The Colonial Pipeline: Prepare for the Unexpected

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Hello everyone! I would like to share this new commentary of mine that was recently published in The Hill and MSN among others. I hope everyone has enjoyed a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Michael R. Czinkota

     Music aficionados connect the month of May with Mozart’s minuet written as a five year old” komm lieber Mai und mache…,” but for many Americans this year the link came from a curtailment of gas It was reported that almost 80 percent of fuel depots in Virginia and North Carolina were running on empty. Lines of cars seeking gas quickly brought back eerie memories of the 1970s.

    That shortfall is said to stem from private sector adversaries who had successfully shut down the flow of liquid energy. The result was a major decline in distribution capacity, particularly of Colonial Pipeline. Evildoers apparently had employed software manipulations to severely disrupt fuel flow. They informed their targets that this ransomware disruption would prevent the flow of gas until a large payoff had been made. The amount ranged between 5 to 20 million dollars. Colonial could not reverse the impact. Payment was allegedly made, and the energy flow was slowly restored.

    A lack of gas sounds bad enough, but it may be only one of simultaneously appearing evils. If the action was meant to distract, what was the issue to be covered up? What nation gets the next turn? If this was just a preparation for future malfeasance, what obligations will arise and how costly will they be? When taking off shoes as a security precaution at an airport, it is not just the action that matters but rather the rationale and background that makes such actions necessary.  Research at Georgetown has clearly indicated that the long-term indirect effects of terrorism far outweigh the short-term direct ones. When combining all these cost factors one can conclude that somewhere someone is cooking our goose and we struggle to protect limited targets and save up the ransom money.

    We need to find and combat the culprits of such threats, and often it is us. With all our elegant computerization and artificial intelligence, we have largely lost control of management capabilities both at work and at home. At the same time, we are increasingly exposed to sudden shifts in our lives. We often work without backup with rising risk. Only five years ago, who would have prepared for a large and convenient “home office”? Many of us encounter a lack of clarity in communication that weakens our capabilities The Covid-based loss of one whole school year will offer serious repercussions for years to come.

    Here is a collateral damage example. My family went to dinner leading up to an outdoor performance. We had explained our plans well in advance, including the dinner timeline so that we would be punctual. The time came and went, but no hosts were in sight. We knocked on the kitchen door where we found waiters in distress. As they told us, the computer did not perform and they did not know how to directly deal with pricing, adding, and allocating meal expenses to guests. What a pity!

    We need an annual event devoted to catching up. That time would help us to see and test the shortfalls in our understanding of processes. Flipping a switch or pushing a button should alert the system that attention is needed. Those on the controls need to know why they have just undertaken a measure and what it does. We need to remember what we may have forgotten. We must recall with a personal, replicable event the rationale, causality, and linkages of our actions. Doing so will greatly strengthen our capabilities to plan, understand, and reduce risk exposure.

BETTER OFF?

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Hello! This is a new commentary of mine that was recently published in CEOWORLD Magazine. I have included an excerpt below, and you are welcome to read the full commentary through the link at the bottom.

Less than a decade ago many economic players pronounced the triumph of global marketing. Governments encouraged market-based decision rules of economic games. Those who invoked benefits of government planning and state monopolies rapidly encountered substantial public doubt. Ten years is a long time for firms and their customers. Conditions have changed. Back then, competitive market conditions held preference. Nations that had turned away from mandated economies found rewards in very strong growth rates. There were sharp expectations for growing political freedom, greater increases in life expectancy, higher literacy rates, and a better overall standard of living. Firms encountered substantial benefits

Read More Here: https://ceoworld.biz/2021/03/28/better-off/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=CEOSocial&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare

Marketing innovation: A consequence of competitiveness

by Suraksha Gupta, Naresh K. Malhotra, Michael Czinkota, and Pantea Foroudi

A hopefully interesting read! Please find a brief excerpt of this published article along with the link to the full article below.

Abstract: This research uses complexity theory to probe the relationship between competiveness and innovation in the marketing practises of large manufacturing firms that offer their branded products in a foreign market by engaging a network of local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as resellers of their brand. A deductive, quantitative research approach was employed and data were collected over a nine-month period from resellers of international IT firms in India using a questionnaire. A structural equation modelling technique and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) were employed on a sample of 649 respondents to find answers to the questions raised. This research indicates that a successful business relationship between a brand and its resellers can enable both parties to compete in a competitive market. This study finds that innovativeness in the marketing initiatives of the brand can be a function of the contributions made by the brand to its competitiveness. Nevertheless, the findings are also subject to some limitations and provide direction for future research on the topic.

1. Introduction

Various studies recommend that managers aiming to venture into the challenging field of internationalisation should create a competitive edge that helps them to demonstrate the superior abilities of their firm (Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001; Porter, 2011; Samli, Wirth, & Wills, 1994). But, fear of the unknown deters managers from stepping out of their home country and benefiting from internationalisation because growth markets tend to be very complex as they foster competition (Knight, 1995; Thai & Chong, 2013). A business-to-business model of distribution allows managers of international firms to successfully deal with entry barriers and enter smoothly into a foreign market and effectively address the complexity of a place that offers high potential of growth to their businesses (Yan, 2012). A distributor simultaneously facilitates the entry of multiple firms with competing products into the market and engages micro level small and medium firms in the local market for selling (Chen, 2003). Since distributors offer multiple similar and competing products to resellers, markets being served through resellers become very competitive for international brands. Competition in a market encourages competing firms to demonstrate their ability to innovatively serve customers (Freeman, Edwards, & Schroder, 2006). Lack of in-depth native knowledge in such markets is a major shortcoming for firms aiming to internationalise because it decreases their capability to innovate their marketing related business practises by predicting the business environment and trends in the consumption patterns of the foreign market (Bell, 1995; Johanson & Vahlne, 2009). Distributors and resellers have an important role to play in the successful penetration of a foreign market showing that an international firm develops its capability to innovatively market its products through reseller networks that needs to be understood. The resource advantage theory recognises the creation of a competitive edge as a function of marketing and identifies the role of branding in creating the capability of a firm to demonstrate its superior abilities (Hunt & Morgan, 1995, 1996; Srivastava, Fahey, & Christensen, 2001). Simultaneously, the industrial practises of industrial brands particularly in the IT and telecom sector indicate that the managers of strong brands can compete in foreign markets based on their brand leadership and brand relationships in the local market. It has also been noticed and reported in the literature of local firms by studies like Gupta and Malhotra (2013) that a brand that contributes to the competitiveness of the reseller is able to compete at the local level using innovative marketing initiatives. These observations of various researchers indicate that the relationship between an international brand and its resellers in foreign markets becomes very important for brands in a market that poses strong competition (Anderson & Weitz, 1992). This study examines the relationship between competitiveness and innovation in the marketing practises of large manufacturing firms that offer their branded products in different countries through a network of local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as resellers of their brand. It builds on both the resource-based view and complexity theory to understand what features of the brand and the reseller enable them to adopt innovative marketing practises in an international setting. We aim to bridge the gap in the existing marketing literature by reviewing current academic knowledge surrounding competitiveness and marketing innovation. Thus, the study addresses the following research question: What configurations of brand and the reseller enable the adoption of innovative marketing practises by two firms in an international setting? This study addresses the research question by first developing a suitable theoretical framework which is then used to investigate the question by means of empirical data. This study addresses this question in four phases. The first phase underpins the arguments about competitiveness and marketing innovation with the current academic knowledge about theory of competitive advantage and resource-advantage theory. The second phase explores the concept and assumptions using expert insights. During the third phase, this study conducts a field survey to collect data from resellers of international brands and use structure equation modelling (SEM) and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) (Ragin, 2006, 2008). fsQCA has received increased attention as it gives an opportunity to the researchers to gain a deeper and richer perspective on the data, particularly when applied together with complexity theory (Leischnig & Kasper-Brauer, 2015; Mikalef, Pateli, Batenburg, & Wetering, 2015; Ordanini, Parasuraman, & Rubera, 2013; Woodside, 2014; Wu, Yeh, & Woodside, 2014). The fourth phase leads to interpret the results in order to make recommendations and consider future avenues for the research. This research contributes to the literature on business-to-business and international marketing. Finally, the study advances the current understanding about the interdependence of brand and reseller firms for developing their competitiveness and adopting innovative approaches to marketing

https://cyberleninka.org/article/n/529841/viewer

Marketing Management: Past, Present, and Future

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my new book! Marketing Management: Past, Present, and Future is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Please check out the link to purchase it down below.

This textbook provides students with comprehensive insights on the classical and contemporary marketing theories and their practical implications. A fourth, revised edition of Marketing Management, the text features new classical and contemporary cases, new interdisciplinary and cross-functional implications of business management theories, contemporary marketing management principles, and futuristic application of marketing management theories and concepts. The core and complex issues are presented in a simplified manner providing students with a stimulating learning experience that enables critical thinking, understanding, and future application.

https://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Management-Springer-Business-Economics/dp/3030669157

Trade Policy and International Marketing Under Reagan and Trump: An Abstract

The following is an abstract of a new piece I have been working on with my colleague Professor Gary Knight. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave your comments below.

Michael Czinkota, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA, czinkotm@georgetown.edu
Gary Knight*, Willamette University, Salem, OR, USA, gknight@willamette.edu

                                                                  ABSTRACT

We investigate the international marketing implications of the international trade policies of US Presidents Ronald Reagan (‘Reagan’) and Donald Trump (‘Trump’). Today, in international trade, tariffs are low, averaging about 3% in the advanced economies and 10%-15% in the emerging markets. The average tariff across all goods worldwide is about 6%, down from 18% in 1990.  Meanwhile, world trade has increased consistently. China is now the most important trading partner of the US, providing both a huge market and supplying a great variety of products.


In the 1970s, a goods trade deficit emerged in the US and persists to the present day. In our research, we found that the administrations of both presidents sought to reduce the US trade deficit, and defend and enhance the international marketing performance of US firms.  In the early phase of his administration, trade policy under Reagan was restrained but became more assertive. Reagan focused on the trade deficit with Japan and on enhancing international market opportunities for US firms. But Reagan’s policies fell short of their goals. Today, the US faces a much larger trade deficit, primarily with China. Trump adopted policy goals similar to those of Reagan. Trump’s approach has been more assertive. Like Reagan, however, Trump’s policies have fallen short of achieving the intended goals.

In this paper, we provided empirical background and discussed the policies and outcomes of the policies of Reagan and Trump. We highlighted implications for firms’ international marketing efforts and performance, and as well as directions for future research.  We pointed to research opportunities for scholars. Research might investigate better, smarter trade policy, and examine benchmarking by reviewing various trade policy approaches, of the US and other nations, and then examining those successful in achieving intended goals.  Scholars might seek to identify appropriate strategies and tactics for enhancing the performance, of nations and of firms. 

Implications suggest that companies need to increase their competitive advantages in global trade. The US needs to increase its national competitive advantages by improving national factors of production and implementing smarter economic policies that promote US business. Public policymakers should emphasize investing in infrastructure, for example, in communications technologies that can increase the effectiveness of the management of firms’ value chain operations. Broadly, firm strategy and public policy should aim to improve performance on in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and productivity, in order to make US companies more competitive in the global marketplace. An important research step will be the anticipated identification of trade policy shifts and the concurrent effects on business planning and policy development. Looking forward, the Biden administration will have to juggle its promise of bolstering domestic investment in infrastructure and US firms while also growing US importance within World Trade.

Keywords: International trade policy; International marketing; Tariffs; Protectionism; Public policy

References Available Upon Request