• Enhancing customer-linking marketing capabilities using marketing analytics

      Cao, Guangming; Tian, Na (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020-03-25)
      Purpose: Evidence in the literature has indicated that customer-linking marketing capabilities such as customer relationship management (CRM) and brand management are important drivers of marketing performance and that marketing analytics use (MAU) enables firms to gain valuable knowledge and insights for improving firm performance. However, there has been little focus on how firms improve their CRM and brand management via MAU. This study aims to draw on the absorptive capacity theory, research on marketing capabilities and marketing analytics to examine the capability-developing mechanisms that enable a firm to use marketing analytics to enhance its CRM and brand management capabilities, thereby improving its marketing performance. Design/methodology/approach: A research model is developed and tested based on an analysis of 289 responses collected using an online survey from middle and senior managers of Chinese firms with sufficient knowledge and experience in using marketing analytics for survey participation. Findings: The findings demonstrate that MAU is positively related to both CRM and brand management capabilities, which in turn are positively associated with marketing performance; and that both CRM and brand management capabilities mediate the relationship between MAU and marketing performance. Research limitations/implications: The study’s outcomes were based on data collected from a survey, which was distributed using mass e-mails. Thus, the study is unable to provide a meaningful response rate. The research results are based on and limited to Chinese firms. Practical implications: MAU is essential for enhancing customer-linking marketing capabilities such as CRM and brand management, but it alone is not sufficient to improve marketing performance. Firms wishing to improve marketing performance should leverage the knowledge and insights gained from MAU to enhance their critical customer-linking marketing capabilities. Originality/value: This study explicates the capability-developing mechanisms through which a firm can use its market-sensing capability as manifested by MAU to enhance customer-linking marketing capabilities and to improve its marketing performance. In so doing, this study extends our understanding of the critical role of absorptive capacity in helping firms identify, assimilate, transform and apply valuable external knowledge.
    • A historical institutionalist perspective on the persistence of state controls during financial sector reforms: the insightful case of Myanmar

      Win, Sandar; Kofinas, Alexander K. (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020-09-23)
      Purpose: Many transition economies are former socialist planned economies and have undergone market reforms of their financial sector to signal their transition towards democracy. However, governments in these countries have been reluctant to relinquish the pre-existing controls on economy and have adopted nuanced and sophisticated approaches to retain control. In such context, scholars may find it challenging to investigate the role played by the state in the success or failure of attempted market reforms. This work investigates the different forms of state-induced accounting controls that may preserve the status quo within the economy during transition, using Myanmar as an example. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopted a longitudinal qualitative research method aiming to reveal the very processes and mechanisms used by the banks and their evolution over time. This method is in accordance with the historical institutionalist perspective that we have applied within this research. Findings: The authors found that the Myanmar government embarked on the privatisation of their financial sector from 1990 to 2016 as a major public sector reform initiative. Under the guise of market reforms, it used both state-led and market-led controls to emulate and retain the socialist banking model where banks are used to fund the immediate government's budget deficits. This created a series of intended and unintended consequences, resulting in the ultimate failure of the government's market reforms. Research limitations/implications: Previously, research on public sector management accounting in emerging economies was not relying consistently on using theory. The relative limited theorisation led to gaps when attempting to understand and explain the opaque forms of state control mechanisms in transition economies. By applying historical institutionalist perspective, and a more theory-driven, reflective approach to the interpretation of the data collected, we have provided a deeper insight and understanding on how different forms of state controls can emerge, adapt and persist in transition economies such as Myanmar. Practical implications: The authors demonstrated that though the state may have implemented market reforms to signal regimes change, this does not necessarily mean that the government has relinquished their control on the economy. The state could take a more sophisticated, covert approach towards state controls leading to both intended and unintended consequences. Thus, even if the state's preferences change, the decisions cannot be easily reversed, as path-dependent state controls may have become pervasive affecting any further institutional and policy developments. Thus, the authors suggest that governments in both transition and developed economies should be cautious when enacting regulations on corporate control. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors have applied a historical institutional perspective in our analysis instead of the more widely used sociological, institutionalist approach. This allowed authors to harness rich longitudinal data indicating that market reforms and their success or failure should be examined as an ongoing process rather than a completed action. This is especially important in transition economies where the state may be unwilling to renounce the existing controls on the industry and may resort to more opaque forms of state control, eventually obstructing the intended reforms.
    • Isomorphic factors in the adoption of ERP by Indian medium-sized firms

      Sharma, Seema; Daniel, Elizabeth Mary (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-10-10)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to adopt an institutional theory perspective to investigate the adoption of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems by medium-sized firms in India. The rationale for this study is to provide a more complete understanding of ERP adoption, moving beyond the traditional technical and economic perspectives to include social, cultural and structural influences. These later influences are more implicit, insidious and pervasive and hence require elucidatory studies such as this, but offer a greater understanding of the adoption of information systems (IS). Design/methodology/approach: The study is undertaken by means of nine case studies of medium-sized firms in India that have adopted ERP systems. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with a range of staff in each firm and are supplemented by data from other sources such as site visit notes. Findings: Institutionally based studies have tended to focus on three high-level isomorphic pressures: coercive, normative and mimetic. The study identifies number of more detailed factors that contribute to each of these three pressures. These more detailed factors are then used to consider how factors can interact and how they can explain aspects of the Indian context of the study. Originality/value: The conceptual contribution of this study is to move beyond the technical and economic rationales frequently identified for the adoption of IS by identifying influences that are social, cultural and structural in nature. The study shows that the three high-level isomorphic pressures, mimetic, coercive and normative are comprised of more detailed factors. The empirical contribution of the paper is to identify these detailed factors, and to explore their influence, in the case of ERP adoption by Indian medium-sized firms. The study is of value to practitioners, since it is at the detailed level of factors that managers can recognize the forces they are subject to and can take action. It is also valuable to researchers since the detailed factors help address two limitations of institutional theory; a lack of agency perspective and a degree of conceptual ambiguity.
    • Moderating roles of customer characteristics on the link between service factors and satisfaction in a buffet restaurant

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Di, Yun; Ramanathan, Usha (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-01-07)
      Purpose – In service sector, measuring quality of services is generally acknowledged to be difficult as it involves many psychological features. Hence, identifying the determinants of service quality and linkages with customer satisfaction is a challenging research topic. In this study, the authors take up a research study to address this challenge. The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of factors influencing customer satisfaction in the context of a Chinese buffet restaurant in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a questionnaire based on the SERVQUAL instrument for the purpose. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the authors have found that service quality could be grouped into four main factors – service, food, ambience and price. Findings – Using multiple-regression analysis, the authors have found that food is the most significant factor influencing customer satisfaction, followed by price, ambience and service, respectively. Using a multi-group analysis, the authors have found interesting moderating roles of age, gender and annual income on the influence of the four factors on satisfaction: ambience is considered significant by male customers while it is not significant for female customers; the influence of price on satisfaction is much higher for female customers than for male customers; food and service factors are important for younger customers while price is important for older customers; price is important for customers with lower levels of income but not important for high-income customers. Practical implications – These results are useful to restaurant managers in allocating appropriate levels of resources to different factors based on their contributions to customer satisfaction in order to maximize customer satisfaction efficiently and effectively. Originality/value – Analysis and findings of this research are based on the customers’ survey data of a Chinese buffet restaurant in the UK. The authors have found an interesting ranking of the importance of service factors: food followed by price, ambience and service. The results on the moderating role of customer characteristics provide newer insights in the literature on service quality. The research findings can help the hotel management to improve their service levels to attain maximum customer satisfaction.
    • Relational resources for emerging markets’ non-technological innovation: insights from China and Taiwan

      Fletcher-Chen, Chavi C-Y.; Al-Husan, Faten Z. Baddar; ALHussan, Fawaz; Université Catholique de Lille; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2017-07-03)
      Purpose: This paper aims to highlight the importance of relational resources (trust and relationship effectiveness). The authors investigate how the Chinese guanxi is utilized to create and develop service exploitation and exploration activities for adopting non-technological innovations. Design/methodology/approach: This study surveyed 252 Chinese and Taiwanese firms. The results were analyzed through structural equation model. Findings: Relational antecedents of collaborative communication and constructive conflict positively relate to trust, as well as to relationship effectiveness. Constructive conflict positively relates to exploration and exploitation. Relationship effectiveness and trust mediate two relational antecedents to exploitation. Relationship effectiveness crucially mediates two relational antecedents to exploration. Research limitations/implications: Dyadic data would be more desirable to study firm interactions. Practical implications: Chinese society perceives conflict as being detrimental to relationships. Constructive conflict enhances inter-firm trust and relationship effectiveness. Relationship effectiveness, which motivates suppliers to mobilize their guanxi network, mediates the supplier–customer interaction in broadening relationships to produce new services, as well as reinforcing networks to strengthen existing ventures. Originality/value: This study contributes to a relatively under-explored relationship effectiveness area. Chinese suppliers capitalize their guanxi networks to achieve competitive advantages in non-technological innovation.
    • The role of senior executives in managing key customers in Arab context

      ALHussan, Fawaz; Al-Husan, Faten Z. Baddar; Alhesan, Lulu; Université Catholique de Lille; University of Bedfordshire; Middlesex University (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2017-07-03)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of senior managers in managing intra-and inter-organizational relationships with key customers and the factors that influence such involvement in a novel context in the Arab Middle East region. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory qualitative research design was used in which 68 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted in Jordan with endogenous and Western firms. Findings: Top/senior managers play a significant role in Arab business relationships and in creating value for the firms. Their involvement in key accounts is imperative at all levels – strategic, operational, and relational – mainly due to cultural and institutional factors that are unique to the Arab context. Research limitations/implications: The study is limited to operations in one emerging country situated in a novel setting in one particular region of the world, which is the Middle East. Practical implications: Arab senior managers’ participation is imperative and should continue with their relatively intense involvement with key accounts. For foreign investors operating in that part of the world, it is highly recommended that senior management have a more a hands-on approach when dealing with the Arab key customer and to focus more on the relational aspect of key account management than on the organizational aspect. Originality/value: This paper adds to the very limited number of studies on senior management involvement in key account management, making a theoretical and practical contribution and adding insight on how to manage the relationship with the Arab key customer.
    • Systemic capabilities: the source of IT business value

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; Cadden, Trevor; Minocha, Sonal; University of Bedfordshire; University of Ulster (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-09-01)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop, and explicate the significance of the need for a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value. Design/methodology/approach – Embracing a systems perspective, this paper examines the interrelationship between IT and other organisational factors at the organisational level and its impact on the business value of IT. As a result, a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value is developed. An example of enhancing IT business value through developing systemic capabilities is then used to test and demonstrate the value of this framework. Findings – The findings suggest that IT business value would be significantly enhanced when systemic capabilities are generated from the synergistic interrelations among IT and other organisational factors at the systems level, while the system’s human agents play a critical role in developing systemic capabilities by purposely configuring and reconfiguring organisational factors. Practical implications – The conceptual framework advanced provides the means to recognise the significance of the need for understanding IT business value systemically and dynamically. It encourages an organisation to focus on developing systemic capabilities by ensuring that IT and other organisational factors work together as a synergistic whole, better managing the role its human agents play in shaping the systems interrelations, and developing and redeveloping systemic capabilities by configuring its subsystems purposely with the changing business environment. Originality/value – This paper reveals the nature of systemic capabilities underpinned by a systems perspective. The resultant systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value can help us move away from pairwise resource complementarity to focusing on the whole system and its interrelations while responding to the changing business environment. It is hoped that the framework can help organisations delineate important IT investment considerations and the priorities that they must adopt to create superior IT business value.