The local brand representative in reseller networks | Journal of Business Research | Part 3: Research Methodology

  • This paper was published in the Journal of Business Research. Full article can be found at here.

Professor Suraksha Gupta, University of Kent

Professor Naresh K Malhotra, Georgia Institute of Technology

Professor Michael Czinkota, Georgetown University

Professor Pantea Foroudi, Middlesex University

ISSN 0148-2963

Drawing on the theory of rational choice, this paper proposes that the characteristics that attract resellers are leadership qualities, entrepreneurial nature, advisory skills, compatible attitude and charming personality. Also, this paper will identify those characteristics of a local brand representative, which influence resellers’ brand preferences and ultimately build reseller brand loyalty. Additionally, the current study contributes to the existing literature on industrial branding which describes the management of reseller networks.



Marketing innovation: A consequence of competitiveness | Journal of Business Research | Part 2: Research Objectives

Professor Suraksha Gupta, University of Kent

Professor Naresh K Malhotra, Georgia Institute of Technology

Professor Michael Czinkota, Georgetown University

Professor Pantea Foroudi, Middlesex University

ISSN 0148-2963

This study examines the relationship between competiveness and innovation in the marketing practices 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 practices 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 practices 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.



New Rules of Engagement: Understanding TPP AND TTIP, With Valbona Zeneli


Since its founding in 1948, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its precursor have remained quite tightly targeted on the trade and investment zone. With its particular focus on tariff reduction and trade negotiations, it serves as the pre-eminent glorious knight battling on behalf of consumers.

However, all that began to change in the past two decades. Success attracted allies. The number of WTO members rose from 27 in 1948 to 162 today. Decisions of the WTO remain consensus based, which means that all votes have to be unanimous. Pervasive terror threats, encouraged politicians to focus on the high-intensity and visibility politics of national security and war, as opposed to the low-intensity politics of trade and investment. Progress was also slowed due to shifts in the center of trade gravity and challenges in current markets by rapidly growing new competitors. The global recession intensified the tendency to ignore international economic issues, as attention shifted to domestic job creation and the protection of domestic credit markets. In consequence liberalization has stepped outside of the WTO. The last two decades brought a do-it-yourself approach, defined by mega-regional agreements and preferential pluri-lateral trade negotiations, tailored for only a limited number of players.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are key to this development. TPP is a free trade agreement covering 12 countries from North and South America to the Pacific Rim, while TTIP represents a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. The TPP negotiations concluded in October 2015 after four years of intensive talks. Legislative ratification will be the next step. TTIP has been under negotiation since June 2013; hopes are for completion by the end of 2016, making use of the transition time for U.S. administrations and Congress.

The combined trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic space covered by these agreements encompasses 60 percent of the world economy, and 22 percent of its population, according to the International Monetary Fund.

But the economies differ in terms of per capita incomes and living standards. The TPP economies represent 27.3 percent of world GDP and 10.7 percent of the world’s population. The TTIP economies represent 33 percent of world GDP, with 11.2 percent of the population. However, there are also notable differences in the scope and goals of the agreements themselves. TPP is focused at opening markets and eliminating tariff barriers on trade and investment. TTIP mainly concentrates on tackling costly non-tariff barriers and strengthening Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules.

Trans-Atlantic average tariffs at 4 percent are much lower than the trans-Pacific ones. TTIP is much more about investments than free trade, with both parties extensively embedded in each other’s economies. Such relationship has produced more income, created more jobs and generated more wealth than trade alone.

TTIP is more ambitious in comparison to TPP. In addition to to the financial and economic benefits, TTIP will have a larger geostrategic impact, since it reinforces the strong ties that exist between Europe and the United States. TTIP is a natural Western partnership, with mature, well-developed and consolidated markets, and a strong mutual defense relationship based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Both components are missing in Asia. However, this might change with a tumultuous re-formation of the EU and perceived instability of the region.

Economic realities emphasize TTIP as well. The trans-Atlantic economies are the innovation powerhouses of the global economy, and a crucial element of future growth and balance. The United States and the EU are by far the two largest trading blocs in history. Given the size and scope of the trans-Atlantic economy, standards negotiated by the United States and the EU could become a leading benchmark for future global rules, and slow down the acceptance of competing standards.

TTIP and TPP are strategically interlinked with each other. Both agreements are important in terms of how the various partners, including the pivot of the United

States, jointly relate to newly rising powers, and whether the West still has the energy and dedication to set new standards for the international economic order. Both TTIP and TPP take on an increasing strategic importance in light of the continuously growing role of China, and other emerging markets in the global economy. A simplification of trade and investment relations via the two agreements would also push the WTO to expand its useful life.

TPP is also important for the EU. Higher growth rates in the trans-pacific region will help Europe through increased exports. TPP also reinforces the geopolitical reality of rebalancing Asia.

Achieving progress in the simplification of trade and investment relations is important to global prosperity. The approaches taken by TPP and TTIP may well indicate the future of trade negotiations – tightly focused talks between selected participants aiming for improvements in fields of comparative advantage within a clearly defined time frame.

Michael Czinkota ( works at Georgetown University and is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the United States Department of Commerce. His key test is International Marketing, 10th ed. Cengage


Valbona Zeneli (  is a professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. The views presented are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent views and opinions of the Department of Defense or the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Research Award for Professor Czinkota

Professor Michael R. Czinkota (jointly with Professor Ruediger Kaufmann) received the William R. Darden Award for Best Research Methodology, particularly for his work on “An Integration of the Curative International Marketing Construct”. The award was presented at the Academy of Marketing Science’s annual meeting in Orlando Florida.

with president

Meeting with Prof. Aldison Borges, President, Academy of Marketing Science and RC Professor, NEOMA Business School, Reims, France

with mickey mouse

Professor Czinkota receives congratulations and warm regards from Mickey Mouse in Orlando, Florida


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Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Part 5: Sustainability


Just like the broader term of corporate social responsibility, sustainability also carries multiple meanings to different audiences. Inevitably, groups and organizations that are interested in specific issues related to the environment tend to define the issue in narrow  terms. It is helpful to understand the term in its most general sense, which often involves some sense of marrying commercial needs  with preserving the natural environment for the future. Several  definitions can help. The 1986 World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundt­ land Commission) definition of sustainable development could reasonably be applied to sustainable business practices: “development that meets the needs of  the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” A simple but powerful expression is that of Robert Gillman: “do unto  future generations  as you would  have them  do unto you.”

Several  definitions can help. The1986 World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundt­ land Commission) definition of sustainable development could reasonably be applied to sustainable business practices: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  A simple but powerful expression is that of Robert Gillman: “do unto  future generations  as you would  have them do unto you.”

Growing  population, increased urbanization and industrialization  around the world, and dramatic increases in production and consumption all have a sig­nificant impact upon the environment. The result has led to increased pressures from nongovernmental organizations and multilateral institutions to create greater awareness and to improve practices by governments, businesses, and individuals to lessen the detrimental impact. This involvement sometimes raises political and philosophical disagreements in regard to  the extent of problems and the nature of the proposed solutions. An example of this is the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This agreement sets binding targets for industrialized countries and the European Community for reducing national  levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The United States declined to join this agreement because it excludes major developing economies like China, India, and Brazil, which are also major greenhouse gas emitters.

Controversy continues over whether these greenhouse gases  are causing  climate change or global warming. Within individual nations,  political disagree­ments over the wisdom and necessity of “green” policies and practices often show varying opinions about whether “green is good.” For example, the EU announced a carbon emissions tax on all airlines flying  into Europe. This ruling has raised protests from the U.S., Indian, Russian, and  Chinese governments and those of other countries as well. In another example, U.S. and European regulations that set new standards for the amount of light emitted per watt of power used effectively require the use of compact fluorescent bulbs and make incandescent light bulbs obsolete. Subsequently, concerns have emerged about mercury content in the new bulbs and how to dispose of them, as well as whether they are as effective in illumination. As a result, some people are hoard­ing old lightbulbs. Similar issues and a secondary market in old toilets have resulted  from regulations  on  low-flow  toilets  to save water.

International marketers will need to pay attention to multiple regulations governing the environmental impact of products. The EU has implemented REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical substances), a set of broad-reaching regulations on the use of chemicals, to motivate businesses to exclude dangerous chemicals like cadmium  in products  such as personal computers and cell phones.

Where problems exist, business opportunities may exist as well. As we have outlined in this chapter, companies like  IBM,  GE, and  Siemens are  adjusting their corporate strategies and their product offerings to address some of the planet’s environmental challenges and governmental plans to tackle them. In President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, he called for the United States to generate 80 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Depending upon the evolving definition of “clean energy,” this goal may mean good opportunity for companies that have products and services in renew­able energies, nuclear power, efficient natural  gas,  coal  with  carbon  capture and sequestration, wind power, and solar energy. Some businesses objected, contending that the goal was unachievable because of existing regulatory barriers. Business groups and environmental organizations in many countries often clash over various regulations that affect access to energy supplies. Even “clean energy”  can pose  environmental disputes as illustrated by the issues of shale gas drilling and pipelines in the United States and by the movement away from  nuclear  power  in Germany.