSI is likely to strengthen the position of the new product in the marketplace above and beyond the value conveyed by its physical characteristics (Andrews & Smith, 1996). MSI is classed as capability because it is the outcome of a firm's specialized knowledge, unique understanding of the environment and idiosyncratic processes (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000).2 As Verona (1999: 139) posits, the ability to creatively and imaginatively make strategic decisions regarding a product's development and its marketing are rent-generating routines that enhance performance. MSI may enhance product development performance by creating uncertainties for competitors through variation in the bases of competition (Eisenhardt & Tabrizi, 1995). Capturing the contribution of MSI at the product development level is also consistent with the idea that resources' contribution to performance should be investigated by disaggregating firm performance into processes which are less distal from the focal resources (Ray, Barney, & Muhanna, 2004). However, Eisenhardt and Martin (2000: 1110) suggest that despite their value, capabilities are substitutable because there are multiple paths through which firms can acquire the same dynamic capabilities independent of other firms. Hence, capabilities may be necessary, but not sufficient, sources of sustained competitive advantage. This implies that a focal capability needs to be made inimitable through combination with other organizational skills and capabilities and deployment in the appropriate environment (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000). As Barney (1991) argues, even though a firm's capability may be valuable, rare and inimitable, its ability to provide sustainable competitive advantage often lies in its configuration with complementary internal and external resources. Teece, Pisano, and Shuen (1997: 515) also argue that performance outcomes of a firm's capability depend on its management ability to deploy the capability in an appropriate environment. Finally, Porter (1991: 108) warns against internal focus on resources because the competitive value of resources can be enhanced or eliminated by changes in technology, competitor behavior or buyer needs. Drawing on this contingent resource-based view of the firm,3 we advance and test the idea that, particularly in new ventures in an emerging economic environment, the impact of MSI on new product performance is conditional upon its top management team's external relationships and environmental conditions. New ventures tend to have higher failure rates than established firms. Stinchcombe (1965) provided several reasons for this liability of newness. They have limited resources, lack of information processing structures, and stable links with clients, supporters and customers. Given their liabilities of newness, new ventures need to be creative and learn new roles and tasks and this may conflict with constraints on their resources. Moreover, as a form of first-moving, MSI is inherently risky (Ketchen, Snow, & Hoover, 2004). First, it takes time and resources (i.e., increased salesforce efforts) to educate customers to the new marketing strategy features; further, MSI can expose new ventures to strong and unpredicted reactions by incumbents; lastly, MSI can be imitated by competitors, who can capitalize on the early errors made by the new venture. These contrasting arguments reinforce the need to understand under which circumstances (i.e., on which internal and external contingencies) MSI will contribute to new product performance. In contrast to developed market economies, the complexity and dynamism of the transitional environment in China means that firms must confront the challenges of new (often dysfunctional) competition and also collapsing capabilities (Li and Atuahene-Gima, 2001 and Li and Atuahene-Gima, 2002). Thus, scholars suggest that success in China market requires significant exploration involving experimentation and innovation (Luo, 2002 and Luo and Park, 2001, p. 145). We contend that to sustain the viability of their innovative marketing strategies in China, new venture managers may need to leverage their external relationships. Research suggests that external relationships are particularly important sources of valuable resources and information that can augment firm performance in transitional economies like China (Park and Luo, 2001 and Peng and Luo, 2000). Because of their liabilities of newness, we posit that a venture's top management team's external social capital (i.e., the ability to mobilize financial resources, information and support through external relationships with managers inside and outside the industry, and with officials of government and financial institutions) may determine the degree of success of MSI. In support of this idea, Lee, Lee, and Pennings (2001) found that external relationships with venture capitalists and universities enhanced the performance effects of the entrepreneurial orientation and technology capabilities of new ventures, respectively. Further, considering that the value of a firm's capabilities and resources is context specific (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000, Porter, 1991 and Teece et al., 1997), we propose that technology and market uncertainty will play an important role in the effectiveness of MSI. This study contributes to the literature in three important areas. First it contributes to the abovementioned debate on the inherent value of MSI and its relationship with performance. For example, prior research has assumed a positive relationship between MSI and new product performance (Andrews & Smith, 1996). However, such an assumption tends to ignore the transaction costs associated with MSI and, more generally, overlooks the potential problems associated with the deviation from industry practices. Hence, determining when MSI will increase new product performance offers a direct test of the contingency view of internal firm capabilities espoused in resource-based theory ( Barney, 1991 and Teece et al., 1997). Second, despite recent theoretical developments (Blyler & Coff, 2003), few empirical studies model the firm's social capital as a potential complement of internal capabilities; this study extends our understanding by for the first time examining managerial relationships both inside and outside the industry, as called for by Peng and Luo (2000). Finally, this study extends and lends support to recent work that integrates resource-based and social capital theories as an explanation for new venture performance in the Chinese context (Lee et al., 2001).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study investigated the conditions under which MSI affects new product performance in technology-based new ventures in China. Prior literature in marketing has focused on the antecedents and consequences of creative marketing programs (Andrews and Smith, 1996 and Menon et al., 1999). The market orientation literature also suggests that truly market oriented firms are innovative in their marketing strategies (Danneels, 2003, Slater and Narver, 1998 and Slater and Narver, 1999). However, few if any studies have explicitly modeled the contingent outcomes of such marketing strategies in spite of its potential development and implementation costs and risks. In this contribution we focus on a previously neglected aspect, by showing the contingency factors affecting the relationship between MSI and new product performance. Premised on a contingent resource-based view of the firm, we argued that the relationship between MSI and new product performance depends on the external relationships of top management and environmental dynamism. Our results show that, considered in isolation, MSI is negatively related to new product performance (β = − .20, p < .05): this finding confirms that overlooking the moderating effects of managers' extra and intraindustry relationships, technological and market dynamism would suggest misleading conclusions about the contribution of MSI to new product performance. By accounting for the moderating effects, in line with our model, we found evidence that the top management team's extraindustry relationships strengthen, whereas intraindustry relationships weaken, the relationship between MSI and new product performance. These findings suggest that new ventures benefit more from the former than the latter relationships in implementing MSI. New ideas from extraindustry relationships are likely to not only challenge the current beliefs of managers but also to inform them about new ways of implementing MSI. In contrast, intra-industry relationships offer little by way of novel insights in implementing new strategies. Indeed, as we argued, intra-industry relationships appear to generate mental models that may interfere with the implementation of MSI. These findings are important because they provide further support for the view that different external managerial relationships have differential informational and knowledge acquisition benefits for new ventures in China (Peng & Luo, 2000). The findings also enrich the literature on external managerial ties in new ventures in two respects. First, unlike previous research that has often focused on external managerial ties as a unidimensional construct (Peng & Luo, 2000), we responded to the call by these scholars and operationalized two dimensions: extra and intraindustry relationships. By providing empirical evidence on their differential effects, we add a new dimension to the assessment of the value of managerial ties to strategic decision-making effectiveness in new ventures. Second, whereas prior studies have examined the direct effects of external managerial relationships on firm performance (e.g., Park and Luo, 2001 and Peng and Luo, 2000), we add additional evidence that they contribute to high firm performance indirectly by enhancing the effectiveness of MSI. The lack of moderating effect of government relationships found in this study is consistent with similar findings in recent research on new ventures in Korea (see Lee et al., 2001) and in China (see Li & Atuahene-Gima, 2001). This finding appears to corroborate recent arguments that building government relationships may not be a performance enhancing strategy (see Li & Atuahene-Gima, 2001: 1131) and may not be a substitute for the inadequate institutional infrastructure in transitional economies as argued by Xin and Pearce (1996). This finding coupled with the negative moderating effect of financial relationships suggests that these two forms of external relationships appear to have few benefits for new ventures in implementing strategic innovations in a transitional environment. A plausible reason for this may be that because of their liability of newness, new ventures may experience what we term a “benefit lock out” with respect to government and financial relationships. New ventures compete with more established, resource-rich firms and those with institutional protection of government ownership for the benefits accruing from these relationships in an emerging economy (Xin & Pearce, 1996). Because of their large resources, reputation, experience, and the length of their relations, established firms are better positioned to take advantage of connections with government and financial institutions. Hence, it may be that the benefits options from these relationships are used up by these firms. As noted by Li and Atuahene-Gima (2002), Chinese new technology ventures face significant problems in raising capital and other financial resources from the banks and government agencies. Our findings suggest that these relationships may hurt rather than enhance the impact of creative strategy in marketing. With respect to the environmental context, the interaction between MSI and technology dynamism hurts new product performance. This finding is consistent with the notion that technology dynamism may limit the effective implementation of creative strategies by increasing the costs and risks in information acquisition and use. In a technologically dynamic environment managers find it difficult to analyze and learn from the environment, suggesting greater implementation difficulties with new strategies. Coupled with the positive and significant moderating effect of market dynamism, this finding suggests that a broad conceptualization of environmental uncertainty hides significant insights (Milliken, 1987). Overall, these results show that viewing external managerial ties as sources of valuable resources and information adds value to the literature on strategic decision-making because it explains and edicts both positive and negative consequences of a firm's internal capability (see Lee et al., 2001). The application of creativity is a useful element in all forms of organizational strategies and processes. Thus, the results of this study may also be relevant to strategic innovations more broadly. We argue that understanding the effect of strategic innovations in its various forms may be advanced by applying a contingency view of resource-based theory and considering social capital and environmental features as complementary assets. Future research should investigate if the ideas presented here can be expanded to creative strategies in functional areas other than marketing. The results have implications for the management of new ventures. First, managers of these firms cannot assume that MSI has a positive or negative effect on performance in every circumstance. Although anecdotal reports suggest that MSI tends to enhance performance, these reports rarely identify the specific organizational and environmental conditions under which it is developed and implemented. Our results indicate that new ventures should be aware of the potential downsides of MSI. The results suggest that a more effective use of MSI requires the consideration of not only facilitating top management team social capital but also its deployment in the appropriate environmental conditions. Forging external relationships and finding the appropriate technology and market conditions conducive to MSI is therefore a key challenge for managers of new ventures in allocating resources. 5.1. Limitations and future research directions The generalizability of our findings is limited because our sample was small and drawn from new ventures in a single high technology development zone in China. Another potential limitation concerns the use of objective performance measures reported by informants rather than derived from archival data. However, previous research has shown that, where archival measures are unavailable, absolute performance measures reported by knowledgeable informants are credible alternatives (Autio et al., 2000, Brush and Vanderwerf, 1992, Chandler and Hanks, 1993 and Starbuck and Mezias, 1996). We relied on perceptual measures for external relationships because previous research has called for the use of such measures as objective measures of external relationships are too coarse to capture adequately their quality and intensity (Lee et al., 2001: 635). Although common method bias may be a legitimate concern, we do not believe the problem is serious in the current study because of our use of objective measures of new product performance reported by key informants. Further, our hypotheses predicted and found significant interaction effects. Aiken and West (1991) argue that common method bias cannot produce these kinds of effects. Another reason for the absence of common-method bias is that such a bias statistically increases the shared variance among the independent variables which makes it difficult to find, unique, significant beta weights in a regression, thereby reducing the chances of detecting moderating effects (Evans, 1985). Finally, there is possible survivor bias since our sample contains only new ventures that have survived to be included in our sample. It is possible that we may have uncovered different relationships if failed ventures were included in the sample. The study indicates other fruitful lines of future research. First, it raises interesting questions about how MSI is developed in the first place. For example, what team characteristics and social interactions influence the creation of a creative strategy? Up to this point we have assumed that the implementation of MSI involves socially complex relational and learning processes. However, we did not examine how these processes lead to the development of MSI in the first place. This issue should be examined in future research. Second, though the focus of this study was on strategy innovativeness in the specific context marketing, strategy innovativeness could apply to other functional activities such as human resource management, manufacturing, accounting and others (Shervani & Zerrillo, 1997). Future research should examine how strategy innovativeness in these other functional activities affects performance. Third, future research should explore other external relationships that may influence the effectiveness of MSI and other strategic innovations. Prior research has identified several dimensions of external relationships such as relationships with suppliers, customers and other firms. The moderating effects of these dimensions on the performance effects of the internal capabilities should be given attention by future research on new ventures. Lastly, our study opens several paths for integrating research findings from new product development in Asia and in the Western Countries. Our main finding is that MSI has a negative direct effect on product innovation performance, which can be turned into positive by extraindustry relationship and deployment in turbulent market environments or further worsened by intra-industry relationships, relationships with financial institutions and deployment in technologically turbulent environments. Therefore, the overall effect of MSI on performance, when the moderators are accounted for, is subject to high variability. It depends, ultimately, on a complex nexus of relationships that expands well beyond the focal constructs. However, prior conceptual propositions developed in the Western context have suggested otherwise. Andrews and Smith (1996) studied the antecedents of marketing strategy creativity for mature products in a sample of US firms. Though their model does not include MSI consequences, they rely on the idea that MSI univocally contributes to higher product performance. The difference which emerges with our study suggests at least three possible explanations: (1) at the most basic level, the direct relationship between MSI and performance is simply more complex than hypothesized (but not fully tested) by marketing scholars in the Western context; (2) the relationship between MSI and performance is contingent on cultural differences (e.g., in the extent to which customers in different contexts are receptive toward rule-breaking marketing strategies); (3) the relationship between MSI and performance is contingent on product innovativeness: in this case, empirical studies of innovative and mature products in the US and mature products in Asia can complement our findings to shed more light in this eventuality. Further, the study by Menon et al. (1999) on a sample of Fortune 1000 companies found that at the corporate level MSI is related to marketing strategy comprehensiveness, emphasis on market assets and capabilities, cross-functional integration and communication quality. As stated above, our contingency resource-based view model does not incorporate MSI antecedents. In this respect, the study by Menon et al. (1999) represent an ideal starting point for the extension of our model on the antecedents side, which will enhance the understanding of MSI in Chinese new ventures from both an academic and practitioner perspective and provide a basis for the comparison of Western and Asian results on the impact of strategy making on firm performance. Acknowledgment We would like to thank Guoqing Guo and Victor Lee for assistance in data collection. We are also very grateful to Joseph Galaskiewicz for comments and suggestions that were instrumental in substantially improving this paper. The work described in this article was supported by a grant from the Hong Kong Research Grant Council (project number CITYU 1188/01 H).