Bernhard Swoboda

Universität Trier, Trier, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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Publications (46)10.06 Total impact

  • 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; · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    Bernhard Swoboda, Bettina Berg, Dan-Cristian Dabija
  • 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). · 1.18 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
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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.
  • 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. 01/2013; 89(4):447–459.
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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 &amp Distribution Management 01/2013; 41(2).
  • 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 01/2013; 11(2).
  • 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 01/2012; 29(5). · 1.18 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 01/2012; 20(4):72-95. · 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 01/2012; 52(5):727-756. · 0.75 Impact Factor
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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. 01/2011; 20(5):578-590.
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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 - LONG RANGE PLANN. 01/2011; 44(4):271-288.
  • Dirk Morschett, Hanna Schramm-Klein, Bernhard Swoboda
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    ABSTRACT: The choice of a mode of market entry is a critical component of the internationalization strategy, and numerous empirical studies have focused on this topic. Prior research, however, has provided mixed empirical evidence and thus, is difficult to interpret and review. This study examines the external antecedents of the choice of entry mode by meta-analyzing data from 72 independent primary studies. We focus on the decision between wholly owned subsidiaries and cooperative entry modes. For each variable, hypotheses about the theoretically expected direction of effect are posited and tested. We find a strong positive relationship between power distance as a cultural trait of the firm's home country and the propensity to establish a wholly owned subsidiary. On the other hand, we find a negative association between country risk, legal restrictions, market growth, and market size and the preference for wholly owned subsidiaries. We extensively discuss the implications of the meta-analytical results and investigate moderating effects of industry type and the time of the study. The relationship between income level of the host country and entry mode depends, to some degree, on the industry type. Service companies exhibit a negative relationship between income level and wholly owned subsidiaries, while manufacturing companies show a positive relationship.
    Journal of International Management. 01/2010; 16(1):60-77.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This exploratory study seeks to explore the link between the choices of payment mode to customer satisfaction. It examines the Austrian market in relation to its choice and usage of debit cards versus credit cards and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, the study aims to identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction for these two modes of electronic payment. Design/methodology/approach – A structured questionnaire was administered in person to 360 Austrian bank customers. These customers were selected using quota sampling based on Austrian census data for a particular Austrian province. However, while the quota sampling was used to determine the categories, selection of the actual respondents was done through systematic sampling. This ensured that the sample was representative of the population of that Austrian province who had credit and debit cards. One group, women who were 65 and older, were not considered as there were relatively few women in this age range who had debit and credit cards. Findings – Five hypotheses were proposed. Four of the five hypotheses were supported while one, H4, had partial support. Essentially, the results indicate that a person's preference for a particular payment method is dependent on his/her personal characteristics. Additionally, the payment method's features and characteristics influenced its desirability and acceptance. Furthermore, a person's expectations had an impact on his/her attitude toward the payment method. The study also found that positive expectations, performance, and desires led to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction, in turn, leads to a higher degree of intent to use the payment method and higher degree of intent to recommend the payment method. These results are consistent with the literature on customer satisfaction that identifies expectations, performance and desires as the drivers of customer satisfaction. Originality/value – Multiple payment modes have emerged but there has been scant attention paid to the effects of payment modes on customer behavior and by extension, customer satisfaction and loyalty. This paper addresses these issues.
    International Journal of Bank Marketing 01/2010; 28(2):150-165.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports a study designed to further validate a measure of quality of college life (QCL) of university students (Sirgy, Grzeskowiak, Rahtz, Soc Indic Res 80(2), 343–360, 2007). Two studies were conducted: a replication study and an extension study. The replication study involved surveys of 10 different college campuses in different countries. The results of the replication study provided additional nomological (predictive) validation support of the measure based on a theoretical model mapping out the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction with college life. With respect to the extension study, the focus was to further test the nomological validity of the QCL measure by arguing and empirically demonstrating that the consequence of QCL is life satisfaction. The extension study involved a survey of three college campuses in different countries. The results were also supportive of the nomological validity of the QCL measure. KeywordsQuality of college life-Life quality in college-University quality of life-Quality of life on a university campus-Life satisfaction-Satisfaction with college life-Satisfaction with the academic aspects of college life-Satisfaction with the social aspects of college life-Satisfaction with college facilities
    Social Indicators Research 01/2010; 99(3):375-390. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While vertical firms dominate the fashion markets worldwide since years, only little research is done on vertical alliances between non-vertical retailer and manufacturing companies in this sector. These paper analyses vertical alliances from the perspective of 98 traditional fashion retailers and 104 fashion manufacturers. Based on a process oriented value chain approach, the results show how primary market and supply chain oriented value chain activities are viewed in the context of alliances, particularly in terms of own competence, perceived potential for co-operation, and the level of co-operation achieved. The data show that retailers and manufacturers see co-operation potentials in value chain activities with both low and high levels of own competence. Secondly the data show that co-operation potentials identified by both partners and the co-operation levels achieved differ. Third the data show the relation between the co-operation levels achieved in the value chain activities and the degree of success in turnover, costs, and time-to- market.
    Amfiteatru Economic 01/2010; 12(28):1582-9146. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While vertical firms dominate the fashion markets worldwide since years, only little research is done on vertical alliances between non-vertical retailer and manufacturing companies in this sector. These paper analyses vertical alliances from the perspective of 98 traditional fashion retailers and 104 fashion manufacturers. Based on a process oriented value chain approach, the results show how primary market and supply chain oriented value chain activities are viewed in the context of alliances, particularly in terms of own competence, perceived potential for co-operation, and the level of co-operation achieved. The data show that retailers and manufacturers see co-operation potentials in value chain activities with both low and high levels of own competence. Secondly the data show that co-operation potentials identified by both partners and the co-operation levels achieved differ. Third the data show the relation between the co-operation levels achieved in the value chain activities and the degree of success in turnover, costs, and time-to- market.
    The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal. 01/2010; 12(28):634-649.
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    ABSTRACT: Counterfeits accomplish illicit consumer behavior and compromise brand manufacturers. This study reveals differences in the antecedents’ impacts on purchase intention between culturally diverse countries: While fairness does not appear significant in Confucian countries, subjective norm accounts for a higher predictive value in collectivistic countries compared to individualistic ones
    XXXVIII Proceedings, Advances in Consumer Research Volume, University of Minnesota Du-luth, MN 55802, published by Association for Consumer Research, USA; 01/2010
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This article addresses the internationalization processes focusing on changes of firms' internal structures, systems, and culture over time. These changes are analyzed in relation to the firms' developments in the last 10 years along a country and/or mode dimension, comparing firms with county or mode increase, two-dimensional expansions, stagnation/reduction, as well as comparing incremental one step versus multistep developments in a holistic way.Methodology/approach – Conceptually, the changes in country dimension and establishment chain form a primary level, and structure, systems, and culture a secondary level of the framework. Managers of family-owned firms, able to evaluate the past, were asked about these dimensions in terms of their situation today and 10 years ago.Findings – This study shows that internationalization causes changes in internal systems in particular, followed by changes in internal structural and slowest by changes in leadership and firm's culture. Even if stagnations or reductions take place, they are related to changes in internal structure, systems, and culture.Research limitations/implications – Limitations are related to the retrospective design based on managerial perceptions, the use of less proven scales, as well as the analyses of family-owned firms. This exploratory study suggests more empirical insights on dynamic internationalization processes.Practical implications – The study provides insights for managers into structural, systemic, and cultural changes when future internationalization steps are planned.Originality/value of the paper – This paper shows holistic evidence of changes in 20 partial dimensions of internal structures, systems, and culture within the internationalization process over time empirically.
    Progress In International Business Research. 10/2009; 4:41-65.