Esther P.Y. Tang

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (22)11.3 Total impact

  • Jianming Wang, Richard C.M. Yam, Esther P.Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: The huge population of China, together with its rapid economic growth, has created problems of exhaustion of resources and environmental pollution, which not only harm the Chinese but the rest of the world as well. Studying the underlying forces of environment-related behaviours at all levels in China is very important. An awareness of resource conservation and environmental protection has gradually emerged in China. Nevertheless, consumers’ poor environmental consciousness is a major obstacle for China to build an environmentally-friendly society. Consolidating the experience of research in developed countries, a survey of 1392 Chinese consumers was conducted to explore the determinants of ecologically conscious behaviour (ECB) through an extended knowledge-attitude-practice (KAP) model. Results of the analyses showed that some socio-psychological factors have impacts on consumers’ ECB. Specifically, affection for resource conservation and environmental protection (eco-affection) and social responsibility consciousness have direct effects; eco-awareness has indirect effects; and eco-knowledge and materialistic values on consumption have both direct and indirect effects on consumers’ ECB. These findings provide important public policy implications for government and NGOs to guide consumers to engage in ECB.
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 01/2013; 56(7). · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    Richard C. M. Yam, Esther P. Y. Tang, Cliff C. H. Chan
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    ABSTRACT: In today business, firms are riding on the wave of globalization to enhance competitiveness through business networking or corporate collaboration. Firms inevitably need to share knowledge among different business partners, in particular, during new product development (NPD). However, knowledge sharing itself would invite opportunism, i. e. knowledge being leaked to other parties or competitors, which is regarded as a threat for innovation. This is the dilemma facing today’s global business. This study examines firm’s competitiveness in relation to firm’s commitment, knowledge sharing and potential opportunism. Data were collection through a questionnaire survey and the 220 valid responses were analysed using structural equation modelling. Our findings indicate that commitment among business partners would enhance knowledge sharing. Contradicting to many research findings, knowledge sharing among committed partner firms actually reduce rather than increase opportunism. Strong commitment between business partners encourages the willingness of firms to share knowledge and strengthen trust among firms which would subsequently reduce opportunism. This controversial finding is new to existing knowledge with strong managerial implication to encourage knowledge sharing among business partners.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: In light of problem solving, system complexity, and dominant design theories, some researchers suggest that modular product design promotes product innovation through experimenting with many alternative approaches simultaneously. This leads to rapid trial-and-error learning and accelerates new product introduction. However, others argue that modular product design inhibits innovation because common modules can be overly reused, the degree of freedom for innovation is limited due to module compatibility, and knowledge sharing among module teams is weakened. There is no conclusive argument regarding the relationships between product modularity and new product performance, or between product innovativeness and new product performance.This article fills this gap by investigating the relationships of these three important constructs through an empirical study. Data were collected from 115 companies in the electronics industry. The findings show that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between product modularity and product innovativeness. The results also reveal a lack of direct relationship between product modularity and new product performance, but discover an indirect relationship between the two mediated by product innovativeness. Manufacturers should closely monitor the negative impacts of modularity, as extreme modularity can reduce product innovativeness. If there are any signs of diminishing product innovativeness, problems with poor communication across module teams, or excessive design alternatives, the manufacturers should stop further modularizing their products. Alternatively, manufacturers can take steps to reduce the negative effects of modularity. For instance, manufacturers can develop ways to strengthen communication among module teams. They can also use a set of design rules to reduce the number of design alternatives systematically or a design method to balance product commonality and differentiation during the development processes.
    Journal of Product Innovation Management 02/2011; 28(2):270 - 284. · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of the regional innovation system (RIS) has been developed into an important framework for evaluating innovation performance. The study reported in this paper explores the relationship between the RIS and the firm's innovation system (FIS) according to the basic premise that firms that better utilize sources of information (SI) available within their regional innovation system (RIS) perform better due effect this has in enhancing the firm's technological innovation capabilities (TICs). The different innovation capabilities of a firm are regarded as the key components of the firm's innovation system. The sources of information available within an RIS include external sources (EXT) and external expert organizations, the latter of which are referred to as knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS). This study also explores the dual role of KIBS as both sources of and bridges for innovation in the RIS. Data were obtained through a mailed survey using a self-administered questionnaire. The utilization concept and the dual role of KIBS were verified. The results show that externally available information affects all innovation capabilities of the firm, while external expert organizations affect only the firm's R&D and resources allocation capabilities. This study contributes to the RIS literature by providing empirical evidence on how firms can interact with the RIS by utilizing SI to enhance their TICs and achieve global competitiveness.
    Research Policy. 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between product modularity (PM) and supply chain integration (SCI), and to identify factors influencing this relationship. Design/methodology/approach – A case study approach involving in-depth interviews on three modular and two non-modular design projects in the Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta region was conducted. Within and cross-case analyses were adopted. Findings – Results support the current view that modular design is related to a loosely coordinated supply chain, whereas integrated design is associated with a tightly coordinated supply chain. However, this relationship is affected and explained by four contingency factors: new module/component development, technological knowledge leakage and creation, project team size and supply chain efficiency. Research limitations/implications – The paper used a case study approach so the generalizability of the study is limited. This approach, however, enabled us to examine explicitly the relationship between PM and SCI, where empirical research was lacking. The rich content of each case suggested how and why modular design affects supply chain management. Originality/value – The findings of this paper increase the understanding of the dynamics of modular product design and supply chain management. The paper also explores four contingency factors affecting the relationship.
    International Journal of Operations & Production Management 08/2010; 30(9):951-977. · 1.13 Impact Factor
  • Antonio K.W. Lau, Richard C.M. Yam, Esther P.Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – Recent studies have advocated the impact of technological innovation capabilities (TIC) on firms' competitive performances. This paper adopts a study framework of innovation audit to examine the relevance of TIC on the innovation performance of the electronics industry in Hong Kong (HK)/Pearl River Delta region. Design/methodology/approach – Empirical data were acquired through a recent survey of electronics firms in the region. Pearson correlation and regression analysis were employed to examine the relationship between TIC and innovation performance. Findings – The results verify that R&D, resource allocation, learning, and strategy planning capabilities can significantly improve the innovation sales. R&D and resource allocation capabilities can also significantly improve new product introduction. Research limitations/implications – The paper contributes to existing literature by studying the impact of TIC on innovation performance in HK. It also explores two out of seven TIC – R&D and resource allocation capabilities – to improve firms' innovation performance in the region. Originality/value – This paper is one of very few that provide empirical evidence of the TIC and innovation performance in HK. It also revisits the audit framework proposed by recent innovation studies, which helps theoretical development.
    Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China. 07/2010; 1(2):163-186.
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    ABSTRACT: While the beneficial impacts of supplier and customer integration are generally acknowledged, very few empirical research studies have examined how an organization can achieve better product performance through product innovation enhanced by such integration. This paper thus examines the impact of key supplier and customer integration processes (i.e., information sharing and product codevelopment with supplier and customer, respectively) on product innovation as well as their impact on product performance. It contributes to existing literature by asking how such integration activities affect product innovation and performance in both direct and indirect ways. After surveying 251 manufacturers in Hong Kong, this study tested the relationships among information sharing, product codevelopment, product innovativeness, and performance with three control variables (i.e., company size, type of industry, and market certainty). Structural equation modeling with correlation and t-tests was used to test the hypothesized research model. The findings indicate a direct, positive relationship between supplier and customer integration and product performance. In particular, this study verifies that sharing information with suppliers and product codevelopment with customers directly improves product performance. In addition, this study empirically examines the indirect effects of supplier and customer integration processes on product performance, mediated by innovation. This has seldom been attempted in previous research. The empirical findings show that product codevelopment with suppliers improves performance, mediated by innovation. However, the sampled firms cannot improve their product innovation by sharing information with their current customers and suppliers as well as codeveloping new products with the customers. If the adoption of supplier and customer integration is not cost free, the findings of this study may suggest firms work on particular supplier and customer integration processes (i.e., product codevelopment with suppliers) to improve their product innovation. The study also suggests that companies codevelop new products only with new customers and lead users instead of current ones for product innovation. For managers, this study has demonstrated that both information sharing and product codevelopment affect performance directly and indirectly. Managers should put more emphasis on these key processes, especially when linked with product innovation. Managers should consider involving their suppliers and customers in the early stages of design. Information sharing with suppliers is also important in product development. As suggested by this study, extensive effort on supplier and customer integration should be made to directly augment current product performance and product innovation at the same time.
    Journal of Product Innovation Management 07/2010; 27(5):761 - 777. · 1.57 Impact Factor
  • Antonio K.W. Lau, Richard C.M. Yam, Esther P.Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – While the beneficial impact of supply chain integration (SCI) and modular product design are generally acknowledged, few empirical studies have examined how an organization can achieve better performance through SCI with modular product design. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between SCI and modular product design, as well as their impact on product performance. Design/methodology/approach – By surveying 251 manufacturers in Hong Kong, structural equation modelling is used to test the research constructs and the hypothesized model. Findings – The results confirm that information sharing, product co-development and organizational coordination are crucial organizational processes within SCI. Companies that have high levels of product modularity appear to be good at product co-development and organizational coordination directly and at information sharing indirectly. Furthermore, companies that have high levels of product co-development or product modularity appear to have better product performance. Research limitations/implications – This paper theoretically and empirically identifies three specific organizational processes within SCI (information sharing, product co-development and organizational coordination), which affect modular product design and product performance. These more specific findings were previously absent from the literature. However, the study is limited to the cross-sectional nature of a survey study, the operationalization of SCI and product modularity, and the nature of the product types. Originality/value – This paper empirically examines the relationships between SCI and product modularity, which has seldom been attempted in previous research. It clearly identifies exactly which processes within SCI are directly and indirectly related to product modularity.
    International Journal of Operations & Production Management 01/2010; 30(1):20-56. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper evaluates the relevance of innovation strategy to various categories of Chinese firms and investigates its relationship with innovation performance during the economic transition of the 1990s. Data from 1244 Chinese firms in Beijing are used to ascertain the relative importance of different innovation objectives, along with the innovation strategies adopted by manufacturing firms. Results show that innovation activities were confined to the domestic sphere and mainly directed at quality improvement. Chinese manufacturing firms which obtained support from the government through the high-tech firm accreditation system generally perform better. They had already started moving away from a reliance on imported technology and equipment, and using indigenous R&D efforts to innovate for the coming market economy.
    Research Policy. 01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Modular product design and internal integration are commonly adopted by manufacturers to improve operational performance. A number of studies argue that the adoption of product modularity significantly alters organization design, which affects the impact of internal integration on competitive capabilities. This paper thus aims to empirically explore the individual effects as well as interaction effects of product modularity and internal integration on competitive capabilities. The competitive capabilities studied in this paper include product innovativeness, low price, product quality, delivery, flexibility and customer services. After analysing the data from 251 Hong Kong manufacturers through moderated multiple regression analysis, the study found that better internal integration can significantly improve product innovativeness, product quality, delivery, flexibility and customer services, while a high level of product modularity enhances product innovativeness, flexibility and customer services. More importantly, the study shows that internal integration and product modularity can interact to improve product innovativeness and product quality. These results enhance our understanding of the interaction of product design and organizational coordination.
    Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent theories propose that modular product design is a key enabler for product success in global competition. Recent research has explored the impact of modular products on competitive manufacturing capabilities, including price, product quality, customer service, flexibility and delivery. However, there is limited empirical research that simultaneously examines their relationships with performance. This paper aims to fill this gap through quantitative research into Hong Kong's manufacturing industry. Results indicate that product modularity influences the capabilities of delivery, flexibility and customer service, and the capabilities of delivery and flexibility positively relate to product performance. These findings show that modular product design cannot improve each capability simultaneously, as existing literature suggests. Multiple trade-offs and future research are specified in this study.
    International Journal of Production Economics 02/2007; · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Esther P. Y. Tang, Iris O. K. Chin
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    ABSTRACT: Past research into variety seeking has provided a growing body of research evidence on the significance of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors as determinants of variety-seeking behavior. However, few of the many studies have addressed the role of product-specific characteristics on variety-seeking behavior across different product categories. This study presents the results of a field-based study that uses consumer panel data of Hong Kong consumers for analyzing variety-seeking behavior across six product categories: (1) packaged rice, (2) liquid milk, (3) instant noodle, (4) toilet tissue, (5) toothpaste, and (6) liquid soap. Specifically, the postulated influential power of both intrinsically (i.e., need for variety) and extrinsically motivated factors (i.e., product-category level characteristics) are assessed in terms of their relative degree of influence on variety-seeking behavior. Results show that need for variety, gender, type of product, purchase history, and number of available alternatives are significant predictors of consumer variety-seeking behavior.
    Journal of International Consumer Marketing 01/2007; 19(4):7-31.
  • Antonio K. W. Lau, Richard C. M. Yam, Esther P. Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper aims to examine how an organization can achieve higher performance through integrating supply chain product co-development (SCPC) and modular product design. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a comprehensive review of literature on product development, supply chain management and system theory, the four proposed hypotheses concerning the relationships among SCPC, product modularity (PM), manufacturing capabilities and product performance (PP) were tested empirically through a sample of 251 Hong Kong manufacturers. Findings – SCPC is found to have a direct and positive relationship with PM and PP. PM improves flexibility and customer service and in turn PP. Research limitations/implications – Given the cross-sectional nature of the study and the focus on manufacturing industry, future research should replicate this study in different industries with more longitudinal studies. Practical implications – The study provides solid evidence that managers should involve their suppliers, internal functional units and customers early in their design stages, especially in the decisions relating to PM. The study has also demonstrated that product co-development affects PP in both direct and indirect ways. Originality/value – The present study empirically verifies the relationships between supply chain integration and modular product design by means of SCPC and PM. Similar empirical research is absent from the literature on relevant disciplines.
    Industrial Management &amp Data Systems 01/2007; 107:1036-1065. · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Clement S. F. Chow, Esther P. Y. Tang, Isabel S. F. Fu
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    ABSTRACT: Although brand name translation is meant to convey the brand message in a more articulate way, its effect on purchase intention is not always positive. Therefore, global marketers are facing the dilemma of whether to translate the brand name into local language or not, especially when it is a western brand product to be launched into the China market. It is believed that for certain kinds of western products the appearance of the Chinese in the brand name may jeopardize the “western image”-still a premium in the China market-of the products. This study is to investigate the influence of brand name Chinese translation on consumer purchase intention taking into consideration the moderating effects of the degree of product hedonism and the degree of consumer involvement in purchasing the product. A lab experiment in 2×2×2 factorial design with manipulation of translation (absence/presence), product hedonism (hedonic versus utilitarian product) and involvement (high versus low involvement product) is conducted. Results are discussed with implications to global marketers aiming at the China market.
    Journal of Global Marketing 01/2007; 20(4):25-38.
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    ABSTRACT: The regulation-protected environment of electric utilities has undergone massive changes to open market competition. The protection of the regulatory shield in the past has imposed obstacles and barriers for many electric utilities to change their business emphasis from internal focused to market orientation (MO). In order to face the new challenges, electric utilities have incorporated a large variety of piecemeal change management programmes to change their business emphasis. Many of them have experienced a lot of difficulties in fundamentally transforming themselves from their old ways of doing business. TQM philosophy and principles, targeting the generation of holistic and systematic changes for customer satisfaction, were suggested to be used in guiding the change process in electric utilities towards market orientation through continuous quality improvement. To investigate the possibility of using TQM as an integrative approach to guide market orientation change for electric utilities, an internationally-based questionnaire survey was conducted. Results of the study indicated that the influence of TQM applications on market orientation is positive and significant, and that the external business environment seems to have little interaction on the effectiveness of using TQM for change towards market orientation. TQM is empirically found to be a potentially effective approach for electric utilities to change to market orientation. The literature has so far been focused extensively on the effects of market orientation on business performance, organization innovativeness and product development performance etc. This paper investigates the mechanism to transform organizations towards market orientation.
    Total Quality Management & Business Excellence - TOTAL QUAL MANAG BUS EXCELL. 01/2005; 16(4):439-461.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have advocated different technological innovation capabilities (TICs) and discussed their impact on a firm’s competitive performance. This paper introduces a study framework of innovation audit and examines the relevance of seven TICs to building and sustaining the competitiveness of Chinese firms. Empirical data was acquired through a recent study of 213 Chinese firms in Beijing, China. Regression analysis was employed to examine the correlation between TICs and innovation rate, sales growth, and product competitiveness among these firms. The findings verify that R&D and resources allocation capabilities are the two most important TICs. A strong R&D capability could safeguard innovation rate and product competitiveness in large and medium-sized firms, whereas a resources allocation capability would enhance the sales growth in small firms. However, the impact of learning and organising capabilities on a firm’s innovation performance has yet to be investigated.The findings of this paper suggest that Chinese firms should consider a more balanced focus on their TICs’ harmonising enhancement. In order to maintain their sustainable development, effectively plan and implement their innovation strategies as well as enhance their whole innovation capability, Chinese firms should closely relate their TICs to the formulation of technology strategy and harmonisation of innovation and R&D activities.
    Research Policy. 02/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: Eco-labels are meant to convey information to consumers about the environmental implications of purchasing the product, so that consumers who care about such effects can express their desires in the market. Whereas all eco-label designs utilize a visuallogo, only a few of them include verbalmessage withinthe label to communicate the main reason why the label is granted. As such, the purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of visual and verbal communication in eco-label designs on consumers purchasing behavior. Using an experimental design with homogenous sample, participants were randomly assigned one of four possible treatments in a 2 × 2 design with manipulations of both visual and verbal communication cues within a simulated web-based shopping experience. It was found that both the visual and verbal communication had significant individual and additive effects on the purchase of the designated products.
    Journal of International Consumer Marketing 01/2004; 16(4):85-105.
  • Esther P.Y. Tang, Richard C.M. Yam
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    ABSTRACT: Argues that the dichtomy between greater product variety to meet market requirement and a smaller range to save costs has always led to controversy among top executives. Researchers of different disciplines have approached the study of product variety in great depth but none of their work includes environmental considerations. Reports on a survey in Hong Kong which provides empirical evidence of the relationship between product variety and market performance. Concludes first, that previous work has seldom discussed the issues of product variety from an environmental perspective; second, that great product variety leads to irresponsible consumption patterns, i.e. waste; and, third, that firms have not considered the environmental impacts in formulating their product variety strategies.
    Integrated Manufacturing Systems 11/1996; 7(6):24-29.
  • Richard C.M. Yam, Esther P.Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: Hong Kong has been a major entrepôt for China for decades and its intermediate role has been enhanced in recent years. With the open door policy of China, Hong Kong manufacturers have relocated extensively their low-cost operations to the Pearl River Delta in Southern China. Under the outward processing arrangement, raw materials, components and work-in-progress are shipped to China for further processing and the finished products are shipped back to Hong Kong for re-export to other countries. This mode of operation has created tremendous loads on the already congested cross-border traffic between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. In order to modernize its outdated and inadequate transportation systems, China has embarked on huge infrastructure development programmes in the Pearl River Delta and other fast developing regions. Hong Kong has also launched multi-billion-dollar ports and airport development projects scheduled to be completed in 1997/98. On completion of these projects, the strategic position of Hong Kong as an entrepôt of Southern China will be further enhanced, despite increasing competition from neighbouring ports and airports in the medium to long term.
    International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 11/1996; 26(10):46-59. · 1.04 Impact Factor
  • Richard C. M. Yam, K. S. Chin, Esther P. Y. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: The new product development strategies for Hong Kong manufacturing industries were reviewed through surveys and interviews with special emphasis on the application and adoption of the Time-to-Market (TTM) concepts in Hong Kong. The study results imply that the majority of the Hong Kong manufacturers need to go through a substantial strategic change in order to sustain their competitiveness in the rapidly changing world market. The corporate focus should be changed from the low-cost manufacturing biased to the high-quality, customer-based and marketing/technology integrative emphasis. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    International Journal of Human Factors in Manufacturing 01/1996; 6(3):233-241.