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Characteristics of project-based alliances: Evidence from the automotive industry

Townsend, J. D., Balestra, S. , Schulze, A. (2017). International Journal of Automotive Technology Management. 17(1), 8-

As organisational governance has evolved from hierarchical structures to relational networks, project-based alliances are increasingly employed by automakers as part of their innovation strategy. In this study, we explore characteristics of different types of project-based alliances in the automotive industry. Employing dyadic data drawn from 59 new product development project-based alliances undertaken by two firms, we are able to discern the relevant characteristics of product, process, and software development projects. Our results suggest very different characteristics for each project type, with products and software presenting contrary results across almost all characteristics. Characteristics of process-focused projects are unique from either product and software alliance-based projects.

Aesthetic responses to prototypicality and uniqueness of product design

Stanton II, S. , Townsend, J. , Kang, W. (2016). Marketing Letters. 27(2), 235-246

This paper investigates how dimensional measures of product design form influence the aesthetic responses of consumers through the concepts of product prototypicality and uniqueness. We develop and test a model with two different methods. The first is a longitudinal panel of passenger vehicle models available in the U.S. automotive market from 1999 to 2007. The data includes 16 firms, 32 brands, and 137 products (i.e., vehicle models) from four product-based, industry-derived market segments. We also conduct an experiment motivated by the results of the model. The model results suggest prototypical design and aesthetic response can vary by the relative prototypicality and sub-dimensions of the product’s design. Results from both the model and experiment suggest that consumers prefer prototypical design form across the entire passenger car market, but prefer unique design form within specific market segments. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Do or die: Competitive effects and Red Queen dynamics in the product survival race

Talay, M. B., Townsend, J. D.(2015). Industrial and Corporate Change. 24(3), 721-738

This study explores the reciprocal relationship between the nature and duration of competition, and innovation outcomes. We propose that the perpetually driven, reciprocal sequence of competitive action and reaction known as the “Red Queen” in evolutionary biology is a cardinal force behind the success of innovations. We test our hypotheses applying a comprehensive data set of all automobile manufacturers known to compete in the US automobile market at any time between 1946 and 2008. Using data composed of 8203 model–year pairs, 1071 models from 148 different brands, we find that recent competitive experiences of models, rather than those in the distant past, make them more viable competitors. Additionally, superior reputation and market share are found to effectively shield models from the pernicious effects of Red Queen competition.

Enhancing Consumers' Affection for a Brand Using Product Design

Kumar, M. , Townsend, J. D., Vorheis, D. W.(2015). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 32(5), 716-730

Product design is an integral component of a brand and an important driver of brand equity. For the brand, product design is an important tool for driving differentiation, creating value for both the consumer and the firm, driving consumer preferences, and creating a sustainable competitive advantage. At the firm level, the importance of investing in design has been substantiated by studies that suggest firms capable of creating innovative design and providing superior consumer value perform better in the marketplace. Thus, product design clearly presents an important area of research for those studying and managing brands. In this context, the goal of this research is to explain the brand-level affective outcomes that product-level design features can create. 

Global Brand Architecture Position and Market-Based Performance: The Moderating Role of Culture

Talay, M. B., Townsend, J. D., Yeniyurt, S. (2015). Journal Of International Marketing. 23(2), 53-72

Companies expend vast resources to create product and brand portfolios in the global marketplace. Yet knowledge of the market-based performance implications of various positions in a firm's portfolio architecture is lacking in the literature. To further the understanding of managing brands in the global marketplace, the authors develop a conceptual framework based on the tenets of signaling theory, explore the relationship between global brand architecture and market-based performance, and consider how culture moderates this relationship. The results of the analyses, from a panel data set of 165 automotive brands operating in 65 countries from 2002 to 2008, reveal that global brands perform better in the marketplace than their nonglobal counterparts. Cultural values indeed provide boundary conditions for this relationship, suggesting that alternative strategies for some markets may be advisable.

Evolution and Transformation of Innovation in the Global Automotive Industry

Townsend, J. D., Calantone, R. J.(2014). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 31(1), 4-7

The automotive industry is an integral component of the global economy and is unique in that it encompasses every aspect of the value chain—from raw materials to design and development, manufacturing, sales and service, and even disposal. All of these value-creating areas are undergoing significant innovative change as a result of environmental and competitive forces. In this issue, we explore some of the most salient topics related to innovation and product management in the context of the contemporary global automotive industry.

Brand Specific Design Effects: Form and Function

Townsend, J. , Kang, W. , Montoya, M. M., Calantone, R. J.(2013). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 30(5), 994-1008

Product design is inherently a key component of brand strategy. Accordingly, significant resources are invested to improve product and brand performance; however, foundations for understanding the role product design plays in influencing actual consumer opinions from the marketplace have not been fully explored in the literature. This paper develops a conceptual framework illustrating how two critical design factors—form and function—impact consumer opinion and delineate brand-specific effects. Nonmonotonic effects are identified, as well as the interaction effects of the individual factors among the dimensions. A longitudinal model based on objective measures of form and function is tested with a data set developed from models available in the U.S. automotive market from 1999–2007; it includes 16 firms, 32 brands, and 137 products. The results indicate the relationships between factors of form and function are multifarious and complex, but clearly play a significant role in forming consumer opinions, although they do exhibit diminishing returns. The findings further indicate brand-specific effects exist, and consumer opinions vary by brand. The findings provide foundations for understanding the interplay between product development and brand management. Overall, this research supports the notion that brand strategies can be supported through the management of design dimensions.

 Form and Function: A Matter of Perspective

Townsend, J. , Montoya, M. M., Calantone, R. J.(2011). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 28(3), 374

It is often claimed that in product design, product form should follow the intended function of the product. The idea of whether or not “form follows function” is a matter of entrenched views that are often based on anecdotal evidence, and may be industry-specific. We integrate diverse perspectives of design theory and practice by addressing the definitions and relationships between two fundamental components of design: form and function. We consider the primary actors in the product design process as well as the managerially controllable aspects of function and form and the relationship between them, and offer suggestions for future research.

The Effects of Genre and Competition on New Entertainment Product Sales Performance

Calantone, R. J., Townsend, J. , Yeniyurt, S. , Schmidt, J. B.(2010). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 27(3), 349-361

This study examines empirical evidence of the effects of categorical product competition and release scale on the sales performance of new entertainment product introductions. A latent variable growth curve model is tested using a sample of 4,374 movies introduced in the U.S. market from 1990 to 2001. The focus is the identification of direct and indirect effects of competition on sales performance, mediated by release scale, and moderated by the genre of the focal movie. Analysis of box office receipts from the initial release, and several subsequent weeks after the release date indicates complex, selectively moderated and non-linear responses to categorical competition.

Global Integration of Brands and New Product Development at General Motors

Townsend, J. , Baba, M. L., Cavusgil, S. T.(2010). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 27(1), 49-65

The rapidly globalizing marketplace reflects environmental characteristics requiring the development of unique capabilities that enable the firm to create competitive advantages. Correspondingly, this study addresses challenges faced by managers in a large company with a broad global footprint as it integrates the product development process and the portfolio of brands across geographic markets. In a global organization, the unique dynamic capabilities that need to be developed include a global orientation, global market knowledge competencies, and global coordination. The present study considers these capabilities with respect to process, position, and evolutionary history of the firm and its brands. Qualitative research methodology is employed to explore the phenomenon of moving products and brands from multidomestic to global. The findings indicate the structure of a global brand portfolio evolves through complex interactions among new product development, marketing, and brand management. Overall, the organization's current positions and past history form the basis of the ways routines, practices, and means of learning are combined and coordinated to implement product decisions that support brand objectives.

Mimetic and Experiential Effects in International Marketing Alliance Formations of US Pharmaceuticals Firms: An Event History Analysis

Yeniyurt, S. , Townsend, J. D., Cavusgil, S. T., Ghauri, P. N.(2009). Journal Of International Business Studies. 40(2), 301-320

Alliances are recognized as an indispensable tool for managers operating in a global business environment, and as a fundamental stage of the internationalization process of the firm. Drawing on a co-evolutionary framework, this article investigates the mimetic and experiential effects in international alliance formation. We focus on a critical unresolved issue in the literature: what is the role of mimetic behavior and previous alliance experience in mitigating the uncertainty associated with engaging in cross-border operations? An event history analysis of 792 international marketing alliance formations initiated by 317 firms in the US pharmaceutical industry is employed to test the hypotheses. The findings of two different hazard rate models reveal significant complex effects of density and cross-border alliance experience on the propensity to engage in new international marketing alliances.

Getting to Global: An Evolutionary Perspective of Brand Expansion in International Markets

Townsend, J. , Yeniyurt, S. , Talay, M. B.(2009). Journal Of International Business Studies. 40(4), 539-558

The globalization of brands is an evolutionary process that is determined by environmental and firm-level factors, including a brand's position in the firm's global brand architecture. A framework is developed incorporating aspects of environmental uncertainty, mimetic behavior, and experiential learning as they relate to the globalization of brands. Global brand architecture is introduced as an important strategic consideration of a brand's position and stage of internationalization. The hypotheses are tested within the context of the global automotive industry, employing an event history analysis with time-varying covariates. The results reveal complex effects with respect to the role of market attractiveness, experiential learning, and mimetic behavior in globalization patterns. Overall, this study suggests that firms can accelerate the process of creating global brands if they enter the three major continents in the early stages of international expansion.

Factors Influencing Brand Launch in a Global Marketplace

Yeniyurt, S. , Townsend, J. D., Talay, M. B.(2007). Journal Of Product Innovation Management. 

The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that influence the launch of brands into new markets in a global environment. Although multiple streams of literature exist with respect to the entry of brands into new markets and the diffusion of new brands within and across markets, the process of launching products and brands globally over time has received relatively limited attention. To address this issue, this study incorporates multiple indicators of activities that can contribute to experiential learning relevant for launching brands in a global marketplace. Market uncertainty and experiential learning provide a conceptual foundation for the development of relevant hypotheses, which are tested in the context of the global automotive industry from 1981 to 2004. A discrete time event history analysis with time-varying independent variables is employed to estimate the effects of the independent variables on the probability of a brand being launched in a specific market. The global brand launch observations are extracted from a proprietary dataset containing the global dispersion of automotive brands including 22 countries of origin and 42 countries of brand entry. The sample yields 50,572 spells, derived from 99 companies, 173 brands, and 700 market entries. The results of this study contribute to the literature in a variety of ways. Market attractiveness positively influences the propensity of a brand to be launched into a new market. This supports the idea that potential demand conditions are an important managerial consideration in product introduction decisions. The results reveal significant effects with respect to the role of psychic distance and experiential learning. Brands are reluctant to launch into countries that are culturally and economically less similar to the home market. Yet firms tend to place a lower degree of emphasis on factors of cultural distance when launching brands into larger markets, and global experience enables companies to overcome the uncertainties associated with launching brands into international markets that are economically distant. The results also suggest that companies are more likely to introduce additional brands in markets where they already have a presence. Overall, global dispersion and geographic scope, coupled with local market knowledge facilitate the launch of brands globally. From a managerial perspective, this study suggests companies should focus on acquiring both local and global experience to facilitate the launch of products and brands in the global marketplace.

eXPLORING Marketing Related Antecedents of Performance in the Global Company

Townsend, J. D., Yeniyurt, S. , Deligonul, S. , Cavusgil, S. T.(2004). Journal Of International Marketing. 12(4), 1-24

As the era of globalization continues to manifest through the emergence of global companies, the use of marketing programs in these firms has become increasingly important. This research examines global marketing program–related factors, their drivers, and their performance consequences. The global marketing program, as the authors conceptualize it, consists of three key factors: global marketing strategy, global marketing structure, and global marketing processes. The authors develop and test an empirical model to portray the application of the global marketing program factors with respect to product standardization and product processes. As such, global customer convergence and leadership’s global orientation have significant, positive effects on global product standardization and global marketing structure. The authors find that global product standardization and global marketing structure drive the implementation of global product processes, which are positively related to marketing performance.

The Framework of a Global Company: A Conceptualization and Preliminary Validation

Cavusgil, S. T., Yeniyurt, S. , Townsend, J. D.(2004). Industrial Marketing Management. 3(8), 711-716

Clearly, a substantial challenge for multinational corporations (MNCs), in the current environment of intensified competition and rapid industry consolidation, is one of much greater worldwide integration. Necessitated by intense competitive pressures, MNCs are integrating their disparate country operations in order to achieve economies across markets and operating units. This article integrates the motives and facilitators of the progression towards commonality in practices and metrics across subsidiaries and affiliates into a comprehensive framework of a global company. Preliminary results from a pilot study of the characteristics of common global practices among a sample of MNCs are presented as an initial validation of the conceptualization. The article also explores the benefits MNCs derive from the implementation of common practices across their worldwide operations, in pursuit of a global strategy.

Does Culture Explain Acceptance of New Products in A Country? An Empirical Investigation

Yeniyurt, S. , Townsend, J. D.(2003). International Marketing Review. 20(4), 377-396

This paper investigates the role of cultural differences in the acceptance of new products, as moderated by socio‐economic variables. In order to assess the relationship, an analysis utilizing Hofstede's cultural dimensions, along with secondary data representing socio‐economic structure and the penetration rate of new products was undertaken. The results demonstrate that power distance and uncertainty avoidance hinder the acceptance of new products. Also found is that individualism has a positive effect but the masculinity dimension has no significant effect on the diffusion of new products. The findings regarding the moderation effects of the socio‐economic variables are mixed.

Understanding Alliances: A Review of International Aspects in Strategic Marketing

Townsend, J. D.(2003). Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 21(3), 143-155

This paper presents a review of the recent literature related to international strategic business alliances utilizing the conceptual foundations presented by Varadarajan and Cunningham in the 1995 special edition of Marketing Science as a baseline. Employing a parsimonious framework, alliances are defined, motives are identified, structures and governance methods are considered, critical success factors are recognized and outcomes are analyzed. This paper elucidates the relationships between the major components of the alliance literature, presents a conceptualization of an integrated framework and provides direction for future research.


Building Market-based Assets in a Globally Competitive Market: A Longitudinal Study of the U.S. Automotive Market

Townsend, J. Cavusgil, S. Calantone, R. (pp. 3-38). Advances In International Marketing. 

Understanding the impact of marketing-related investments on market-based assets is a fundamental issue for marketers. In this study we address the relationship between product-related investments and communication-related efforts, with respect to a basic intangible market-based asset: consumer-based dimensions of brand equity. We draw from a longitudinal study of pre-purchase brand attribute data derived from consumer panels, conducted within the context of the U.S. automotive market. Brand equity dimensions are statistically related to marketing investments and contextual factors of “region of origin” and “global brand reach,” employing a seemingly unrelated regression model. The results reveal a positive effect of communication-related investments, as measured by annual advertising expenditures, on all dimensions of brand equity except luxury image. Product-related investments, as indicated by a brand's innovativeness, positively affect brand image but negatively affect perceived economy. Region of origin and global brand reach have mixed effects on the consumer-based dimensions of brand equity.

International Product Innovation and Development

Townsend, J. Calantone, R. (2011)(pp. 20). Wiley. 

This article reviews some of the salient issues faced by managers of product innovation and development in a global marketplace. The growing complexity and pace of industrial technological change in today's business environment are forcing firms to understand the role and importance of global product innovation, how it fits with the firm's strategic orientation towards globalization, and the interaction of these forces with the international marketing concept of the company. Managing global product innovation and development presents quandaries for international companies with respect to balancing the need for within-country representation with between-country comparability. Firms that are able to harness the power of global product development by matching these competing requirements to capabilities have means to establishing effective product differentiation and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Becoming a Scholar: The Role of Mentors and Institutions in the Emergence of Scholarship

Townsend, J. (2009). (pp. 187-199). Advances In International Marketing. 

Becoming a scholar is a unique experience for each individual. It does not suddenly happen in the graduate office where you officially submit the final copy of your doctoral dissertation, along with a check for fees payable, and the clerk hands you a small green receipt with a curt, “Congratulations”. It is a journey. A journey, if undertaken properly, that does not really ever end.

 International Business Essays

Townsend, J. (2008). (pp. 140). Oakland University Printing

No Abstract available at this time...

Towards Common Practices and Metrics for Multinational Corporations: A Midterm Report, Review and Conceptual Framework

Cavusgil, S. Yeniyurt, S. Townsend, J. (2002). Performance Measurement and Management: Research and Action Conference. 

No Abstract available at this time...