Bernhard Swoboda

Universität Trier, Trier, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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Publications (64)29.31 Total impact

  • Bernhard Swoboda, Stefan Elsner, Dirk Morschett
    Long Range Planning 12/2014; 47(6). DOI:10.1016/j.lrp.2012.05.002 · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Stefan Elsner, Edith Olejnik
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    ABSTRACT: This study analyzes whether the preferred entry modes, i.e., the foreign market entry modes that have been most frequently used in the past, influence a retail firm's subsequent mode choices. We discuss the limitations of this relationship by highlighting the external and internal factors that determine the effects of preferred modes on later entry decisions. To provide insight into these issues, we refer to institutional- and knowledge-based reasoing and use a data set that includes 309 market entries by the 30 leading retailers between the years 1960 and 2008. The results indicate that preferred entry modes show strong explanatory power with regard to the subsequent choice of full- and shared-control modes in entering new country markets. Although this relationship is diminished by the external institutional environment (e.g., political distance), firm-specific capabilities, e.g., international experience and internationalization speed, reinforce the use of preferred entry modes.
    International Business Review 11/2014; 24(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ibusrev.2014.10.008 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Edith Olejnik
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research on the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has highlighted the role of knowledge and learning about foreign markets. However, empirical results on the performance implications of foreign market scanning and planning have been mixed. Following the dynamic capability perspective, we argue that SMEs can capitalize on scanning and planning processes because of their international entrepreneurial orientation. We test our hypotheses with a sample of 604 established SMEs and find that entrepreneurial orientation completely mediates the relationship between scanning and planning and international performance. Moreover, the results implicate a bidirectional relationship between processes and international entrepreneurial orientation.
    Journal of Small Business Management 09/2014; DOI:10.1111/jsbm.12135 · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg, Dan-Cristian Dabija
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    Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg, Dan-Cristian Dabija
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    ABSTRACT: This study emphasizes the important but neglected role of retail formats in the transfer and positioning decisions of international retailers. We examine the role of core and country-specific attributes of particular formats in determining retailers’ local positioning in inter-format competition. Focusing on three distinguished grocery formats (i.e., discounters, supermarkets, and hypermarkets) and using multiple-group structural equation models, we conducted consumer surveys in Germany and Romania to evaluate consumer perceptions of the core attributes of those formats and their influence on retail brand equity and consumer loyalty. Findings – Although consumer perceptions of core attributes differ between formats in Germany and Romania, most of the core attributes of the formats affect retail brands with equal strength in both markets. Retail brand equity determines loyalty to all formats in both countries. Research implications – Retailers transferring their formats to foreign countries should place particular emphasis on managing the core attributes of a specific format, as these attributes are of paramount importance in establishing a strong brand. Additional country-specific attributes are also relevant to varying extents, depending on the particular format that is used. Assessing causal relationships extends retailer knowledge of the role of format attributes. Originality/value – This study proposes a format-specific approach that is novel to international retailing research. The country comparison strengthens the study’s implications, considers both a developed and an emerging economy, and accounts for the preference of Western European retailers to expand into Eastern European countries. We conclude that format transfer and positioning decisions occur within the boundaries of core format attributes
    International Marketing Review 04/2014; 31(2). DOI:10.1108/IMR-11-2012-0190 · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Karin Pennemann
    01/2014; 36(2):141-150. DOI:10.15358/0344-1369_2014_2_141
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg, Hanna Schramm-Klein
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    ABSTRACT: Retailers aim to strengthen their ability to influence consumer behavior by building corporate reputation and store equity: for instance, by making promotional investments. However, little is known about the directionality of consumers’ corporate and store associations, that is, how reciprocal relationships between consumers’ perceptions of corporate reputation and store equity affect store loyalty. To illuminate this issue, we draw upon a study with a cross-sectional design and two studies with longitudinal designs. We find that retail store equity interacts with corporate reputation and is a more important driver of increased loyalty than corporate reputation. We conclude that retailers should pay attention to reciprocal effects, especially in determining the relative allocation of investments across corporate and store levels.
    Journal of Retailing 12/2013; 89(4):447–459. DOI:10.1016/j.jretai.2013.06.006 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg, Dan-Cristian Dabija
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    ABSTRACT: Es ist bekannt, dass der Erfolg von Handelsunternehmen in Auslandsmärkten, insbesondere von solchen aus dem Lebensmittelbereich, von der Adaption der Angebote an die lokalen Kundenbe-dürfnisse und den Wettbewerb abhängt. Die Ausgestaltung der Angebote, d.h. der Attribute wie Sortiment, Preis, Service, bestimmt die Position als starke Marke in den Köpfen der Verbraucher. Welche Attribute sind es aber, die den Kundenerfolg bestimmen, die gleichen die man aus der Hei-mat kennt oder andere, länderspezifische? Dieser Beitrag beantwortet diese Frage, indem er auf den Betriebstypenwettbewerb und einen doppelten Vergleich abstellt: Vergleich der wichtigsten Be-triebstypen des LEH, so Discounter, Supermärkte und SB-Warenhäuser, und Vergleich der Kun-densicht in Deutschland und Rumänien, einem entwickelten Markt, in dem nur nationale Anbieter konkurrieren und einem europäischen Entwicklungsmarkt, in dem klar ausländische Anbieter do-minieren. Einführung Seit rund zwei Dekaden interna-tionalisieren Handelsunterneh-men dynamisch, zunächst in Industrie-und danach in Ent-wicklungsländer. Einige reali-sieren Auslandsumsatzanteile von 70 und mehr Prozent, aber gleichzeitig, und nicht erst seit der Finanzkrise, ziehen sich Handelsunternehmen aus Aus-landsmärkten zurück. Dies liegt manchmal an Problemen zu Hause oder oft an einem fehlen-den Erfolg im Auslandsmarkt. Ältere Studien und auch die Erfahrung mancher Manager legen die Adaption an lokale Bedürfnisse nahe, v.a. in Un-ternehmen des LEH. Aller-dings zeigen Studien auch, dass
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Edith Olejnik
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    ABSTRACT: This study develops a taxonomy of small- and medium-sized family firms that internationalise and discusses the different configurations of these firms based on firm culture (in terms of organisational orientations), firm strategy (in terms of differentiation, cost leadership and marketing standardisation) and firm structure (in terms of integration, centralisation and specialisation). Although the literature on international family firms has highlighted the significant role of organisational culture in firm internationalisation, the strategies and structures of international family firms and their consequences for performance have been disregarded. To examine the interplay of international family firm culture, strategy and structure, we employ a quantitative taxonomic approach that is rooted in configurational theory, analysing 504 Germany-based small- and medium-sized family firms. Different combinations of strategy, structure and culture result in different configurations of family firms and different levels of non-domestic performance. In considering these configurations, we aim to determine which combinations of strategies, structures and firm orientations are primarily applied by international family firms and whether these organisational configurations are successful. Our empirical findings suggest that there are four groups of firms: Domestic-Focussed Traditionalists, Global Standardisers, Multinational Adapters and Transnational Entrepreneurs. These configurations are clearly distinctive in terms of their structure, orientations and performance but differ less in terms of their strategies. Superior international (i.e. non-domestic) performance tends to be driven by a decentralised entrepreneurial approach.
    Journal of International Entrepreneurship 06/2013; 11(2). DOI:10.1007/s10843-012-0101-x
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research shows that the success of a retailer depends on strong retail brands and attractive, easily accessible store locations. However, little is known about the relative importance of retail brand equity and store accessibility for store loyalty in different local competitive contexts. To provide insight into this issue, we conduct on a cross-sectional study of 4151 interviews and objective data on 30 stores of a focal retailer and its local competitors. We find that store loyalty benefits more from a strong brand than from a conveniently accessible location and that location can benefit from a strong brand. We also find that competitor’s brand equity has an especially negative influence on store loyalty towards a focal retailer and that the strength of the effects of brand equity and location accessibility on store loyalty depends on the local competitive context.
    Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 05/2013; 20(3):251–262. DOI:10.1016/j.jretconser.2013.01.011
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Stefan Elsner
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    ABSTRACT: Research shows that most retailers expand abroad by transferring some elements of their format, and therefore their value chain, unchanged, while adapting other elements. However, little is known about how strongly a retail format's standardized or adapted elements affect performance in a foreign country. To shed light on this issue, this study focuses on the design of important processes and offerings, as both determine retailers' efficiency and sales. This study proposes that successful retailers build on the unchanged know-how parts of the format by combining more standardized core elements with adapted peripheral elements. The authors draw from a survey of 102 international retailers and interviews with 126 executives conducted at their headquarters. The results show that retailers transfer offers (marketing programs) and processes (marketing and supply chain) differently and hierarchically; that is, peripheral elements are allowed to vary, whereas core elements are transferred in a more standardized manner. Furthermore, the relationship between marketing program elements and performance varies: the use of standardized core elements (e.g., store types, locations) and adapted peripheral elements (e.g., assortments, promotions) is advisable for increasing performance in another country. Processes are only indirectly associated with performance. These observations hold true for both psychically close and distant countries.
    Journal of International Marketing 03/2013; 21(1):81-109. DOI:10.2307/23488029 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ Relatively scant attention thus far has been accorded in the marketing literature to the examination and explanation of return behaviour of consumers, especially within the mail order industry. The issues examined here consist of the nature and influence of such factors as "buying experience", "perceived risk", and "return frequency". The aim of this paper is to analyse four groups of returners ("heavy returners", "medium returners", "light returners", and "occasional returners"). Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper details an empirical study of return behaviour based on a field survey that was conducted specifically focusing on the apparel category. Exploratory factor analyses and analyses of variance (ANOVA) have been employed to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings ‐ Results show that there exist different reasons for returns among the four groups of returners. In particular, they differ in their initial shopping motivation for mail order purchases, their group-specific reasons for product returns, and also in their spending patterns. Research limitations/implications ‐ These are discussed within the body of the paper. Practical implications ‐ A number of meaningful implications for mail-order firms are developed from the empirical findings. While product returners have been thought to be an amorphous category (akin to a "black box") in the past, this paper highlights the disparate motives for making returns. Specific prescriptions are provided regarding the management of product description, consumer return policy, and the handling of consumer perceived risk. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes toward the evolving literature of consumer return behaviour in the context of distance purchasing and also by taking into consideration the heterogeneity of return groups. It looks at the characteristics of the return groups and how they differ in their prior motives of making their purchase decisions.
    International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 01/2013; 41(2). DOI:10.1108/09590551311304310 · 0.54 Impact Factor
  • Business & Society 01/2013; DOI:10.1177/0007650313501844 · 1.94 Impact Factor
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Karin Pennemann, Markus Taube
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    ABSTRACT: Internationalizing retailers have shifted their attention to developing countries in which they pursue different forms of adapted-format transfer strategies to succeed locally. However, little is known about whether such retailers can use their core advantage of a global retail brand and how consumer perceptions of such global retail brands drive retail patronage. To expand knowledge on this issue, the authors use data from 1188 Chinese consumer surveys on 36 Western, Asian, and mainland Chinese retailers. They find that retailers' perceived brand globalness and perceived brand localness enhance retail patronage only by affecting consumers' functional and psychological values. These value creation routes to success change according to retailers' origins. Although Western and Asian retailers draw equally strong benefits from their global perceptions, Asian retailers convince consumers predominantly through functional values, whereas Western retailers also influence consumers emotionally. Chinese retailers gain consumers by being perceived as "glocal" brands. Furthermore, perceived brand globalness enhances retail patronage most strongly for global identity consumers. Thus, retailers in emerging countries benefit from perceived brand globalness depending on retailer- and consumer-specific boundary conditions.
    Journal of International Marketing 12/2012; 20(4):72-95. DOI:10.2307/23487996 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study provides insights into how manufacturers adopt their Global Account Management (GAM) activities in response to the increasing expansion of retailers. Specifically, we focus on the manufacturers' central coordination of two types of GAM activities: strategic and tactical activities. We analyse the manufacturers' associations with international retailers and with GAM effectiveness and efficiency by using data from 172 manufacturers. Moreover, we consider the suppliers' dependence on their key retail accounts to be an important moderator within the consumer goods sector. In particular, manufacturers respond to the centralisation of the retailers' purchasing activities by centralising strategic GAM activities, such as customer strategy, information processing, or price systems. Additionally, manufacturers respond even stronger by centralising tactical activities, such as category management, marketing, or logistics. Although the centralisation of strategic activities drives GAM effectiveness and efficiency, the centralisation of tactical activities does not. This finding might be explained by the specific context of manufacturerretailer relations. Finally, we find that, although the decision to centralise GAM activities pays off, the benefits are contingent on the particular type of GAM activity and the level of customer dependency.
    Management International Review 10/2012; 52(5):727-756. DOI:10.2307/41682282 · 0.75 Impact Factor
  • Edith Olejnik, Bernhard Swoboda
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to identify the internationalisation patterns of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) quantitatively, to describe SMEs as they follow different patterns over time and to discuss the determinants of these patterns through empirical study. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The authors conducted a questionnaire survey among mature German SMEs (n=674). To identify internationalisation patterns, a latent class clustering approach was applied. Because of the large sample, a multinomial logistic regression analysis could be used to analyse the factors influencing these patterns. Findings ‐ The authors empirically find three internationalisation patterns: traditionals, born globals and born-again globals. Comparing modern SMEs with the same SMEs from ten years ago, it was found that firms may change their patterns. Moreover, the patterns are determined by international orientation, growth orientation, communication capability, intelligence generation capability and marketing-mix standardisation. Research limitations/implications ‐ Combining elements of the Uppsala model (countries and operation modes) and born global research (time lag and foreign sales ratio), three internationalisation patterns of established international SMEs from traditional sectors were identified empirically. Because of the multidimensional nature of internationalisation, the patterns may change over time. Different firm-level factors determine the internationalisation patterns. Originality/value ‐ Instead of applying "arbitrary" thresholds, the paper provides a quantitative approach to identifying internationalisation patterns. These patterns confirm the three main internationalisation pathways discussed in the international marketing literature. The paper further advances the field by describing the patterns, showing evidence that the patterns may cross over time and providing information on the factors that influence the patterns.
    International Marketing Review 09/2012; 29(5). DOI:10.1108/02651331211260340 · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • Bernhard Swoboda, Markus Janz
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    ABSTRACT: Die immer noch stark mittelständisch geprägte Fashion-Branche ist in einem dynamischen Veränderungsprozess begriffen. Evoziert durch den Erfolg vollvertikaler Unternehmen realisieren traditionelle Hersteller in Kooperation mit dem Handel teilvertikale Marketingkonzepte, welche v. a. den Point of Sale umfassen und damit eine integrierte Vermarktung der Herstellermarke ermöglichen. Diese Konzepte werden in der Branche weniger als Vorwärtsintegration in der Wertkette, sondern v. a. als neue Optionen des vertikalen Marketing von Systemmarken gesehen. Dessen Ausgestaltung am „Front End” der Wertkette steht im Vordergrund des Beitrags.
    Marketing Review St Gallen 08/2012; 24(3):11-16. DOI:10.1007/BF03249159
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    ABSTRACT: Das Sortimentsmanagement weist in der Fashion-Branche eine von anderen Konsumgüterbranchen abweichende Bedeutung auf. Der Artikel verdeutlicht die Eckpunkte vertikaler Sortimentssteuerung und formuliert daraus Anforderungen an Handel und Industrie in zweistufigen, klassischen Systemen, wobei für eine stärkere schnittstellenübergreifende Vernetzung bei der Sortimentsbestimmung auf den Handelsflächen, im Einkauf des Handels bzw. im Verkauf der Industrie und bei der Steuerung der Bestände plädiert wird.
    Marketing Review St Gallen 05/2012; 23(2):38-46. DOI:10.1007/BF03249112
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    Bernhard Swoboda, Edith Olejnik, Dirk Morschett
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the reasons leading executives to change foreign operation modes by contrasting mode increases and reductions. Our study is grounded on stimuli identified through in-depth interviews by a former IBR study which we employ through two different measures in the course of analyzing data from 265 German firms on 320 mode changes. The results show that executives recognize a wide range of reasons for mode change, but the importance and magnitude of those stimuli differ for mode increases and reductions. While performance and external environment increase the likelihood of mode reductions, internal environment and managerial attitudes induce mode increases. Moreover, stimuli for incremental and radical mode changes differ as well.
    International Business Review 10/2011; 20(5):578-590. DOI:10.1016/j.ibusrev.2010.11.005 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Building and managing international alliances is a challenging activity for many SMEs. This study examines the impact of a set of factors at different stages of international SME alliance evolution on their success. In particular, it examines whether problems in alliance building (poor evaluation of foreign partners as well as problematic negotiations/arrangements) and the configurational fit of ongoing partnerships are directly and indirectly linked to alliance success. The study uses a PLS approach to analyze data gathered by questioning SME managers, and the results show that international SME alliance success depends (in order) on structural fit, cultural fit and strategic fit. The findings demonstrate that problems in partner selection and negotiations/arrangements affect alliance success both directly and indirectly – through their negative impact on the alliance’s ability to attain configurational fit in the ongoing management of the partnership - and that the relationships between alliance building, fit and success vary according previous partner knowledge, international experience and previous investments. So the success of an international SME alliance depends not just on its current congruencies, but is also influenced by decisions taken at the alliance building stage, a factor neglected in extant studies.
    Long Range Planning 08/2011; 44(4):271-288. DOI:10.1016/j.lrp.2011.04.002 · 2.11 Impact Factor