Kevin Zheng ZHOU
Prof. Kevin Zheng ZHOU
Chung Hon-Dak Professor in Strategy and International Business
Chair of Strategy and International Business
Director, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

3917 1006

KK 1224

Performance Feedback and Export Intensity of Chinese Private Firms: Moderating Roles of Institution-related Factors

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.

HKU Listed Among World’s Top 50 Universities With The Most Highly Cited Researchers

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.


恭喜恭喜!港大經管學院的管理及商業策略講座教授 暨 鐘瀚德基金(商業策略及國際商務)教授 周政,被科睿唯安選為「2021年度最廣獲徵引研究人員」。

The Origins of Trust Asymmetry in International Relationships: An Institutional View

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.

Does Customer Participation Hurt New Product Development Performance? Customer Role, Product Newness, and Conflict

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.

Deviant versus Aspirational Risk Taking: The Effects of Performance Feedback on Bribery Expenditure and R&D Intensity

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.