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Programme Details: The First Workshop of the Marketing, Innovation and Chinese Economy (MICE) Network

Saturday 29 March 2008

18:00 – Registration and reception

Sunday 30 March 2008

09:00 – 10:30 Session 1: Marketing of Innovation

Presentation 1: “What Drives Word-of-Mouths? The Role of Product Originality and Usefulness”

Amitava Chattopadhyay, Loreal Professor of Marketing – Innovation and Creativity, INSEAD, Singapore

Professor Chattopadhyay will explore in three studies how two dimensions of innovation, namely originality and usefulness, affect word-of-mouth, and hence the adoption of a new product. Interestingly, they found that the combination of high originality and low usefulness leads to high amount of negative WOM, which may hasten product failure. Overall, the results of the three studies suggest that although originality is important to generate the buzz about the product, which may accelerate the diffusion of the product in the market, other factors particularly usefulness are equally important. By linking marketer-controlled variables (i.e. originality and usefulness) to consumers’ intentions to initiate WOM, these studies lay a foundation for marketing strategies that may influence market growth, speed of diffusion of product success. 

Presentation 2: “Thinking Inside the Box: Why Consumers Enjoy Constrained Creative Experiences”

Darren Dahl, Fred H. Siller Professor in Applied Marketing, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada

Prof. Dahl will examine why consumers participate in creative activities and under what conditions these experiences are the most enjoyable. A qualitative study explores the diverse motivations for undertaking creative tasks and identifies the role of constraints in such endeavors. Then two experimental studies were conducted to understand the importance of constraints in facilitating a balance between perceived competence and autonomy for consumers involved in a creative task. Implications for managers are discussed. 

Presentation 3: “As Time Goes By: Warm Intentions and Cold Feet for Really New vs. Incrementally New Products?”

Qing Wang, Associate Professor of Marketing, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK

Prof. Wang in her co-authored paper with John Lynch and David Alexander, examines how differences in the way consumers think about really-new products (RNPs) and incrementally-new products (INPs) affect consumers’ formation of long-term product-purchase intentions and affect the likelihood that consumers follow through on those intentions. In four field studies, it was found that consumers declaring intention to purchase INPs are more likely to form implementation intentions than those intending to purchase RNPs. Prior to acquiring RNPs, consumers’ mental representations of the initial use are abstract, and their expectations of the extent of use are miscalibrated compared to those about to acquire INPs. We discuss the implications of these findings for the launch of really-new products and for market research on really-new products.  

Presentation 4: “Authenticity perception and Consumers’ attitude towards licensed brands”

Martin Liu, Doctoral Researcher and Qing Wang, Associate Professor of Marketing and Innovation, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK

Marketing academics have noted the increasing importance of authenticity to consumers. Yet, authenticity can mean different things to different consumers in different contexts. Although it is recognized that authenticity perception can be managed and effective cues for communicating authenticity should maintain congruency and consistency, the process by which cues of managing and communicating authenticity evaluation remains unclear.  Many goods that we consumed today were the result of licensed manufacturing arrangement. In this research the authors examine why some brands are perceived to be more authentic than others and why consumers have higher authenticity demand from some brands but not from others. In two experimental studies, different advert concepts as source of reference were introduced. It was found that these adverts could either strengthen or weaken existing authenticity perception depending on whether they are high in hedonic aspect or in functional aspect. The second study further examines the influence of different type of authenticity cues on consumers’ evaluation. We categorize consumers into expert and novice and found that expert and novice differ in their ability to elaborate on specific product attributes (iconic cues) and that the strength of cues will have stronger impact for novice than experts. Implications of the findings for brand managers are discussed.

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 12:15 Session 2: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China

Presentation 5: Initial Conditions and Key Factors in New Venturing Process

Jian Gao, Chair and Professor, Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

Based on entrepreneurial firm database, which includes 585 firms data in the last decade and evaluation data of more than 200 firms in the last three years of Beijing Overseas Student Pioneer Park, this paper examines the relationship between the initial conditions of new ventures and their subsequent performances. The authors found key success factors in the process of creating and operating entrepreneurial firms within three years. Moreover the key factors were different at different time point after the creation. The findings have important implications for incubators in terms of the selection criteria for new firms entering into incubators and managerial consulting services provided by incubators should be served based on the special needs appeared at the different time points.

Presentation 6: “Learning and sharing in a Chinese high-technology cluster: A study of inter-firm and intra-firm knowledge flows between R&D employees”

Matias Ramirez, Lecturer, SPRU, Sussex University, UK and Xibao Li, Associate Professor, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, China

Dr Ramirez and Prof. Li discuss the experience learning and sharing of knowledge amongst R&D employees working in China’s largest science park, the Zhongguancun (ZGN) science park in Beijing. China is an open and thriving economy with a young and highly entrepreneurial labour force, where few institutional obstacles to mobility exist. However, little discussion has taken place over the organisation of R&D in Chinese firms, the hierarchical nature of jobs and the profile of employees that engage in learning and sharing. In a study undertaken in 2006 of 381 R&D employees working in 71 indigenous Chinese ICT firms located in China’s largest science park, the research explore the degree to which employees are involved in developing knowledge and sharing within and outside of the organisation. The results suggest that “innovativeness” of individuals is associated with experience from outside and inside the firm’s environment, but also by their ability to translate this external knowledge to their team in the firm. The implications of these and other findings are discussed. 

Presentation 7: Entrepreneurship: The Recipe to Prevent a “Sea Turtle” From Becoming a “Sea Weed”

David W. Pan, Associate Professor, Northeastern State University, USA and George S. Vozikis, California State University at Fresno, California, USA

As the Chinese economy has rapidly grown in recent years, more expatriates are also attracted back to China. When one returns, he is called a “Haigui” (i.e., “Sea Turtle” or a returnee from overseas), denoting a person with valuable advanced knowledge and skills from overseas. However, when a “Sea Turtle” cannot find a job over time, this person is analogously denoted as “Haidai” (i.e., “Sea Weed” or somebody with overseas experience waiting to find a job). The purpose of this paper is to prescribe entrepreneurship as a recipe for “Sea Turtles” to prevent them from becoming “Sea Weeds”. The main building blocks of their framework are FAKTS, i.e. Financials, Attitude, Knowledge, Timing, and Skills. We propose using these FAKTS of entrepreneurship as a catalyst in the process of transforming “Sea Turtles” into successful entrepreneurs in a Chinese economic context and for niche business opportunities to prevent them from turning into “Sea Weeds”. Barriers to the adoption of entrepreneurship in China are also reported and discussed.

Presentation 8: TBC

Xielin Liu, Professor, Research Centre of Innovation and Information Management Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

12:15 Lunch


14:00 – 15:30 Session 3: Local Demand and Global Networks

Presentation 9: Innovation diffusion in emerging China Market: A Duel Structure Model

Yan Yang, Hengyuan Zhu, Shuzhan Wang, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, China

In this paper the authors define the dual economy as composed of the modern sector in urban area and traditional autarky sector in rural area, focusing on the difference in diffusion due to such structure. The purpose is to explore how the dual economy, typically found in developing countries, could influence the diffusion process. They argue that in an emerging market such as China, the market structure is not homogeneous. Urban and rural markets coexist in China due to the influence of the dual economic structure, and consumers in these two markets possess different characteristics in adopting new products. What is more, the urban adopters have influences on the non-adopters in both urban areas and rural areas and the rural adopters also have influences on both areas due to the mobility of migrant laborers and urbanization process. The paper empirically test and compare three different models that used to describe the diffusion of consumer durables in China’s market. The results disclose the weak or even not significant influence between the urban and rural market. The severe imbalance of the dual structure may make the influence trivial with their different constraint, different objectives and different in fractures.

Presentation 10: “Exploring Demand Articulation and Decentralised Innovation for High Technology Development in China”

Kwok L. Shum, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This paper explores a marketing approach known as demand articulation (DA) to facilitate targeted technology development and its applicability to the Chinese context. DA refers to a sophisticated translation skill that converts a vague set of wants into well-defined products or technologies. This vague set of wants may be derived from peripheral visions or from virtual markets. DA has significant implications in the acceleration of technology development at country level. We suggest that the hierarchical nature of DA is naturally congruent with the administrative structure of China. Targeted technology development needs to be complemented by decentralised innovation by users or intermediaries close to the users, in order that sticky information can be minimised. DA driven targeted technology development and decentralised innovation becomes the two-pronged approach to facilitate technical driven social and economic progress in China and other nations in the similar stage of economic development.

Presentation 11: Organizational Learning and Knowledge Transfer Effect in the Global Production network

Xiaobo Wu, Professor of Innovation Management, Zhejiang Management School, Zhejiang University, China, Yongjiang Shi, University Lecturer, The Engineering School, Oxford University, UK, Zhongshi Gao, Zhejiang Management School, Zhejiang University, China

With developments of the global production network in China, Chinese local enterprises have great opportunities to enhance knowledge learning through interaction with global production flagship. Based on samples from some Chinese enterprises in Yangtse delta region, we use multiple linear regressions to analyze how direct influencing factors of organizational learning and moderating factors (i.e., alliance governance modes) affect the knowledge transfer effects. Results suggest that knowledge attributes, relationship between local enterprises and global production flagship, organizational learning culture of local enterprise have significant impacts on local knowledge transfer effects, and that alliance governance modes have some moderating effect on the above relationships.

Presentation 12: Innovation-based Foreign Direct Investment

Ziqi Liao, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China

The objective of this paper is to explore innovation-based foreign direct investment (FDI) and the competitiveness of the multinational corporations (MNCs). International innovation can be considered as an instrument of strategic management under globalization, through which the MNCs can shift competitive environment. The allocation of international innovation and research and development (R&D) facilities can be evaluated in the context of FDI in a particular environment. To test the proposition, this paper constructs a research model, which allows the impact of parametric changes at the public and private interface to be estimated. It also proposes several hypotheses with respect to market forces, resources and host country factors. The empirical analysis has resulted in the identification of major variables of international innovation, and the estimation of their effects on the competitiveness of MNCs. The analysis provides useful information for formulating industrial policy to encourage MNCs to be engaged in innovation and R&D in the host country. The present work prepares the ground for extensive empirical research in China as many MNCs have developed not only manufacturing and production bases, but also R&D facilities in China. Therefore, future research can be carried out to explore innovation-based FDI in China and examine the impact of international innovation and key success factors.

15:30 Workshop closed

Please contact the workshop chairs to express your interest to participate in the workshop:

Qing Wang, Associate Professor of Marketing & Innovation, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Jian Gao, Professor, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University