The Chinese Communist Party began decoupling its policies and practices from Maoist communist ideology more than four decades ago. Yet, why does Maoism continue to have an impact on the behavior of Party members? In this study, we argue that, although the influence of Maoist ideology has become weaker among younger Party members and Party members with higher educational attainment, such ideological decay is countered by a process of secondhand ideological imprinting. Based on data from 1,298 non-state-owned Chinese listed firms for 2000–2017, we find that firms with Party-member board chairs file fewer patent applications and are more likely to commit patent infringement. These effects are weaker if a board chair is younger or has higher educational attainment. Importantly, the moderating effect of young age is reduced as the presence of older Party-member corporate directors in a region becomes more prominent. However, the moderating effect of education appears to be unaffected by the presence of older Party-member directors. These findings generate fresh insights on the dynamics of ideological decay and persistence.
Prof. Kevin Zhou is Chang-Jiang Scholar Chair Professor, Professor of Strategy/International Business at HKU Business School, the University of Hong Kong. Prof. Zhou received a B.E. (with honors) in Automatic Control and an M.S. in Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, and a Ph.D. specializing in Marketing and Strategy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Prof. Zhou has published numerous papers in prestigious journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Science, and among others. Prof. Zhou currently serves as the senior editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Management, associate editor of Journal of International Marketing, editorial board member of Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies. He also served the Panel Member of Business Studies Panel, HK Research Grants Council.
Prof. Zhou has rich experience in teaching Competitive Strategy, International Business, International Marketing, Business Research, Marketing Management for BBA, MBA, IMBA, and EMBA programs at Virginia Tech, University of Hong Kong, and University of North Carolina. He has rich consulting experiences working with companies such as Federal Pharmaceutical, 3M, Riche Monde, and TCH. He received the Outstanding Teacher Awards for IMBA Teaching at HKU.
- Capability and Innovation
- Trust and Relational Ties in Emerging Economies and China
Publications at UT Dallas Listed Journals
- Xu D, KZ Zhou, and S Chen (2023), “The Impact of Communist Ideology on the Patenting Activity of Chinese Firms,” Academy of Management Journal, 66(1): 102-132.
- Shen L, KZ Zhou, K Wang, and C Zhang (2023), “Do Political Ties Facilitate Operational Efficiency? A Contingent Political Embeddedness Perspective,” Journal of Operations Management, 69(1): 159-184.
- Jean RJB, D Kim, KZ Zhou, and ST Cavusgil (2021), “E-Platform Use and Exporting in the Context of Alibaba: A Signaling Theory Perspective,” Journal of International Business Studies, 52(8): 1501-1528.
- Xu D, KZ Zhou, and F Du (2019), “Deviant versus Aspirational Risk Taking: The Effects of Performance Feedback on Bribery Expenditure and R&D Intensity,” Academy of Management Journal, 62(4): 1226-1251.
- Zhou KZ, GY Gao, and H Zhao (2017), “State Ownership and Product Innovation in China: An Integrated View of Institutional and Efficiency Logics,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 62(2): 375–404.
- Zhou KZ, C Su, A Yeung, S Viswanathan (2016), “Supply Chain Management in Emerging Markets,” Journal of Operations Management, 46(9): 1-4. Editorial
- Poppo L, KZ Zhou, and JJ Li (2016), “When Can You Trust ‘Trust?’ Calculative Trust, Relational Trust, and Supplier Performance,” Strategic Management Journal, 37(4): 724-741.
- Gao GY, E Xie, KZ Zhou (2015), “How Does Supplier Network Drive Innovation of Buyer Firms? Technological Diversity, Network Features, and Market Forces,” Journal of Operations Management, 36(May), 165-177.
- Poppo L and KZ Zhou (2014), “Managing Contracts for Fairness in Buyer-Supplier Exchanges,” Strategic Management Journal, 35(10): 1508-1527 (equal contribution).
- Zhou, KZ, Q Zhang, S Sheng, E Xie, and Y Bao (2014), “Are Relational Ties Always Good for Knowledge Acquisition? Buyer–Supplier Exchanges in China.” Journal of Operations Management, 32(3): 88-98.
- Zhou, KZ and D. Xu (2012), “How Foreign Firms Curtail Local Supplier Opportunism in China? Detailed Contracts, Centralized Control, and Relational Governance,” Journal of International Business Studies, 43(7): 677-692.
- Zhou, KZ and CB Li (2012), “How Knowledge Affects Radical Innovation: Knowledge Base, Market Knowledge Acquisition, and Internal Knowledge Sharing,” Strategic Management Journal, 33(9): 1090-1102.
- Sheng, S, KZ Zhou, and JJ Li (2011), “The Effects of Business and Political Ties on Firm Performance: Evidence from China,” Journal of Marketing, 75(1): 1-15 (lead article)
- Zhou KZ and L Poppo (2010), “Exchange Hazards, Relational Reliability, and Contracts in China: The Contingent Role of Legal Enforceability,” Journal of International Business Studies, 41(5): 861-881
- Zhou, KZ and F Wu (2010), “Technological Capability, Strategic Flexibility, and Product Innovation,” Strategic Management Journal, 31(5): 547–561
- Li, JJ, L Poppo. and KZ Zhou (2010), “Relational Mechanisms, Formal Contracts, and Local Knowledge Acquisition by International Subsidiaries,” Strategic Management Journal, 31(4): 349–370 (lead article)
- Li, JJ, KZ Zhou, and A Shao (2009) “Competitive Position, Managerial Ties, and Profitability of Foreign Firms in China: An Interactive Perspective,” Journal of International Business Studies, 40(2): 339-352
- Zhou, KZ, JJ Li, N Zhou, and C Su (2008), “Market Orientation, Job Satisfaction, Product Quality, and Firm Performance: Evidence from China,” Strategic Management Journal, 29(9): 985-1000.
- Li, JJ, L Poppo, and KZ Zhou (2008) “Do Managerial Ties in China Always Produce Value? Competition, Uncertainty, and Domestic vs. Foreign Firms,” Strategic Management Journal, 29(4): 383-400.
- Zhou, KZ, L Poppo, and Z Yang (2008), “Relational Ties or Customized Contracts? An Examination of Alternative Governance Choices in China,” Journal of International Business Studies, 39(3): 526-534.
- Poppo, L, KZ Zhou, and S Ryu (2008), “Alternative Origins to Interorganizational Trust: An Interdependence Perspective on the Shadow of the Past and the Shadow of the Future,” Organization Science, 19(1), 39-55.
- Zhou, KZ, JR Brown, CS Dev, and S Agarwal (2007), “The Effects of Customer and Competitor Orientations on Performance in Global Markets: A Contingency Analysis,” Journal of International Business Studies, 38(2), 303-319.
- Zhou, KZ, DK Tse, and JJ Li (2006), “Organizational Change in Emerging Economies: Drivers and Consequences,” Journal of International Business Studies, 37(2): 248-263.
- Zhou, KZ, CK Yim, and DK Tse (2005), “The Effects of Strategic Orientations on Tech- and Market-based Breakthrough Innovations,” Journal of Marketing, 69(2), 42-60.
- Brown, J, C Dev, and Z Zhou (2003), “Broadening the Foreign Market Entry Mode Decision: Separating Ownership and Control,” Journal of International Business Studies, 34(5), 473-88.
Other Journal Publications
- Huang Y, KZ Zhou, W Zhan, J Wang (2023), “Home Political Connections and Outward FDI of Emerging Market Firms,” Journal of Management Studies, forthcoming.
- Yu Y, JL Jin, M Dong, KZ Zhou (2023), “ Live Streaming Use and International Seller Sales Performance: An Information Economics Perspective,” Journal of International Marketing, forthcoming.
- E M, BQ Zhang, KZ Zhou, C Zhang (2023), “Interfirm trust and subsidiary performance of emerging market multinational enterprises: An examination of contingent factors,” Asia-Pacific Journal of Management, forthcoming.
- Jiang W, K Wang, KZ Zhou (2023), “How Political Ties and Green Innovation Co-Evolve in China: Alignment with Institutional Development and Environmental Pollution,” Journal of Business Ethics, 186(4): 739–760.
- Wang K, KZ Zhou, X Bai (2023), “Buddhist influence and the executive-employee pay gap: An institutional contingency framework, Journal of Business Research, 166: 114091.
- Zhou C, KN Hui, KZ Zhou, Y Gong (2023), “Is Failure the Mother of Success? Prior Failure Experience and Cross-border M&A Completion by Emerging Market Firms,” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 40: 775–813
- Wang L, JL Jin, KZ Zhou (2023), “Technological capability strength/asymmetry and supply chain process innovation: The contingent roles of institutional environments,” Research policy, 52(4): 104724.
- Jiang W, L Wang, KZ Zhou (2023), “Green Practices and Customer Evaluations of the Service Experience: The Moderating Roles of External Environmental Factors and Firm Characteristics,” Journal of Business Ethics, 183(1): 237-253.
- Wang AX, KZ Zhou (2022), “Financial munificence, R&D intensity, and new venture survival: critical roles of CEO attributes,” Small Business Economics, 59: 1641–1659.
- Wang M, S Sheng, KZ Zhou (2022), “Fairness asymmetry, changes in mutual trust, and supplier performance in buyer–supplier exchanges in China: A dyadic view,” Industrial Marketing Management, 106: 14-30.
- Lumineau F, JL Jin, S Sheng, KZ Zhou (2022), “Asset Specificity Asymmetry and Supplier Opportunism in Buyer–Supplier Exchanges,” Journal of Business Research, 149: 85-100.
- Zhou, KZ, K Wang, D Xu, E Xie (2022), “Drinking Poison to Quench Thirst: Does Bribery Foster Firm Performance in China?” Journal of Business Research, 147: 505-517.
- Dong M, L Wang, D Yang, KZ Zhou (2022), “Performance Feedback and Export Intensity of Chinese Private Firms: Moderating Roles of Institution-related Factors,” International Business Review, 31(3): 101948.
- E M, X Chen, KZ Zhou, C Zhang (2022), “Loose Lips Sink Ships: The Double-edged Effect of Distributor Voice on Channel Relationship Performance,” Industrial Marketing Management, 102: 141–152.
- Shen L, KZ Zhou, C Zhang (2022), “Is Interpersonal Guanxi Beneficial in Fostering Interfirm Trust? The Contingent Effect of Institutional- and Individual-Level Characteristics,” Journal of Business Ethics, 176(3): 575-592.
- Jin JL, KZ Zhou (2021), “Is Ambidextrous Innovation Strategy Beneficial to International Joint Venture Performance? Evidence from China,” Journal of International Marketing, 29(4): 1-21.
- Jiang W, C Shu, KZ Zhou, Z Guo (2021), “When More is Better: A Contingent View of Alliance Partner Multiplicity and A Focal Firm’s Product Innovation Performance in China,” Innovation: Organization & Management, 23(4): 507-533.
- You S, KZ Zhou, L Jia (2021), “How Does Human Capital Foster Product Innovation? The Contingent Roles of Industry Cluster Features,” Journal of Business Research, 130: 335-347.
- Jiang W, L Wang, KZ Zhou, Z Guo (2021), “How Managerial Ties Affect Hotels’ Proactive Environmental Practices in China: The Contingent Role of Institutional Environments,” International Journal of Hospitality Management, 95: 102756.
- Jiang W, AX Wang, KZ Zhou, C Zhang (2020), “Stakeholder Relationship Capability and Firm Innovation: A Contingent Analysis,” Journal of Business Ethics, 167(1): 111-125.
- Zhou J, C Zhang, L Shen, KZ Zhou (2020), “Interpersonal Guanxi and Partner Extra-Role Behavior: Mediating Role of Relational and Transactional Governance Strategy,” Industrial Marketing Management, 91: 551-562.
- Wang L, JL Jin, D Yang, KZ Zhou (2020), “Inter-Partner Control, Trust, and Radical Innovation of IJVs in China: A Contingent Governance Perspective,” Industrial Marketing Management, 88: 70-83.
- Wang M, BQ Zhang, KZ Zhou (2020), “The Origins of Trust Asymmetry in International Relationships: An Institutional View,” Journal of International Marketing, 28(2): 81-101.
- Wang L, JL Jin, KZ Zhou, CB Li, E Yin (2020), “Does Customer Participation Hurt New Product Development Performance? Customer Role, Product Newness, and Conflict,” Journal of Business Research, 109: 246-259.
- Wang L, JL Jin, KZ Zhou (2019), “Institutional Forces and Customer Participation in New Product Development: A Yin-Yang Perspective,” Industrial Marketing Management, 82: 188-198.
- Lu JJ, C Shu, KZ Zhou (2019), “Product Newness and Product Performance in New Ventures: Contingent Roles of Market Knowledge Breadth and Tacitness,” Industrial Marketing Management, 76: 231-241.
- Yang, D, X Wang, KZ Zhou, W Jiang (2019), “Environmental Strategy, Institutional Force, and Innovation Capability: A Managerial Cognition Perspective,” Journal of Business Ethics, 159: 1147-1161.
- Sheng, S, KZ Zhou, JJ Li, Z Guo (2018), “Institutions and Opportunism in Buyer–Supplier Exchanges: The Moderated Mediating, Effects of Contractual and Relational Governance,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 46(6): 1014–1031.
- Ju M, JJ Lu, KZ Zhou (2018), “How Can International Ventures Utilize Marketing Capability in Emerging Markets? Its Contingent Effect on New Product Development,” Journal of International Marketing, 26(4): 1-17.
- Yang, D, S Sheng, S Wu, KZ Zhou (2018), “Suppressing partner opportunism in emerging markets: Contextualizing institutional forces in supply chain management,” Journal of Business Research, 90(Sep): 1-13.
- Wang L, Zhao J, KZ Zhou (2018), “How do Incentives Motivate Absorptive Capacity Development? The Mediating Role of Employee Learning and Relational Contingencies,” Journal of Business Research, 85(April): 226-237.
- Zhang Q, KZ Zhou, Y Wang, H Wei (2017), “Untangling the safeguarding and coordinating functions of contracts: Direct and contingent value in China,” Journal of Business Research, 78(Sep): 184-192.
- Shu C, Lu JJ, KZ Zhou (2017), “A Contingent View of Partner Coopetition in International Joint Ventures” Journal of International Marketing, 25(3): 42-60.
- Wang L, S Sheng, S Wu, KZ Zhou (2017), “Government Role, Governance Mechanisms, and Foreign Partner Opportunism in IJVs,” Journal of Business Research, 76(July): 98-107.
- Wei Z, Shen H, KZ Zhou, JJ Li (2017), “How Does Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility Matter in a Dysfunctional Institutional Environment? Evidence from China,” Journal of Business Ethics, 140(2): 209–223.
- Lu JJ, KZ Zhou, Y Wang (2016), “Exploitation and Exploration in International Joint Ventures: Moderating Effects of Partner Control Imbalance and Product Similarity?” Journal of International Marketing, 24(4): 20-38.
- Xie E, Liang J, KZ Zhou (2016), “How to Enhance Supplier Performance in China: An Integrative View of Partner Selection and Partner Control?” Industrial Marketing Management, 56 (July): 156-166.
- Shu C, KZ Zhou, Y Xiao, S Gao (2016), “How Green Management Influences Product Innovation in China: The Role of Institutional Benefits,” Journal of Business Ethics, 133: 471–485.
- Bao, Y., EA Fong, T Landry, KZ Zhou (2015), “Strategic Consensus of Market Orientation: A Transitional Economy Perspective,” Journal of Strategic Marketing, 23(4): 364-378.
- Zhou, KZ, JJ Li, S Sheng, and AT Shao (2014), “The Evolving Role of Managerial Ties and Firm Capabilities in an Emerging Economy: Evidence from China,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 42(6), 581-595 (lead article)
- Chen X, X Chen, KZ Zhou (2014), “Strategic Orientation, Foreign Parent Control, and Differentiation Capability Building of International Joint Ventures in an Emerging Market,” Journal of International Marketing, 22(3), 30-49.
- Sheng S, KZ Zhou, and Leopold Lessassy (2013), “NPD speed vs. innovativeness: The contingent impact of institutional and market environments,” Journal of Business Research, 66(11), 2355-2362.
- Zhang Q and KZ Zhou (2013), “Governing interfirm knowledge transfer in the Chinese market: The interplay of formal and informal mechanisms,” Industrial Marketing Management, 42(5), 783-791
- Ju M, KZ Zhou, GY Gao, J Lu (2013), “Technological capability growth and performance outcome: Foreign versus local firms in China,” Journal of International Marketing, 21(2), 1-16 (lead article).
- Lee RP, and KZ Zhou (2012), “Is Product Imitation Good for Firm Performance? An Examination of Product Imitation Types and Contingency Factors,” Journal of International Marketing, 20(3), 1-16 (lead article).
- Bao Y, X Chen, and KZ Zhou (2012), “External Learning, Market Dynamics, and Radical Innovation: Evidence from China’s High-Tech Firms,” Journal of Business Research, 65(8), 1226-1233.
- Bao Y, S Sheng, and KZ Zhou (2012), “Network-Based Market Knowledge and Product Innovativeness,” Marketing Letters, 23(1), 309-324.
- Zhou, KZ and CB Li (2010), “How Strategic Orientation Influences the Building of Dynamic Capability in Emerging Economies,” Journal of Business Research, 63(3), 224-231.
- Li, JJ and KZ Zhou (2010), “How Foreign Firms Achieve Competitive Advantage in the Chinese Emerging Economy: Managerial Ties and Market Orientation,” Journal of Business Research, 63(8), 856-862.
- Zhou, KZ, J Brown, and C Dev (2009), “Market Orientation, Competitive Advantage, and Firm Performance: A Demand-based View,” Journal of Business Research, 62(11), 1063-1070
- Dev C, Zhou, KZ, and J Brown (2009), “Customer Orientation or Competitor Orientation: Which Marketing Strategy Has a Higher Payoff for Hotel Brands?” Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 50(1): 19-28
- Poppo, L, KZ Zhou, and T Zenger (2008), “Examining the Conditional Limits of Relational Governance: Specialized Assets, Performance Ambiguity, and Long-Standing Ties,” Journal of Management Studies, 45(7), 1195-1216
- Su, C, KZ Zhou, N Zhou, and JJ Li (2008), “Understanding the Role of Spousal Fairness in Predicting Spousal Influence Dynamics,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(3): 378-394.
- Zhou, KZ and CB Li (2007), “How Does Strategic Orientation Matter in Chinese Firms?” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 24(4), 447-466
- Zhou, KZ and K Nakamoto (2007), “How do Enhanced and Unique Features Affect New Product Preference? The Moderating Role of Product Familiarity,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(1): 53-62
- Gao, GY, KZ Zhou, and CK Yim (2007), “On What Should Firms Focus in Transitional Economies? A Study of the Contingent Value of Strategic Orientations in China,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 24(1), 3-15 (lead article).
- Dev C, J Brown, and Zhou, KZ (2007), “Global Brand Expansion – How to Select a Market Entry Strategy,” Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 48(1): 13-27
- Zhou, KZ (2006), “Innovation, Imitation, and New Product Performance: The Case of China,” Industrial Marketing Management, 35(3): 394-402.
- Bao, Y, KZ Zhou, and N Zhou (2006), “Social Alienation in a Transitional Economy: Antecedents and Impact on Attitude toward Social Reform,” Journal of Business Research, 59(9), 990-998.
- Li, JJ, KZ Zhou, S Lam, and D Tse (2006), “Active Trust Building of Local Senior Managers in International Joint Ventures,” Journal of Business Research, 59(1), 73-80.
- Zhou, KZ G Gao, Z Yang and N Zhou (2005), “Developing Strategic Orientation in China: Antecedents and Consequences of Market and Innovation Orientations,” Journal of Business Research, 58(8), 1049-1058.
- Yang, Z, S Cai, KZ Zhou, and N Zhou (2005), “Development and Validation of an Instrument to Measure User Perceived Service Quality of Information Presenting Web Portals,” Information and Management, 42(4), 575-589.
- Zhou, KZ, J Li, and N Zhou (2004), “Employee’s Perceptions of Market Orientation in a Transitional Economy: China as an Example,” Journal of Global Marketing, 17(4), 5-22.
- Bao, Y, KZ Zhou, and C Su (2003), “Face Consciousness and Risk Aversion: How Do They Affect Consumer Decision-Making?” Psychology and Marketing, 20(8), 733-755.
- Zhou, KZ, C Su, and Y Bao (2002), “A Paradox of Price-Quality and Market Efficiency: A Comparative Study of the U.S. and China Markets,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 19 (4), 349-365.
Special Issue Editor
- Li JT, Qian G, Zhou KZ, Lu J (2021), “Belt and Road Initiative”, Globalization and Institutional Changes: Implications for Firms in Asia,” Asia Pacific Journal of Management.
- Zhou KZ, Su C, Yeung A, Viswanathan S (2016) “Supply Chain Management in Emerging Markets,” Journal of Operations Management.
- Li PP, Sekiguchi T, Zhou KZ (2016), “Indigenous Management Research in Asia,” Asia Pacific Journal of Management.
- Lee R, Özsomer A, Zhou KZ (2015) “Innovation in and from Emerging Economies,” Industrial Marketing Management.
2018 Highly Cited Scientific Researchers, Clarivate Analytics Essential Science Indicators
2017 Highly Cited Scientific Researchers, Clarivate Analytics Essential Science Indicators
2016 Highly Cited Scientific Researchers, Clarivate Analytics Essential Science Indicators (The only Business and Economics Scholar in Greater China area)
2016 Outstanding Researcher Award, University of Hong Kong
2015 – present: “Changjiang Scholar” Chair Professor, Ministry of Education of China
2012 – 2017: Panel Member, Business Studies Panel of HK Research Grants Council
2011 – present: World’s Top 1% Scholar based on number of citations, ISI Essential Science Indicators
2013 Outstanding Researcher Award, HKU Business School, HKU
2013 Gianni Montezemolo Visiting Professor, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
2011 HKU Research Output Prize (HKU Business School), with F. Wu
Although the significance of relational ties with supply chain partners to firms' operations management has been frequently studied, it is unclear how political ties, which represent another form of relational ties that is especially important in emerging economies, relate to operational efficiency. Drawing on the political embeddedness perspective, we propose a negative association between political ties and operational efficiency and examine how this association is moderated by environmental and firm-level factors. Using panel data of listed private firms in China, we show that political ties are negatively correlated with operational efficiency. In addition, this negative relationship is stronger when firms operate in regions with less developed factor markets and in highly competitive industries. However, the negative relationship is weaker for firms with high levels of foreign shareholding and customer concentration. These findings caution against the downsides of political ties for operations management and highlight strategies for reducing their negative effect.
Building on the behavioral theory of the firm and institutional view, we examine how performance feedback (i.e., a focal firm’s performance relative to its industry peers) affects export intensity and how institution-related factors moderate this relationship. Using a sample of Chinese private manufacturing firms, we find that positive performance feedback lowers export intensity while the relationship between negative performance feedback and export intensity is insignificant. Moreover, outperforming firms are likely to decrease their export intensity even more when they are located in regions of better institutional development or have political connections. Underperforming firms with political connections tend to increase their export intensity. These findings enrich our understanding of the export behavior of emerging market firms.
Thirty one academics of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) have been named by Clarivate in its list of “Highly Cited Researchers 2021” as the most influential in the world. Their works have been highly cited by fellow academics and are hence making a significant impact in ongoing research in their respective fields of study. The number of world’s top researchers at HKU has more than doubled that of 2020’s, and remains to be the highest among universities in Hong Kong. It is also the first time that HKU is listed among the top 50 universities globally. Highly Cited Researchers are selected for their exceptional research performance, determined by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.
Congratulations! Our Chair of Strategy and International Business, Chung Hon-Dak Professor in Strategy and International Business Kevin Zheng Zhou is named by Clarivate in its list of “Highly Cited Researchers 2021” as the most influential in the world.
Trust is key to relationship marketing. Although trust is bilateral, studies on the dispersion of trust among exchange parties remain limited, leaving the antecedents and outcomes of trust asymmetry largely underexplored. To fill the gaps, this study empirically examines the effects of different types of trust asymmetry on exchange performance and then investigates the institutional origins of trust asymmetry in international interfirm exchanges. Drawing on a survey of 134 international buyer–supplier relationships in China, the study finds that both calculative trust asymmetry and relational trust asymmetry have negative influences on exchange performance. The study also finds that formal institutional distance constrains calculative trust asymmetry and informal institutional distance increases relational trust asymmetry. Moreover, prior interactions and expectations of continuity significantly moderate the effects of formal and informal institutional distance. This study advances trust studies in cross-border settings.
Despite the importance of customer participation in new product development in business-to-business markets, its specific challenges and potential downsides are under-examined. Drawing on the boundary theory perspective, this study integrates conflict into the customer participation literature and proposes that whereas customer participation as the information provider (CPI) mitigates customer-developer conflict, customer participation as the codeveloper (CPC) increases it. Furthermore, the nature of new products moderates such effects. Market newness attenuates the role of CPI in mitigating conflict and reduces the positive effect of CPC on conflict; by contrast, technology newness increases the influence of CPC on conflict. The empirical results from a sample of 181 high-tech firms in China largely support these propositions, which offer important implications for customer participation research and practices.
Combining the theses of “problemistic search” and “slack search,” past research in the behavioral theory of the firm suggests that both low- and high-performing firms may engage in the same type of risk-taking activity. We counter this view with a consistent, motivation-based logic in the theory: low-performing firms are fixated on finding short-term solutions to immediate problems, so they have an increased probability of exhibiting deviant risk-taking behavior such as bribery, whereas high-performing firms are concerned about sustaining their competitive advantage in the long run and will more likely engage in aspirational risk taking such as research and development (R&D). Using a sample of 9,633 firm-year observations covering 2,224 listed companies in China, we find that, as a firm’s performance falls further below its aspiration level, it has larger abnormal entertainment spending, an implicit measure of bribery expenditure, but not higher R&D intensity. However, as a firm’s performance rises further above its aspiration level, it has greater R&D intensity, but not more bribery expenses. Legal development and industry competition moderate the relationship between performance feedback and risk-taking behavior.