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  • 1.
    Beheshti, Hooshang
    et al.
    Radford University, Radford, Virginia, USA.
    Hultman, Magnus
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Jung, Marie-Louise
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Opoku, Robert
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Electronic supply chain management applications by Swedish SMEs2007In: Enterprise Information Systems, ISSN 1751-7575, E-ISSN 1751-7583, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 255-268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Internet has become an integral part of business activities of most corporations today. Electronic supply chain management (SCM) can improve the operational efficiency of the firm by streamlining processes between the company and its suppliers, business partners, and customers. This research explores the extent and the degree of Internet application in Swedish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The analyses of the data show that the Swedish SMEs use the Internet in their supply chain activities to a large degree. The study establishes some differences between smaller and larger organizations as well as between manufacturing and service companies.

  • 2. Berglund, Anders
    et al.
    Nath, Atanu
    Karlsson, Ted
    Opoku, Robert
    Wang, Jinhui
    Quang, B.T.
    E-readiness of university divisions in online education2006Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    E-readiness can be defined as the degree to which a community is prepared to participate in the networked world. In this paper the concept of e-readiness is used in terms of how internal and external factors affect the delivery of online education offered by universities. The paper applies the macro level five forces model as adopted by Chan and Welebir (2003) in the context of micro (university divisional level). Thus, the purpose is not to have generalizable findings, but rather use the delivery of online education as determinant for the level of universities' e-readiness, and explore the factors affecting e-readiness and ways of utilizing the factors as central to the study. Using a qualitative method case study interviews on divisional level were used to obtain in-depth empirical evidence. The study appears to indicate potential need to further modify the five forces model by Chan and Welebir (2003) due to the non-commercial nature of the Swedish education system. Also, co-operation in providing educational services such as the Net University in Sweden precludes market forces determination by universities internally. No specialized training program for the instructors to fit any special needs of students particular to online education was perceived.

  • 3. Berthon, Jean-Paul
    et al.
    Opoku, Robert
    Pitt, Leyland
    Nel, Deon
    Department of Marketing, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
    Brand management and strategic performance: some evidence from South Africa2007In: Journal of African Business, ISSN 1522-8916, E-ISSN 1522-9076, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 27-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports on a study using a previously published checklist to assess the brand management practices of South African firms. Indications are that the perceptions of a sample of senior managers regarding how well their institutions manage their brands are reasonably positive, and that the management of brands has effects on a firm's profitability, market share and growth compared to competitors. While the checklist used seems to possess the characteristic of reliability, further development needs to be done on aspects of its underlying structure. Implications for managers and further avenues for research are identified and discussed.

  • 4.
    Hultman, Magnus
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Jung, Marie-Louise
    Opoku, Robert
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Justifying your price online: an investigation of academic associations' online communication of membership benefits2007In: Marketing theory and practice in an inter-functional world: Proceedings of the 2007 World Marketing Congress, Verona, Italy / [ed] Carol W. DeMoranville, The Academy of Marketing Science, 2007, p. 123-127Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study identifies the benefits that are communicated online by a selection of academic associations. It also investigates the relationship between what is communicated online and the size of the associations' membership fees. The findings show that the level of the membership fee is to some extent influenced by the amount of words that communicate status on an association's website, as opposed to communication about conferences, job market, networking, publications, savings, size, or age.

  • 5. Hultman, Magnus
    et al.
    Opoku, Robert
    Communicating brand personality through African tourism websites2005In: The AM2005, Academy of Marketing Conference, 2005, p. 28-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Hultman, Magnus
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Opoku, Robert Ankomah
    King Fahid University of Petroleum and Minerals.
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Oghazi, Pejvak
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bui, Thong
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Private label competition: the perspective of Swedish branded goods manufacturers2008In: Management Research News, ISSN 0140-9174, E-ISSN 1758-6135, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 125-141Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - This paper aims to gain a better understanding of how Swedish branded goods manufacturers (BGMs) deal with the increased usage of private labels. Design/methodology/approach - The approach takes the form of answering the three research questions of this study: how private labels are viewed by BGMs on the Swedish market; how Swedish BGMs strategically respond to the increases in private labels; and how the benefits and drawbacks of these strategic responses are perceived by Swedish BGMs. A contrasting multiple case study of four Swedish companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry was used. Findings - The perceived advantages of private labels are connected to their overall control of the market in which they operate, whereas the advantages of BGMs are seen to be linked to product development and superior brand reputation. BGMs respond to private labels by taking them seriously and striving to increase the perceived distance of their brands from private labels in the eyes of the consumers. The overall benefit of these strategies is perceived to be preparedness for increased private label competition, while the drawbacks vary between companies. Research limitations/implications - In addition to empirical testing based on previous research on private label competition in a new setting, the study also presents suggestions for future research and the implications of the findings for managers. Practical implications - Findings indicate that BGMs should take the emergence of private labels seriously, while at the same time striving to maintain good business relationships with the retailers. Originality/value - The study provides insights into the competitive situation between private labels and the manufacturer brands in the Swedish FMCG market.

  • 7. Jung, Marie-Louise
    et al.
    Hultman, Magnus
    Opoku, Robert
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Internet usage in supply chain managemant and its impact on overall efficiency: a Swedish SME perspective2007In: Proceedings of the annual conference of the Academy of Marketing Science / [ed] Dheeraj Sharma; Shaheen Borna, The Academy of Marketing Science, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8. Opoku, Robert
    Communication of brand personality by some top business schools online2005Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Organizations perceive their brands to possess a personality that consumers either use as an avenue for self-expression or to experience the anticipated emotional benefits that differentiate one brand from another. These perceived brand personalities emerge through the different ways organizations present themselves. However, research on brand personality and the symbolic use of brands largely has been restricted to how consumers express themselves by choosing brands and has ignored how organizations themselves perceive their brand personalities. Moreover, brand personality often has been discussed with clear reference to products, corporate brands, or countries but not how this is communicated via web sites. In a fresh contextual environment, we explore whether business schools communicate clear and distinctive brand personalities in cyberspace. Our study involved multistage methodology focused on 30 full-time global MBA programmes, using a combination of computerized content and correspondence analyses. The content analysis was structured using Aaker's five-dimensional framework whilst the positioning maps were produced by examining the data using correspondence analysis. Results indicate that some schools have clear brand personalities while others fail to communicate their brand personalities distinctly. This study also illustrates a powerful, but simple and relatively inexpensive way for organizations and brand researchers to study communicated brand personalities.

  • 9. Opoku, Robert
    Gathering customer feedback online and Swedish SMEs2006In: Management Research News, ISSN 0140-9174, E-ISSN 1758-6135, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 106-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - This paper aims at exploring and describing the tools used by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to collect customer feedback online, their components and the criteria used in selecting these internet-based tools. Design/methodology/approach - Multiple in-depth case studies were conducted on five SMEs all of which are engaged in customer feedback collection online. The data collected by personal interviews was analysed in a cross-case analysis. Findings: We conclude that e-mail is the most dominant tool though supported other offline means. Components of Internet-based customer feedback system and the criteria for assessing Internet-based customer feedback collection tool by SMEs were also identified. Research limitation/implications - Five cases were investigated out of 60 and the study was restricted to the northern part of Sweden. Adding other methods could also have cross-fertilised the study. Practical implications - The study reinforces the need for SMEs managers to use the Internet to gather feedback from customers online, learn much about the nature and habits of their customers and the best medium to reach out to them - be it Internet-based, offline or the combination of the two. Originality/value - Application of the concept of customer feedback collection and theories on the components and the criteria used in selecting Internet-based tools in a relatively new context.

  • 10. Opoku, Robert
    Leadership and ICT: a cathalyst for business success in Ghana2005In: 9th Annual West African International ICT Conference: Proceedings, 2005, p. 37-41Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11. Opoku, Robert
    Towards a methodological design for evaluating online brand positioning2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Several studies have pointed to the fact that continued progress in content analysis research requires researchers to confront several challenges to developing reliable and valid analyses of World Wide Web based content. In line with the above, the core objective of this thesis is to develop and illustrate a relatively simple but powerful tool to examine the intended online brand personality positioning of organisational websites. In order to accomplish this set objective, the thesis is divided into two sections. On the basis of a multistage research methodology, the first section otherwise known as Study A consists of the summary of a study (the author's Licentiate thesis conducted in 2005) which was aimed at developing a method to evaluate the intended online brand personality positioning of some 30 top business schools' full-time global MBA programmes. This aim was accomplished by using a combination of computerized content and correspondence analyses. The content analysis was structured using Aaker's five-dimensional framework whilst the positioning maps were produced by examining the data using correspondence analysis. The common character that runs through all the papers in Study B is that they are all in a way designed to explore the issue of branding in Africa - a much under- researched phenomenon. Of the four papers in Study B, three were designed to fill some gaps in some neglected but interesting areas of research by demonstrating the application of the earlier developed methodological design in different contexts: African countries and South African business schools. International SMEs restaurants were also selected as samples in one of our studies because of the important role SMEs play in every economy. A fourth study attempts to reinforce the importance of what we have been doing by looking at relationship between effective brand management practices and business performance among South African businesses. Whilst logically providing a step by step procedure to be followed in evaluating online brand personality positioning, our findings also suggest that all the five brand personality dimensions (competence, sincerity, excitement, sophistication and ruggedness) put forward by Aaker (1997) could be identified in the intended online communications of the selected samples. Limitations of the studies and suggestions as to how further research would be essential for making the method of evaluating online brand personality to be increasingly valid, reliable, and practical are also provided. All in all, it is expected that the understanding of brand personality and brand management in all the chosen contexts in this thesis will provide a new insight into brand personality in particular and brand management research in general.

  • 12.
    Opoku, Robert A.
    et al.
    King Fahid University of Petroleum and Minerals.
    Caruana, Albert
    University of Malta.
    Pitt, Leyland
    Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Berthon, Pierre
    Bentley College.
    Wallström, Åsa
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Nel, Deon
    Deakin University, Melbourne.
    Online communication of brand personality: a study of MBA programs of top business schools2009In: Journal of General Management, ISSN 0306-3070, E-ISSN 1759-6106, Vol. 35, no 1, p. 47-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Brand personality has often been considered from the perspective of products, corporate brands or countries, but rarely among service offerings. Moreover, there remains the consideration of how these entities are communicated online. This article explores the brand personality dimensions that business schools communicate and whether they differ in putting across clear and distinctive brand personalities in cyberspace. Three clusters from the Financial Times' top 100 full-time global MBA programs in 2005 are used to undertake a combination of computerised content and correspondence analyses. The content analysis was structured using Aaker's five-dimensional framework whilst the positioning maps were produced by examining the data using correspondence analysis. Results indicate that some schools have clear brand personalities while others fail to communicate their brand personalities in a distinct way. This study also illustrates a powerful, but simple and relatively inexpensive way for organisations and brand researchers to study the brand personalities actually being communicated.

  • 13. Opoku, Robert
    et al.
    Abratt, Russell
    Nova South-Eastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
    Bendixen, Mike
    Nova South-Eastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
    Pitt, Leyland
    Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia.
    Communicating brand personality: are the web sites doing the talking for food SMEs?2007In: Qualitative Market Research, ISSN 1352-2752, E-ISSN 1758-7646, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 362-374Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse web site brand communication by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the restaurant franchise industry, using Aaker's brand personality dimensions. It shows how an SME can test its intended positioning against competitors. Design/methodology/approach - A multistage methodology using a combination of content analysis and correspondence analysis was used. The intention was to illustrate a technique that can be used by SMEs at low cost and with ease. Findings - Food SMEs are able to communicate brand personality by way of their web sites. The brands and the personality types are presented which clearly reveals the positioning of the competitors. Practical implications - This paper illustrates a powerful, but simple and relatively inexpensive way for SMEs to study communicated brand personality. Originality/value - The major contribution of this study is to alert SME scholars and retailers to the potential of computerized content analysis as a means of studying web site content, and the subsequent use of correspondence analysis to understand how to position against competitors.

  • 14. Opoku, Robert
    et al.
    Abratt, Russell
    Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale.
    Pitt, Leyland
    Communicating brand personality: Are the websites doing the talking for the top South African Business Schools?2006In: Journal of Brand Management, ISSN 1350-231X, E-ISSN 1479-1803, Vol. 14, no 1-2, p. 20-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study extends the conceptualisation and measurement of brand personality to the online environment. We contend that websites are an important element of corporate identity management in today's competitive environment. We investigated the websites of South African Business Schools in order to find out what brand personality each school features. Our multistage methodology revealed a measure of business school brand personality that to some extent portrays the dimensions Aaker postulated. This study illustrates a powerful, but simple and relatively inexpensive way business school managers can study communicated brand personality. The results also offer new ways for business schools (and other organisations) to strengthen their brand and market position in a competitive environment. It also is a relatively simple way to differentiate their school in the crowded MBA education marketplace.

  • 15.
    Opoku, Robert Ankomah
    et al.
    King Fahid University of Petroleum and Minerals.
    Hultman, Magnus
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Positioning in market space: the evaluation of Swedish universities' online brand personalities2008In: Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, ISSN 0884-1241, E-ISSN 1540-7144, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 124-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper extends Aaker's previous empirical work on brand personality by exploring whether Swedish Universities communicate distinctive brand personalities in cyberspace. Employing a multistage methodology, data are drawn from the English Web sites of 17 Swedish universities and analyzed by using a combination of computerized content and correspondence analyses. Results indicate that some universities appear to have clear brand personalities, others take on a new face with regard to the obvious personality one would have initially associated them with, while others fail to communicate their brand personalities in any distinct manner. While illustrating a powerful but simple and relatively inexpensive way for institutions for higher education and brand researchers to study communicated brand personalities, this study also highlights the growing importance of brand positioning issues in internationalization and globalization of higher educational institutions.

  • 16. Opoku, Robert
    et al.
    Hinson, Robert
    Online brand personalities: an exploratory analysis of selected African countries2006In: Place Branding, ISSN 1744-0696, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 118-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A strongly articulated brand personality is germane to the success of an online branding strategy. This paper explores whether African countries communicate clear and distinctive brand personalities in cyberspace. Because of the increasing focus on the global digital dividend, it is important to discover all the ways in which African countries can benefit from the application of online technologies to improve their economic status. The study involved a multistage methodology focused on ten official websites of African countries, using a combination of computerised content and correspondence analyses. The content analysis was structured using Aaker's five-dimensional framework while the positioning maps were produced by examining the data using correspondence analysis. Results indicate that none of these countries communicates a clear and distinct brand personality. This study also illustrates a powerful but simple and relatively inexpensive way for organisations and brand researchers to study communicated brand personality.

  • 17. Opoku, Robert
    et al.
    Hultman, Magnus
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Towards a framework of web performance evaluation: a literature review and measurement classification2007In: Marketing theory and practice in an inter-functional world: Proceedings of the 2007 World Marketing Congress, Verona, Italy / [ed] Carol W. DeMoranville, The Academy of Marketing Science, 2007, p. 72-76Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We position some studies on web performance evaluation research on a perceptual map relative to a developed criterion. Although the analysis of this secondary data cannot claim to utterly complete, it does provide insights into the state-of-art within web performance literature within a given period of time. Based on our findings, we also propose some future research directions in this area.

  • 18.
    Papania, Lisa
    et al.
    Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Campbell, Colin
    Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Opoku, Robert
    Styvén, Maria
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Berthon, Jean-Paul
    Using brand personality to assess whether biotechnology firms are saying the right things to their network2008In: Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, ISSN 1462-8732, E-ISSN 1478-565X, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 247-255Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Through their websites, biotechnology firms communicate information about themselves and their products to other members of their networks. These networks are made up of an array of organisations with which biotechnology firms collaborate on product development projects, and on whom they rely for funding, and/or marketing and production. Therefore, it is important that the information communicated by firms' websites portrays them in the light they wish to be perceived by others. Despite its importance, biotechnology firms, however, do not prioritise branding or the development of a brand personality. By using demonstrated content analysis methodologies, our study shows that biotechnology firms are nonetheless portraying brand personalities online, even if unintentionally. We show that, by using the same methodologies, managers in biotechnology firms can monitor and manage their firms' brand personalities to ensure that the words they communicate online present an appropriate and attractive image of the firm to their communities. We extend previous research in the area of brand personality and show its application in and importance for the biotechnology industry.

  • 19.
    Pitt, Leyland F.
    et al.
    Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia.
    Opoku, Robert
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Hultman, Magnus
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Abratt, Russell
    Nova South-Eastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
    Spyropoulou, Stavroula
    Leeds University.
    What I say about myself: communication of brand personality by African countries2007In: Tourism Management, ISSN 0261-5177, E-ISSN 1879-3193, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 835-844Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study analyses website brand communication by African nations using Aaker's brand personality dimensions. A multistage methodology focused on 10 African countries, using a combination of content analysis and correspondence analysis. We found that some countries have specific brand personalities while others are failing to communicate their brand personalities distinctly. This article illustrates a powerful, but simple and relatively inexpensive way for international marketers to study communicated brand personality. Although there are 53 countries on the African continent, only 10 countries were covered by this research. The intent was, however, to demonstrate a research method, rather than have comprehensive coverage of the African continent. The major contribution of this study is the use of a new research approach and set of tools that both tourism researchers and managers can use. The technique is easy to use, and the results are easy to interpret.

1 - 19 of 19
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