Bernhard Swoboda

Universität Trier, Trier, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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Publications (75)33.86 Total impact

  • Bernhard Swoboda · Cathrin Puchert · Dirk Morschett
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    ABSTRACT: Although multinational corporations increasingly use their reputation as an important differentiation criterion, little is known about the varying effects of corporate reputation in an international context. In this study, the effects of corporate reputation across nations, particularly the moderating role of important institutional country differences, are analyzed. To provide insight into these issues, the authors refer to hierarchical data on 13,665 consumer evaluations of a multinational corporation in 40 countries. The results indicate a strong link between corporate reputation and consumers’ loyalty, but this relationship is reinforced or diminished by cultural, economic, or knowledge differences between countries. These moderators represent important factors when managing corporate reputations across nations.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
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    ABSTRACT: Retail brand perception, store image, and even the positioning of retail firms have been examined frequently in research for many years. Studies analyzing retail formats on the basis of retailer attributes perceived in a particular retail sector are, however, relatively rare (Morschett et al. 2006). The present study provides a fairly unique perspective so far because it does not deal with retail formats in well-known Western and more or less saturated markets, but with analyzing the store image of retail formats in the context of one grocery retailing market in Eastern Europe.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jun 2015
  • Hanna Schramm-Klein · Dirk Morschett · Bernhard Swoboda
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to knowledge on the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on retailers’ performance. An analysis using a comprehensive conceptualization of CSR reveals that CSR has positive implications for retailers’ firm performance and illustrates which CSR dimensions are the most important to focus on. It becomes clear that retailers must care about both downstream- and upstream-oriented CSR dimensions in the value chain. The paper highlights the impact of CSR communication activities for company success both in terms of general communication to the stakeholders and relating to in-store communications. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted a survey among retailers. Data analysis was performed applying partial least squares structural equation modeling. Findings – While CSR generally has positive effects on retailer performance – despite cost associated with CSR implementation, the authors show that diverse dimensions have different effects. Also, both downstream (customer-oriented) as well as upstream (suppler-oriented) activities count. Also, CSR communications, thus talking about what good a retailer does, is of high relevance. Originality/value – This paper offers both theoretical implications on CSR dimensions in retailing as well as practical help for retailers on how and why to implement and communicate CSR activities.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
  • C. Schröder · B. Swoboda
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    ABSTRACT: Christoph Schröder does one of the first attempts to analyze format transfers within the scope of different strategies, format elements, countries and success with focus on the fashion industry. Three distinct format transfer strategies are identified. The empirically observed design of format elements supports and extends the existing research. Fashion firms standardize their "Retail culture", which acts as a foundation for a successful format transfer strategy (core elements). New insights are provided with regard to format transfer into foreign countries as well as over a timeframe of five years. International retailers face specific challenges with regard to the decision on their retail format abroad, which is known as an important success driver. They may transfer their format elements unchanged or may adapt those elements. One successful strategy is known to be an unchanged format replication, which is linked to the fashion industry.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015
  • Bernhard Swoboda · Stefan Elsner · Dirk Morschett
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the international strategies of retailers that have been internationalising aggressively, especially since the 1990s. By applying the Integration-Responsiveness (I-R) framework, we hypothesise that retailers use all four strategies (international, global, multinational and transnational) but that their preferences for these strategies vary across retail sectors (food and non-food). From the inter-sector-based and sector-specific perspectives, we also hypothesise that the strategies correspond to different levels of performance. Based on extensive pre-tests, in-depth face-to-face interviews with 112 executives in 90 retailing firms' headquarters and a two-tailed measurement of the framework dimensions, the results support most of our hypotheses. Thus, for both scholars and managers, this study provides, for the first time, empirical insights into successful international strategies for retailers.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Long Range Planning
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · International Business Review
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Small Business Management
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    Bernhard Swoboda · Bettina Berg · Dan-Cristian Dabija

    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2014
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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
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · International Marketing Review
  • Bernhard Swoboda · Karin Pennemann · Markus Taube
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    ABSTRACT: Counterfeiting is known as the cross-border crime of the 21st century and has been increasingly investigated in the academic literature within a national context. The present study addresses a cross-county examination and investigates antecedents of purchase intention toward counterfeits and its impact on consumers´ willingness to pay for the original in culturally diverse countries. Based on the theory of planned behaviour and the adoption level theory the developed framework is tested on consumer data from China, Romania, and Germany. Results of the partial least squares approach revealed significant differences in the antecedents’ impact on purchase intention toward counterfeits between the countries. While fairness does not appear as a significant driver of purchase intention in countries, which score high in ‘Confucian dynamism’, subjective norm accounts for a higher predictive value in collectivistic countries compared to individualistic ones.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • Bernhard Swoboda · Karin Pennemann

    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Retailing
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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
    Full-text · Dataset · Aug 2013
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of International Entrepreneurship
  • Bernhard Swoboda · Bettina Berg · Hanna Schramm-Klein · Thomas Foscht
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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.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of International Marketing
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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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Business & Society
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of International Marketing
  • Bernhard Swoboda · Andrea Schlüter · Edith Olejnik · Dirk Morschett
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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.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Management International Review