Research, Partners and Publications

We provide comprehensive, multifaceted, wide-ranging and international view.

In Research we aim to achieve empirical, practically relevant and international visible knowledge. This appears in over 600 publications, including more than 300 journal/conference papers with more than a dozen awards, especially for PhD students (e.g., by the European Marketing Academy, American Marketing Association, European International Business Academy, Academy of International Business), as well as 50 books (e.g., the standard works on Retail Management and International Marketing in the DACH-Countries, as well as the book series “Retail and International Marketing” in Springer Gabler-Publishing company, in which dissertations are published).

We are happy to cover a breadth of topics in our articles that deal either with Retailing/Branding, International Retail Management or International Management, or often merge those topics (e.g. internationalization of retailing). We do not follow any single theory or theoretical tendency. Instead, we choose appropriate theoretical foundations based on the particular real phenomenon or state of research, as well as research gap within the literature. In this respect, we are occasionally involved in psychological consumer behaviour theories and management-oriented or economic theories/approaches. Similarly, we use primary and secondary data for empirical observation, on consumer and company levels, while using the appropriate methodology, whether we have cross-sectional data, panel data or longitudinal data. However, we often use non-recursive, reciprocal modelling and have presented one of the first publications in international marketing management on hierarchical structural equation modelling.

More than 100 papers have appeared in prestigious journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Social Indicators Research, Management International Review, Journal of International Management, Journal of International Marketing, International Business Research, Journal of Small Business Management, Business & Society, Long Range Planning, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, International Marketing Review, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Marketing ZFP–Journal of Research and Management, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research etc. Professor Swoboda has been Editor-in-Chief of the Marketing ZFP–Journal of Research and Management (leading Marketing-Journal in the DACH-Countries) and chairman of the Scientific Commission International Management within the Scientific Association of Business Administration in German speaking countries.

Retail Management, Branding and Consumer Marketing

Management of offline and online retail corporations is becoming increasingly complex as a result of the forthcoming digitalization and related vertical, horizontal and international interdependency. This development is reflected in our research program in multiple ways.

In addition to the traditional research questions, such as positioning, location, assortment and price analysis, we also address newer ones in retailing. Corporate and Retail Branding has already stood as a focal point of the Chair for Marketing and Retailing for a long time as the understanding of offline and online retailing as a brand has still only slightly matured. We are currently devoting ourselves especially to the phenomenon of interdependency between the evaluation of store brand and corporate reputation, between offline and online brand equity or images, and quality and risk evaluations through customers, as well as the integration of channels in omnichannel distribution systems. The unique feature of the Chair is that we do not only address the customer's point of view but also leadership challenges of managers in offline, online and omnichannel corporations.

For branded goods corporations, today's challenges include the verticalization of distribution (both offline and online) and the guarantee of cross-border uniform or country-specific validity of the product and corporate brand. In this research fields, we focus on the hand on the effects of global product- and corporate-brands in emerging markets such as China or in industrialized countries such as the USA or Japan and on the other hand - using hierarchical structural equation modelling - on perceptions and effects of corporate brands in a cross-national context. Those we apply to external (such as economy, norms, culture, internet access of specific countries) as well as internal context factors (such as experience, commitment, success of corporations in the countries). At the same time, we look at interfaces between retailing and manufacturing, as in the course of successful Global Account Management or vertical distribution design.

International Retail Management and International Branding

Today, there are hardly any industries that are not operating internationally or at least affected by the economic globalization in the form of foreign competitors in domestic markets. We take on these developments, both industry- and topic-oriented.

The focus is on the internationalization of offline and online retailers, which poses new challenges for retailers and consumer goods manufacturers, both in the now more competitive home markets and in their activities in new sales markets. Here we look at internationalization strategies, market entry strategies, market development, timing or expansion rhythms of retailers’ foreign activities. Mostly, we focus on success drivers of retailers (at a corporate or foreign market level), as well as on the customers' perspective in foreign markets. According to this research field, the Chair presented some of the first quantitative studies in various contexts, so one study on "Cross-classified Multi-Level Modelling".

A core area of International Management includes dynamic internationalization processes, which reflects the development of manufacturing corporations abroad over time, both regarding coordination (strategy, structures, systems, and culture) and determinants of this development. This topic was primarily associated with medium-sized corporations in previous publications. Similarly, characteristics of Born Globals, switches in "Operation Modes" or the reduction of internationalization have been empirically investigated as part of the divestment of foreign activities. Finally, the Chair dealt with organizational structures, processes and the corporate culture of international corporations, in dependence of the global and competitive strategy.

Doctorates and Publications

By our goals, we decided in 2005 to divide all scientific dissertations into three paper projects and to discuss them at international conferences, to attain not only a global presence but also to achieve a continuous improvement process for each paper. Every year, we present papers at top-class conferences in the field of Marketing (AMA, EMAC) and International Business (AIB, EIBA). To create a doctoral thesis at the Chair, you can find more information here.