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The role of business relationships between SMEs and network actors in defining standardization and adaptation strategies of SMEs: insights from business-to-business firms engaged in international activities

Qureshi, Kausar (2016) The role of business relationships between SMEs and network actors in defining standardization and adaptation strategies of SMEs: insights from business-to-business firms engaged in international activities. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study explores the relationships of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) with actors in business to business (B2B) networks settings in order to identify factors influencing the standardisation/adaptation of SMEs’ marketing strategies. A comparative case study method is implemented using data collected from 18 cases. Initially, intra-case analysis is carried out to explore 20 dyadic relationships and 16 triadic relationships across all four primary cases from the sample. Cross-case analysis is then undertaken to triangulate the results across the cases. An open and axial coding method is used to develop themes from the primary data collected through in-depth interviews from owner-managers of SMEs. The results reveals dyadic and triadic relationship factors and interaction between actors and SMEs in business networks, affect international marketing decisions such as the standardisation or adaptation of marketing programmes. Relationship factors such as trust, commitment, power and dependency, and social ties reduce the effects or aggravate the extent of standardisation/ adaptation. It is also revealed that not all actors interacting with a focal firms influence all marketing mix elements. The findings confirm that actor’s interaction with SMEs’ in dyadic and triadic relationships not only influences but also moderates the standardisation or adaptation of marketing mix elements. The result reveals that owing to the nature of relationship between two nodes in the business network, price is the most-influenced strategic marketing decision. It is found that non-relational factors, such as nature of the product and product’s quality or size negatively moderate the relationship factors’ influence on the standardisation or adaptation strategies of SMEs. This research offers a theory which is consistent with the concept of relationships due to interactions in business networks affects the strategic decisions of focal firms such as standardisation/adaptation, making a novel contribution to existing knowledge on the standardization/adaptation of marketing programmes by SMEs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Management Science and Entrepreneurship Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Kausar Qureshi
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 12:32
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2019 02:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16104

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