Marketing seminar series

GLOSMARC operte an active seminar programme and oraganises workshops for both staff and research students.  We feature speakers from all disciplines of Marketing research and encourage active particpation from those present.


Professor Johannes Habel – Variable Compensation and Salespeople’s Health

Professor Sharon Ng – “Uncertainty Evokes Consumers’ Preference for Brands Incongruent with Their Global-Local Citizenship Identity”


This research demonstrates that under states of certainty consumers with a relatively stronger global (local) identity prefer global (local) brands, whereas under states of uncertainty, consumers with a relatively stronger global (local) identity prefer local (global) brands. This effect occurs because a state of uncertainty (certainty) evokes a divergent (convergent) thinking style, which results in a preference for options that are more distant from (closer to) the identity to which consumers more strongly associate. The effect holds both when individuals’ global-local citizenship identity is measured and when it is manipulated. The research further establishes an important boundary condition for the effect. The effect holds in the citizenship identity context because people normally associate themselves with both local and global citizenship identities, and situational or dispositional factors only influence the degree to which they associate with each identity. The effect does not surface when local-global citizenship identities are construed as interfering, such that holding one identity is conceived to conflict with holding the other.


Professor Nick Lee – The Book of Nature is written in the language of mathematics’


This statement by Galileo Galilei could be said to sum up what might be called the ‘received view’ of science, held by the general public and many who work within scientific research. However within social science, and business research (including marketing) in particular, views diverge over whether or not quantitative approaches to research are dominant, or even appropriate. To some extent, as quantitative analytic techniques have become ever-more sophisticated, discussion over what they can and cannot tell us about the world of marketing which we study has become ever-rarer, today focusing almost entirely on issues of causality in terms of research design and analysis. At the same time, discussion of how theory should inform empirical research, and of the appropriate drawing of conclusions from empirical research, has all but disappeared from contemporary marketing research. During this presentation, Professor Lee will outline some significant problems in extant thinking regarding marketing and business research (especially the so-called ‘rigor and relevance’ debate), and discuss a number of key philosophical challenges for marketing researchers, drawing from open issues in the current philosophy and practice of science itself. In doing so he will show that doing strong marketing and business research requires an understanding of key issues in philosophy of science, and lack of such understanding has substantial potential for missteps that may lead to potentially meaningless theories, and empirical work. 

Professor Tek Thongpapanl – Sustainability in the Face of Institutional Adversity: Market Turbulence, Network Embeddedness, and Innovative Orientation


Drawing from research on strategic choice, this study investigates the relationship between market turbulence and firms’ sustainable behavior, in the context of sustainability-related institutional adversity. It argues that the relationship between market turbulence and sustainability is mediated by network embeddedness, and this mediating role in turn is moderated by a firm’s innovative orientation. Data collected from a sample of Ontario restaurants inform predictions about firms’ propensity to adopt local wines in their portfolios, despite the limited market and normative support that these wines receive compared with imported wines. The study shows that market turbulence enhances sustainable firm behavior, through the development of strong network relationships. Furthermore, the mediating effect of network embeddedness is particularly salient among firms that exhibit a stronger innovative orientation. These findings reveal how and when turbulent market conditions can contribute to a firm’s sustainable behaviors in the presence of limited institutional support for such behaviors.

Professor Rebecca Slotegraaf – Fast and Furious? Unpacking Mimetic Product Introductions Following a Market Shift


A new entrant’s product introductions have the potential to destabilize a market and significantly shift market demand. As companies manage their product portfolio, they face several important decisions regarding whether to mimic the new entrant’s product, add other new products to their portfolio, and determine when to introduce these products to the market. Although extant research on competitive responsiveness to new entrants has centered on how quickly an incumbent launches a new product, it has not considered the different types of new products incumbents could launch. The authors recognize three nuances of this phenomenon wherein 1) incumbents may introduce different types of new products 2) these product types may be introduced multiple times, and 3) the introduction of one type precludes neither its repeat introduction nor the introduction of other types. To accommodate these features, the authors use two empirical approaches and illustrate the joint value of sequence analysis and a multivariate hazard model. They apply the model to data from the yogurt market following a significant shift in market demand and demonstrate that incumbent characteristics and dynamic portfolio decisions differentially influence launch speed across product types. Implications for both theory and practice regarding new product introductions following a market shift are explored.

Professor Michael Tsiros – When Limiting the Total Donation Amount Increases Consumer Responsiveness to Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns


Both the total amount to be donated and the way it is communicated can influence consumers’ reactions to cause-related marketing (CM) campaigns. In a series of five studies, we find that consumers often respond more favorably to campaigns with maximum donation frames (e.g., up to $10 million will be donated) than those with minimum donation frames (e.g., at least $10 million will be donated) despite the superiority of the latter for the recipient cause. Importantly, while companies often choose not to explicate any donation limit to consumers, we find that donation frames can enhance consumer responsiveness to CM. Also non-intuitive is the finding that the promise of a smaller total donation amount may generate more favorable consumer response than a larger one specifically when a minimum donation frame is used. We demonstrate that these effects are driven by consumers’ desire to make a personal contribution to the cause and are more likely to be observed when consumers are highly involved with the cause. These effects are obtained with actual expenditures as well as attitudes and behavioral intentions.

Professor Kelly Hewitt – The Role of Domestic Regulatory Environments in the Internationalization of Emerging Market Brands


Most of the rapid growth in emerging markets is argued to be in its early stages, with estimates suggesting these markets will account for nearly two-thirds of global consumption growth by 2030. One factor contributing to such growth is pro-active efforts by policy makers in emerging markets to grow product exports and thus increase the competitiveness of domestic firms. By investing in such initiatives and advancing regulatory change, policy makers shape domestic institutional conditions that may empower emerging market firms to seek opportunities beyond their home market. This study explores whether and how emerging market firms can capitalize on home regulatory institutional conditions and regulatory changes when expanding brands to foreign markets, and how such conditions impact emerging market brand growth in host markets over time. Whereas prior research has tended to focus on the role of host market institutional conditions, and differences between firms’ home and host market conditions in particular, this study investigates the important and largely overlooked role of domestic institutional conditions above and beyond the role of such differences. To investigate these issues, the authors built a comprehensive longitudinal database that tracks the brand export decision for 853 brands from 14 emerging markets and subsequent export growth of 153 brands from five emerging markets over a period of 10 years, as well as institutional conditions in both home and destination markets over that same period. The results offer an intriguing and distinctive view of the interplay among home and host market institutional conditions, domestic firms’ brand export strategies and export performance over time.

Professor Leonidas Leonidou – “How to write a good academic article”.


Professor Sjoerd Beugelsdijk – Dimensions and dynamics of national culture: synthesizing Hofstede with Inglehart


Cross-national research on cultural values intersects multiple disciplines but the prominence of concepts varies by academic fields. Hofstede’s dimensional concept of culture, to begin with, dominates in cross-cultural psychology, marketing and international management. Inglehart’s dynamic concept of culture, by contrast, prevails in sociology and political science. We argue that this disciplinary division is unfortunate because the two concepts are complementary, for which reason a synthesis rectifies their mutual weaknesses. Indeed, while Hofstede’s dimensional concept neglects cultural dynamics, Inglehart’s dynamic concept is dimensionally reductionist. We demonstrate empirically that combining these two concepts leads to an improved understanding of cultural differences. Inspired by Hofstede’s cultural dimensions we use data from the European Value Studies and World Values Surveys for 495,011 individuals born between 1900-1999 in 110 countries and then show that change on these dimensions proceeds as Inglehart and his collaborators suggest. Most notably, younger generations have become more individualistic and more joyous. But even though economic development and generational value shift drive this cultural change, roughly half of the variation in national cultural values is unique to each country’s specific history and geography. We discuss the implications for cross-national cultural research.

Professor Peter LaPlaca – How to Write a World-Class Paper


There are over 20,000 academic journals in the world and academic researchers have ample opportunities to have their manuscripts published. Yet most of the leading journals in all fields routinely have rejection rates of eighty, ninety, ninety-five percent or higher. With over 2200 journals, Elsevier is the largest publisher of scientific articles in the world and is well aware of the very high rejection rates experienced by many authors. This causes problems to the process of journal publication, because many manuscripts are routinely sent to journal after journal after being rejected. Many potentially good manuscripts are rejected simply due to poor presentation. To combat this problem, over forty editors from Elsevier’s broad array of journals have gotten together to develop a seminar on How to write a World-Class Paper.  In this seminar I will discuss what these editors have put together in an illustrative presentation highlighting the dos and don’ts for preparing better manuscripts and significantly increasing the likelihood of acceptance.


Professor Costas Katsikeas – Unpacking the Relationship between Sales Control and Salesperson Performance


The literature examining the effect of sales control on salesperson performance is, at best, equivocal. To reconcile inconsistencies in empirical findings, this research introduces two new types of salesperson learning: exploratory and exploitative learning. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, the authors conceptualize exploratory learning as promotion focused and exploitative learning as prevention focused and find that salespeople exhibit both exploratory and exploitative learning, though one is used more than the other depending on the type of sales control employed. The results also suggest that fit between salesperson learning and customer (i.e., purchase-decision-making complexity) and salesperson (i.e., preference for sales predictability) characteristics is critical to salesperson performance and that salesperson learning mediates the relationship between sales control and salesperson performance (Study 1). Study 2 corroborates the findings using new panel data collected over two waves. The results of this research have important implications for integrating sales control, salesperson learning, and salesperson performance.

Martin Kilduff – Making a Theoretical Contribution in Your Empirical Paper: Is It Necessary? How Can It Be Accomplished?


There is a long-standing expectation that an article published in our top empirical journals (e.g., ASQ, AMJ, SMJ, JIBS, JM) should make both an empirical and a theoretical contribution. But this expectation has been challenged recently by those who claim there is an agency problem in requiring those who develop theory to also test theory in the same article. I review the arguments for and against this double requirement of both an empirical and a theoretical contribution. And I discuss the ways in which authors can make theoretical contributions in the context of empirical research.


Professor Jaideep Prabu – Marketing and the Poor: A Research Programme


Nearly 4 billion people around the world earn less than $9 a day (adjusted for purchasing power parity). A vast majority of these people live in developing countries, work outside the formal economy, and face significant unmet needs in core areas such as health, education, energy, and financial services. For years this large population was either the target of aid or came under the purview of governments. More recently, however, private sectors firms, both large and small, along with NGOs and governments, have begun to see the “bottom of the pyramid” as a market opportunity and have begun to design market-based solutions to meet these unmet needs.

Professor Zeynep Gürhan Canlı – Superior vis-à-vis Whom? Competence Construals and Effectiveness of Direct versus Indirect Comparative Claims


Firms extensively use different comparative claims (e.g., "Dunkin' Beats Starbucks"; "Fairy is the Best Oily Grease Removal") in their marketing communication campaigns or as part of their branding strategy. However, despite the frequency of comparative claims in the marketplace, research on different types of comparative claims has been limited, and findings on their relative effectiveness have yielded mixed findings. This research bases its framework on achievement goal theory, and suggests that the way individuals construe competence would influence how they evaluate different comparative claims through the activation of persuasion knowledge. Across four studies, we demonstrate that when consumers come across comparative claims that are consistent with the way they construe competency, consumers’ persuasion knowledge would be more likely to be activated which results in lower brand attitudes and purchase intentions. In contrast, when the way consumers construe competency and brands’ claims of competency are not consistent with each other, consumers’ persuasion knowledge would be less likely to be activated leading to relatively higher brand attitudes and purchase intentions. These effects only appear under high personal relevance.

Professor Sebastiano Delre – Positioning and Strategic Budget Choices of Experience Goods: The case of the Motion Picture Industry.


In cultural industries firms spend hefty sums producing and advertising experience goods. How do they position their products respect to the target segment? How do they make their strategic budget choices? And how do these choices affect their profitability? To address these questions, this study proposes a location model in which two studios compete to attract a heterogeneous population of consumers by first choosing positioning and then budget. We find that if firms move away from the mainstream, advertising budget increases and profits decrease. We test our results on the US motion picture industry, using a large dataset which includes ad expenditures, production budgets, profits and a number of other variables for almost 2000 movie projects. Our empirical analysis confirms that mainstream movies profit more than less mainstream movies.

Professor Jan Heide 

Professor Rajesh Chandy  


This research seeks to address a significant constraint to growth among businesses in emerging markets: business skills.  Improvements in business skills offer the possibility of increased growth and prosperity, however, there exists substantial evidence that it is not abundant among micro and small businesses.  We present evidence from the first randomized controlled trial examining the impact of marketing skills, relative to finance skills, on firm performance.  The empirical setting of the study is among small business owners in urban and slum neighborhoods across Cape Town, South Africa.  We offer intensive marketing and sales training to one randomly selected group of firm owners, intensive finance and accounting training to another randomly selected group of firm owners, and no training to a control group.  For the next two years, we measure the effects of the interventions on the practices and performance of these small businesses.  Our findings are threefold.  One, marketing skills and finance skills each have a positive and significant effect on firm performance, including increases in: employment, sales, profits, and survival.  Two, the pathway to prosperity differs for marketing relative to finance: profit and survival effects are roughly equal across the two interventions, yet entrepreneurs who receive marketing training tend to achieve these gains by increasing sales and hiring more staff (i.e. top line focus) while those who receive the finance training tend to enhance profits by decreasing costs (i.e. cost focus).  Three, an entrepreneur’s prior exposure to different business contexts can influence her potential returns from training: developing skills in marketing and sales appears to be most beneficial to small business owners with (ex ante) narrow exposure.