Research Projects (Current and Past)
Ongoing Research Projects
While firms’ strategic behaviors and orientations towards international markets continue to offer fruitful avenues for future scholarly research, and although I will continue to work on my ongoing research projects in this area, two emerging and exciting areas of research that I am developing are the notions of disruptive innovation/business models and international marketing decision making. Kindly permit me to expand on these two topical areas in some detail.
- Disruptive Innovation and Business Models
The first research area I am focusing on within the next five years is the notion of disruptive innovation and business models, with particular attention given to their conceptualization and theoretical specification of their antecedents, consequences and boundary conditions. This area of research is important and timely in that the world is experiencing an array of disruptions, divisions, and displacements of organizations and people, causing many societal institutions and organizations to institute relevant response mechanisms. Technological advancements such as the rise of the Internet, block chain, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality have given rise to technology-enabled innovations and business models such as Alibaba, WhatsApp, and Uber, which have revolutionized their respective industries. These global shifts in the 21st century business environment have altered the innovation and marketing capability base of firms and the business models firms are deploying to sustain performance and survival.
While some scholars have started to examine disruption in various contexts (e.g., disruption caused by the exit of key players in professional sports teams; disruptions caused by natural disasters or technological changes), research is limited on the conceptual domain of global disruptive shifts with specific focus on where and how disruption occurs and organizational response strategies. As a result, managers neither understand how the process of disruption occurs in organizations nor know the most appropriate mechanisms to use to deal with disruption. From an organizational innovation and entrepreneurship perspective, thorough understanding of the conceptual domain of disruptive innovation and business models is thus important to provide insights into how organizations can develop and implement relevant response strategies when faced with technology and innovation induced disruptions. It is my view that the urgency and importance of these technology and innovation disruptive shifts is reflecting in the growing calls on researchers to investigate how global disruptive technological and innovation shifts occur, their impacts on organizations, and organizational response strategies. My future research in this area will, therefore, focus on examining two key research questions: (1) How do organizations conceptualize technology and innovation disruptions? and (2) How do organizations deploy strategies to response to global disruptive shifts?
- Decision-Making in International Marketing
The saturation of domestic markets and global hyper-competition have pressured many firms to expand into diverse international markets. In this context, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making is critical to international marketing research theory and practice. The international marketing literature has made notable progress regarding what are the key substantive international marketing decisions that drive international marketing success (e.g., degree of standardization/adaptation, foreign market entry modes, international resource investments). A parallel body of research within international marketing decision-making addresses the process of how decisions are made to derive optimal and/or satisficing performance outcomes (e.g., emergent versus deliberate international strategies, cognitive micro-foundations, use of heuristics). Along this line, my future research interest promises to help push the boundaries of international marketing decision-making knowledge, in the contexts of substantive decisions made, and the process of decision-making.
It is my view and the opinion of colleagues with whom I collaborate that knowledge regarding substantive international marketing decisions (e.g., adaptation/standardization, entry modes), their drivers and impact on performance is far from complete, with ambiguity and inconsistencies characterizing much of the field. In addition, I take the view that other core decision issues such as CSR, corporate partnerships, and value creation that are of particular pertinence to today’s international businesses are often overlooked. For example, current environmental decision-making models explain the adoption of single behaviors only, rather than the coaction suite of behaviors required to halt climate change (Newton et al., 2015); there is limited research on the drivers of standardization and/or adaptation of international marketing strategies; much less what effective foreign market entry should actually look like given the propensity in the field to only examine individual modes independently and in silo. In this context, it my view that new stream of research that takes a holistic view of international marketing decision-making by considering a firm's entire portfolio of activities in foreign markets is warranted.
With few exceptions, not much is known about how international marketing decisions are made. Yet, the way international marketing decisions are made is critical for international marketing success. This sphere of international marketing decision-making research, while relatively anemic, is typically underpinned by behavioral economic theories of decision-making, such that a duality in decision-making processes is identified. However, I also recognize that developments in the cognitive psychology field support the notion that decision-making processes are as reliant on emotion and intuition as on rational cognition. Nevertheless, international marketing and management studies are dominated by the planning paradigm, while in practice, managers (especially astute entrepreneurs) often see the attempt to deviate from planning as irresponsible and dangerous. The reality is, of course, much more complex where interactions between alternate decision-making approaches exist. Despite the ‘ideal state’ being a high level of duality in decision-making, the form that this should take remains unanswered. In my co-authored forthcoming paper in Journal of Management Studies (a Financial Times Top 50 Journal), we have begun to explore this interesting issue. In particular, we argue in our forthcoming paper that duality of decision making processes (i.e., simultaneous implementation of planning and spontaneous decision-making processes) affords firms ability to build unpredictable strategies to drive market performance at varying levels of new product development capability.
To research these two major research themes thoroughly, I have started a research consortium with collaborators from multiple countries and regions around the world including Loughborough University (UK), Nottingham University (UK), University of Leeds (UK), University of Ghana (Ghana), Macau University (China), University of Kigali (Rwanda), Strathmore University (Kenya), Linnaeus University (Sweden), Purdue University (USA), Simon Fraser University (Canada) and among many others. Our goal is to obtain cross-cultural data (qualitative and quantitative) from as many countries as possible to afford us opportunity to undertake cross-cultural comparison of our findings. It is my expectation that outputs from these studies will be published in leading scholarly journals and/or presented in prominent international conferences.