Kevin Zheng Zhou

Kevin Zheng Zhou
The University of Hong Kong | HKU · Faculty of Business and Economics

Professor

About

87
Publications
88,037
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13,030
Citations
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August 2002 - present
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Despite the prominent role of asset specificity in buyer–supplier exchanges, its influence on opportunism remains controversial. While transaction cost economics (TCE) addresses its potential to encourage opportunism, relational exchange theory (RET) highlights its role in discouraging opportunism. We extend this debate by considering (1) the effec...
Article
Despite the crucial role of fairness in establishing and maintaining interfirm trust, the literature on how asymmetric perceptions of fairness affect mutual trust over time is limited. Adopting a dyadic view, this study investigates the impacts of fairness asymmetry on changes in mutual trust in marketing channel relationships. We further suggest t...
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Given that services differ from goods in terms of intangibility, heterogeneity, and inseparability, customers may evaluate green services differently from how they evaluate green goods. Previous research has investigated customers’ perceptions and purchase decisions regarding green products. However, limited attention has been paid to the impact of...
Article
Building on the behavioral theory of the firm and institutional view, we examine how performance feedback (i.e., a focal firm’s performance relative to its industry peers) affects export intensity and how institution-related factors moderate this relationship. Using a sample of Chinese private manufacturing firms, we find that positive performance...
Article
While the strategic marketing literature promotes ambidexterity as a critical innovation strategy that can enhance firm performance, its value in the international marketing context remains under-explored. Combining the ambidexterity and international marketing literatures, this study investigates how ambidexterity affects performance of the intern...
Article
Whereas strategic alliances have been widely used to foster product innovation, the extant literature offers inconsistent arguments and inconclusive empirical evidence regarding how the number of partners (i.e., partner multiplicity) in an alliance affects a focal firm’s product innovation performance. The resource-based view (RBV) posits that havi...
Article
Despite the increasing attention of environmental management in the hotel industry, few studies have examined how managerial ties impact hotels’ adoption of proactive environmental practices (PEPs) in China. Drawing on institutional theory, this study develops a model that investigates the differential effects of political ties and business ties on...
Article
International joint ventures (IJVs) in emerging markets need to develop radical innovation to compete successfully in the rapidly changing business landscapes there. Taking a contingent governance perspective, this study examines how formal and social governance mechanisms, namely inter-partner control and inter-partner trust, affect radical innova...
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Whether international ventures can benefit from their marketing capability in emerging markets is a critical but underresearched issue. Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV), the authors propose that marketing capability can enhance international ventures' new product performance. However, its effect is contingent on environmental forces (i.e.,...
Article
Drawing on the literature of supply chain opportunism and institutional theory, this study examines the confluence of institutional and efficiency views to assess how institutional forces restrain the impact of exchange hazards (i.e., transaction-specific assets and performance ambiguity) on supply chain opportunism. We predict that legal enforceab...
Article
The marketing channel literature has paid limited attention to institutional environments that constrain buyer–supplier exchanges, though such institutions are fundamental determinants of transaction costs, and thus of the occurrence of opportunism in the buyer–supplier dyads. Drawing on transaction cost economics and institutional theory, this stu...
Article
This study explores the antecedents of a firm's absorptive capacity by examining the role of innovation incentives. Building on expectancy theory and equity theory, we argue that innovation incentives enhance absorptive capacity through promoting employees learning; and the effectiveness of incentives is positively moderated by teamwork (i.e., hori...
Article
Although institutional environments are important determinants of transaction costs in IJV management and performance, prior studies have paid limited attention to their impacts on partner opportunism. Building on institution theory, this study examines how the characteristics of the host country government affect IJV foreign partner opportunism. T...
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By untangling two distinct facets of contracting, this study investigates how task specificity and contingency specificity differentially affect relationship performance in an emerging economy. The paper posits that task specificity serves as safeguards in regulating interfirm transactions, and contingency specificity plays a coordinating role by o...
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Drawing on institutional and signaling theories, this study examines how environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) affects firm performance in a dysfunctional institutional environment. We extend the ECSR literature by suggesting that ECSR indirectly influences firm performance through the mediating effects of business and political legi...
Article
Using two longitudinal panel datasets of Chinese manufacturing firms, we assess whether state ownership benefits or impedes firms’ innovation. We show that state ownership in an emerging economy enables a firm to obtain crucial R&D resources but makes the firm less efficient in using those resources to generate innovation, and we find that a minori...
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International joint ventures (IJVs) need to exploit their existing resources as well as explore new capabilities to capture the potential in emerging markets. This study develops a contingent view, arguing that the efficacy of exploitation and exploration depends on the levels of control imbalance and product similarity between an IJVs foreign and...
Article
Whereas effective supplier management necessarily involves both partner selection and partner control, extant literature considers each issue separately. With an integrative perspective, this study instead examines the joint effects of two selection mechanisms (i.e., public and social) and two control mechanisms (i.e., contractual and relational) o...
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Our research empirically assesses two distinct bases for trust: calculative trust, based on a structure of rewards and penalties, versus relational trust, a judgment anchored in past behavior and characterized by a shared identity. We find that calculative trust and relational trust positively influence supplier performance, with calculative trust...
Article
Emerging economy firms (EEFs) have achieved high growth in corruptive environments. Drawing upon the institutional theory, we examine entertainment expenditure as firms' active responses, compliance or resistance, to corruption practices in emerging economies, and further investigate the effects on firm performance. Results from panel data of 1244...
Article
This study explores the motivational antecedents of a firm’s absorptive capacity by examining the role of innovation incentives. Building on expectancy theory and equity theory, we argue that innovation incentives enhance absorptive capacity, and this effect is positively moderated by teamwork but negatively moderated by transformational leadership...
Article
Despite the proliferation of research on firms¡¯ exploitative and explorative innovation strategies, extant research focus remains to be limited to an independent entity; under-examined is how specific attributes of International Joint Ventures (IJVs), an unique organization form, shape the relationship between innovation strategies and performance...
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As emerging economies experience unprecedented market and institutional changes, where should firms focus their attention to address new marketing challenges: network-based resources (e.g., managerial ties) or market-based capabilities? Building on institutional theory, this study examines the evolving roles of managerial ties and firm capabilities...
Article
In transition economies, firms are faced with the challenge of adapting to new competitive pressures domestically and realizing market opportunities abroad. A market orientation is central to such adaptation. Using a multiple-source, multiple-informant design, nearly 4000 employees from 180 Chinese manufacturing firms were surveyed to explore how m...
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Does being green facilitate product innovation? This study examines whether green management in firms operating in China fosters radical product innovation to a greater extent than it does incremental product innovation and investigates the underlying institutional mechanisms involved in the relationship between green management and product innovat...
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In this study, we investigate the impact of market knowledge tacitness on the new product performance of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Tacit market knowledge provides valuable information for new product development (NPD) and enables SMEs to differentiate themselves from competitors. However, knowledge tacitness also brings potential o...
Article
Despite the centrality of fairness in the moral and social fabric of governance, few studies relate fairness to contracting research. This paper assesses whether fairness accounts for the effects of contractual complexity and contractual recurrence on exchange performance. Based on a sample of 283 buyer–supplier dyads, we find that procedural fairn...
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Global usage of the Internet has increased remarkably in the past few decades, thus necessitating a better understanding of e-commerce adoption across cultures. Against this backdrop, this study contributes to the existing technology adoption and acceptance literature in the following ways. First, the authors develop an extended technology acceptan...
Article
External networks provide important knowledge sources of innovation for firms. Drawing on social network theory, this study examines how technological diversity in supplier network influences a focal buyer firm's innovation. The results from a survey of 202 Chinese manufacturing firms and their supplier networks reveal that novel information sharin...
Article
Relational ties between manufacturers and their suppliers serve as an important strategic resource for value creation and realization. However, conflicting evidence exists regarding their role in the acquisition of specific knowledge. This study proposes that relational ties have a nonlinear effect on specific knowledge acquisition and that this no...
Article
This article examines how strategic orientation and foreign parent control jointly affect differentiation capability building of international joint ventures (IJVs) in an emerging market. With a multisource data set of 156 IJVs in China, the authors find that technology and customer orientations have a positive effect on IJV differentiation capabil...
Article
Building on knowledge management literature and relational exchange theory, this' study addresses how formal (i.e., ex ante contracts and ex post control) and informal mechanisms (i.e., trust) affect interfirm knowledge transfer in the Chinese emerging market. The results of a survey of 343 manufacturer-supplier relationships show that whereas form...
Article
This study examines the growth and performance impact of technological capability (TC) in China. The authors posit that foreign and local firms exhibit different TC growth patterns and that TC has differential performance effects for these two types of firms. From a multilevel analysis of five-year panel data of 448 technology-oriented firms, they...
Article
The effect of cultural value changes on consumer buying behavior was examined in China. It is found that with the economic reform and development in the past three decades, changes in Chinese cultural values have impacted Chinese consumer buying behaviors. In fact, the deviation in Chinese cultural values has been sufficient to be treated as a subc...
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This paper examines how existing knowledge base (i.e., knowledge breadth and depth) interacts with knowledge integration mechanisms (i.e., external market knowledge acquisition and internal knowledge sharing) to affect radical innovation. Survey data from high technology companies in China demonstrate that the effects of knowledge breadth and depth...
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Despite the prevailing phenomenon of product imitation in transition economies, theoretical development of product imitation strategies still lags behind anecdotal evidence. The authors distinguish between pure imitation and creative imitation and examine their contingent effects on firm performance. They test hypotheses on data collected from mult...
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An ongoing debate in the interfirm exchange literature concerns whether economic and social governance mechanisms function as substitutes or complements. We advance a more nuanced approach to examining how detailed contracts and centralized control interact with relational governance differentially in curbing local supplier opportunism in emerging...
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An ongoing debate in marketing literature is whether market knowledge facilitates or impedes new product innovativeness. To reconcile inconsistent findings, this study disaggregates market knowledge into breadth and depth dimensions and uncovers their divergent effects on new product innovativeness. Given organizations’ increasing reliance on netwo...
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Despite increasing attention to the role of social ties in emerging economies, few studies have explicitly distinguished the differential roles of business versus political ties. Drawing on relational governance and institutional theories, this study offers a contingent view of business and political ties in China. The findings from a survey of 241...
Article
The effect of cultural value changes on consumer buying behavior was examined in China. It is found that with the economic reform and development in the past three decades, changes in Chinese cultural values have impacted Chinese consumer buying behaviors. In fact, the deviation in Chinese cultural values has been sufficient to be treated as a subc...
Article
Despite increasing attention to the role of social ties in emerging economies, few studies have explicitly distinguished the differential roles of business versus political ties. Drawing on relational governance and institutional theories, this study offers a contingent view of business and political ties in China. The findings from a survey of 241...
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Building on institutional and transaction cost economics, this article proposes that legal enforceability increases the use of contract over relational reliability (e.g., beliefs that the other party acts in a non-opportunistic manner) to safeguard market exchanges characterized by non-trivial hazards. The results of 399 buyer–supplier exchanges in...
Article
This study assesses how customer value affects a firm's market orientation and consequently, competitive advantage and organizational performance in a service industry -- the global hotel industry. The findings show that if a firm perceives its customers as valuing service, the firm is more likely to adopt both a customer and a competitor orientati...
Article
As China experience unprecedented changes in its social, legal, and economic institutions, on what should foreign firms focus more to overcome this challenge, managerial ties or market orientation? This study investigates how managerial ties and market orientation affect competitive advantage and, consequently, firm performance in China. On the bas...
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Under the fierce pressures of the fast changing environments that characterize emerging economies, firms must develop dynamic capabilities to survive the competition. This study examines how strategic orientation helps build dynamic capability and its contingencies in China's emerging economy. A survey of 380 firms indicates strategic orientations...
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Despite the prominence of the competitive strategy perspective, it remains unclear whether foreign firms entering China can still adopt a differentiation or low-cost position to achieve superior performance, given the unique market and institutional environments in China. Alternatively, should foreign firms follow conventional wisdom and actively b...
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This study of hotels representing thirty-seven brands from fifty-six countries uncovers the market conditions under which investing resources in specific market strategies leads to higher performance. Specifically, the authors identified, for the first time in an international context, the circumstances under which customer orientation (acquisition...
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This research focuses on relational and contractual mechanisms and examines their impact on foreign subsidiaries' acquisition of tacit and explicit knowledge from local suppliers. Using survey data from 168 foreign subsidiaries operating in China, this study finds broad support for the proposed analytical framework. When the foreign subsidiary and...
Article
This paper examines the role of technological capability in product innovation. Building on the absorptive capacity perspective and organizational inertia theory, the authors propose that technological capability has curvilinear and differential effects on exploitative and explorative innovations. The findings support the proposition that though te...
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Despite recognition of the benefits of relational governance in inter-organizational exchanges, factors that may erode its value have received little examination. We extend the literature by asking whether self-interested opportunities and long-standing ties erode the positive association between relational governance and performance. Consistent wi...
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Market orientation places a special emphasis on the dissemination of and responsiveness to market intelligence throughout the whole organization. However, it is still not well understood how employees at different levels perceive their firm's market orientation. This paper represents a first attempt to study market orientation at the employee level...
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This article examines the processes by which market orientation (MO) affects performance using a cross-level approach. The results of a survey of 2,754 employees from 180 firms in China show that organization-level MO culture leads to unit-level MO behavior, which improves employee-level job satisfaction and then product quality, which in turn fost...
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While most advocate that foreign firms should utilize managerial ties to conduct business in China, recent literature cautions that such ties may offer only conditional value. This study examines three sources of heterogeneity that may condition the value of ties: firm ownership (foreign vs. domestic), competition, and structural uncertainty. Resul...
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As business transactions become more complex in China – an increasingly market-driven economy – are managers more likely to employ relational ties or contracts? Consistent with the view that personal institutions govern transactions in China, our analysis of 361 buyer–supplier exchanges indicates that managers rely more on relational ties as asset...
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Despite the widespread acceptance of trust as an informal governance institution, our understanding of its origins is nascent. Our review of the literature identified two distinct explanations: Trust emerges from either a shadow of the past (i.e., prior history) or a shadow of the future (i.e., expectations of continuity). In this paper we develop...
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To market important products to families successfully, salespeople must understand how couples behave in concert to resolve conflict across major decisions. The authors develop a model of spousal fairness and test it with a study of multi-period family purchase decision making. The results show that a spousal sense of fairness serves as a mechanism...
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As China continues to transition toward a market economy, how strategic orientation affects firm performance has received significant attention. This article reviews the extant literature with a framework that depicts contemporary work on strategic orientation, the drivers of strategic orientation, and its boundary conditions. We identify important...
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Companies often introduce products with enhanced or unique features to compete with the dominant brands in the market. This paper examines the moderating role of product familiarity in consumer preferences of products with enhanced or unique features in two experimental studies. Study 1 (208 participants) operationalizes product familiarity at the...
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Should companies adjust their orientations toward customers or toward competitors in global markets? To answer this question, we use contingency theory and examine how the effects of customer and competitor orientations on performance are moderated by different environmental conditions. Our results from the global hotel industry indicate that a cus...
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This study examines the roles of strategic orientations (i.e., customer, competitor, and technology) in a transitional economy, China. On the basis of a cross-industry sample of 408 brands, we find that the effects of customer and technology orientations on business performance are contingent on the competitive environment. Specifically, as market...
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When hotel firms expand internationally, they must determine the ownership strategy and the management strategy that will best maintain the firm’s competitive advantage. Those decisions are made separately from each other and depend on the expanding company’s own strengths and the strengths found in the local market. That interplay between the comp...
Article
According to this investigation, factors at the institutional, organizational, and personal levels have direct impacts on social alienation, as well as indirect impacts through job satisfaction. Furthermore, people with high social alienation tend to hold a negative attitude toward reforms taking place in China. The findings suggest that the social...
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Organizational change in emerging economies, although difficult, is inevitable. The authors study the drivers and consequences of organizational changes in an emerging economy, China. The results of a firm-level survey show that organizational changes in technical vs administrative areas are differentially driven by firms' motivation to change (pas...
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This paper compares the effects of innovation and imitation strategies on new product performance and examines their contingency across different market conditions in China. The empirical results from a cross-industry survey show that, compared with an imitation strategy, an innovation strategy leads to better new product performance. Furthermore,...
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Increasing numbers of organizations have set up material on their Web portals as a way of providing users with information about their products or services. This study developed and validated an instrument to measure user perceived service quality of such portals. Based upon conceptual models in the areas of IS and technology adoption, and using re...
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Does market orientation impede breakthrough innovation? To date, researchers have presented opposing arguments with respect to this important issue. To address this controversy, the authors conceptualize and empirically test a model that links different types of strategic orientations and market forces, through organizational learning, to breakthro...
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Do market and innovation orientations matter in transitional economies? Based on a survey of 2754 employees from 180 firms in China, we find that both market and innovation orientations strongly improve employees' job attitudes, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and confidence in their firm's future performance. In addition, a pa...
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How can overseas headquarters actively build the trust of their local senior managers? Building on the theory of active trust development, this study examines the roles of three strategies—localization, communication, and control—and their combinations in building the trust of local senior managers in international joint ventures (IJVs). On the bas...