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  • 1. 
Al 
Otaibi, May
    et al.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Polytechnic
 of
 Namibia, Namibia.
    Women candidates and Arab media: Challenging conservatism in Bahraini politics2011In: Westminster Papers in Communications and Culture, ISSN 1744-6716, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 133-158Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women have yet to enter to Bahrain’s parliament despite being permitted to run for some years. With its king promoting social and economic change, the media has portrayed positive images of Arab women as professionals against a backdrop of religious conservatism. The communications strategy adopted by some women candidates to attain election to parliament and the response of the local media are analysed utilizing content analysis. Despite some variation of coverage, the media in this Persian Gulf country were found to be fair to all women candidates and generally gender-neutral. Although the women candidates who applied a well thought-out communications strategy did better in media coverage and voting results, ultimately none were elected. This article explores the reasons for this failure in terms of Islamist religious interpretations of the role of women and Arab cultural conventions regarding family life. Finally, the authors speculate briefly about the prospects of political communications by women challenging Arab cultural conservatism in the future.

  • 2. Marandu, Edward E.
    et al.
    Phambuka-Nsimbi, Catherine
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Perceived prevalence of non-tariff barriers: a conceptual and empirical analysis2012In: Journal of Global Business and Technology, ISSN 1553-5495, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 16-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides a theoretical as well as an empirical analysis of the prevalence of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) on trade in an emerging economy. Data were obtained from 94 export-import executives in Botswana. The study makes four main contributions to the understanding of NTBs. First, NTBs are initially conceptualized as consisting of three groups - Technical, Trade Policy and Administrative – that are a sub-set of the broader Social, Economic and Administrative regulations in a nation. Second, this study introduces Infrastructure Deficiency as a new category relevant in a developing environment. Third, NTBs are considered in the main to be external to a firm and macro in scope. Fourth, the findings suggest that the most prevalent barriers to Botswana’s intra-SADC trade are of Administrative and Infrastructure in type, while Technical barriers are the least. Finally, managers of small or less-experienced firms have a tendency to perceive higher levels of NTB. These findings suggest the following implications for policy: (1) Efforts aimed at increasing regional trade may prove more fruitful if focused on reducing administrative NTBs and improving infrastructure rather than tackling technical NTBs; (2) Since NTBs are macro in scope, overcoming them may be expensive and require collective action by firms; and finally (3) Public trade promotion efforts should focus on managers of small or less experienced firms because they have a tendency to perceive higher NTB levels than what actually exists.

  • 3.
    Nolting, Johannes
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Is marketing honesty the best policy? Corporate appeal to cynical consumers2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The extant literature on deceptive marketing, trust in marketing and consumer cynicism would suggest some disjunction in evaluation of corporate claims to honesty.  They may support honesty marketing as an authentic approach nurturing trust and consumer-brand relationships.  Yet they might doubt its authenticity, maintaining a cynical stance towards marketing in general.  Embedded in the Swedish consumer sphere, this qualitative study finds confirmations for both positive and negative standpoints.  More significantly it reveals two conditional aspects in consumer evaluation of honesty marketing: the burden of proof and corporate ethical stance.  Thus the authors conclude that any explicit claim to honesty needs to promoted with caution as it tends to create more cynicism than trust. 

  • 4.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Advertising Practice in Post-Communist Kazakhstan: Improvising on Capitalist Communications2016In: Advertising in Developing and Emerging Countries: The Economic, Political and Social Context / [ed] Emmanuel C. Alozie, Routledge, 2016, p. 169-186Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Advertising is a relatively new industry in Central Asia, dating from the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. But more than that it symbolizes the radical change of ideology and political economy involved in the transition from communism to capitalism. As the closest country to Russia, both geographically and culturally, Kazakhstan has been a trendsetter within the region and hence the development of its media and advertising industries are worthy of analysis. While the countries in Central Asia might now be politically independent, there is still considerable economic and cultural dependence on Russia and other former Soviet states and dependencies. The advertising industry in Kazakhstan is no exception, taking its cue from Russia-and Ukraine-based counterparts, often affiliates of transnational advertising agencies and multinational marketers themselves. Within Kazakhstan, despite rapid growth of commercial media, advertising agencies face a virtual cartel of media ownership by the political elite. These are some of the challenges facing the practice of advertising in this emergent free-market economy, the improvisations on which need to be analyzed for their pertinence to other transitional, developing and emergent economies.

  • 5.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Global arms industry and conflict non-liabilities: Government sponsorship of corporate irresponsibility2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although its revenues exceed US$ 130 billion annually and represents about 7.5% of total world trade in merchandise, the global arms industry rarely features in business research. What has remained particularly unaddressed is the application of corporate social responsibility and sustainability principles to the arms industry, as with other industries. Hence this research questions why the arms industry has been exempt, and how ethical principles may be applied.  Utilising reliable secondary data on the global arms industry, the paper seeks to identify the major arms exporter countries, mostly in the developed world, to uncover the forms of government support and to raise the socio-economic costs of arms in war. Drawing on NGO and IGO sources, this research aims to illustrate how conflicts perpetuated for corporate benefit and in government interests, are invariably at the expense of citizens in both exporter and importer countries, not to mention devastation caused in conflicting nations. The author argues that if the arms industry are not publicly subsidised but instead discriminated against for producing socially-harmful products, its continued growth could be mitigated. 

  • 6.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Illicit trade and legitimate corporations:: Academic blindspots within business ethics2011In: From Critique to Action: : Practical Ethics of the Organizational World / [ed] David Weir and Nabil Sultan, Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The illicit trade in human trafficking, drug smuggling, toxic waste disposal, blood diamonds and the like may not match that of other legitimate sectors traded, yet it is morally objectionable. Using the limited data in the public domain from non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, the news media and the limited academic sources, this chapter seeks to demonstrate the nature and extent of these questionable international businesses. It finds that governments share responsibility for failing to uphold national or international laws against such trades, let alone sometimes facilitating and participating in them. Through shared global supply chains, legitimate corporations may be culpable in the perpetuation of socio-economic injustice in many developing economies. Despite the challenges, the moral imperative remains for business academics to highlight and work against such exploitation of unfortunate individuals, groups, even whole societies. 

    Most advocacy against the dark side of trade comes to us through investigative journalism in the mainstream news media, rather than the business media. Formal research on these dubious trades is lacking and what little is done is primarily by non-government organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), not academic institutions. Within academia, research on the phenomenon is published primarily by researchers from the humanities and social sciences, even the physical sciences, rather than those in business and management, with the possible exception of economists who have done some amoral research on the arms trade. Using limited secondary data on the extent of the trade and its consequences, this chapter aims to show why corporations cannot ignore such matters of global socioeconomic justice.

  • 7.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Innovating assessments in management education: Maintaining standards, managing dissonance2012In: Journal of International Education and Business, ISSN 1172-0085, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 49-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increasingly many students in MBA programmes at Australian and New Zealand universities come from overseas and thus with different expectations of higher education. Yet students from Asian, Latin American, even European backgrounds have been acculturated to teaching and learning practices that are often at odds with those at universities with an Anglo-Saxon heritage. One consequences then of setting innovative assessment requirements is that international students deem these to be too demanding. When these prove detrimental to them getting good grades, appeals for remarking and complaints of inadequate teaching result. Such concerns tend to be given much attention by administrators since fee-paying students are an essential source of funding in the context of on-going public funding cuts to universities. This article consists of a case-study in two graduate marketing courses in which such situations were encountered and managed. It argues that teaching and assessment needs to consider the backgrounds of the students, both cultural and academic, in order to anticipate and overcome potential pitfalls. The author proposes some ideas on designing assessments for intercultural contexts which promote deep learning and establish grading criteria which relate to real-world values, not just academic results. He concludes that it is possible to achieve one's aspirations for high standards in teaching within the market constraints of fee-paying international students in graduate management programmes. 

  • 8.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Uncovering Dark Trades:: Shades of Legitimacy2017In: Responsible Business fo Uncertain Times and a Sustainable Future, 2017Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Visual Vernaculars Across Emerging Markets: Inter-Cultural Perception of Global Advertising2019In: Journal of Intercultural Communication, ISSN 1404-1634, E-ISSN 1404-1634, ISSN 1404-1634, no 50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Given the predominance of visual image over language copy in global advertising this research explores its inter-cultural perception across emerging markets worldwide. Discourse analysis was conducted on the qualitative responses to global print advertisements by target segments in emerging markets of three geographic regions. Both similarities and differences of perception were found between the selected markets in the Middle East, Latin America and East Asia regions, among the upper middle-class target segment for up-market fashion products. Hence the author proposes that visual perception of global advertising be conceptualized as a continuum of vernaculars, rather than as discrete modes suggested by established inter-cultural typologies. Effective execution of global advertising campaigns for emerging markets therefore calls for contingency approaches to optimizing creative strategies.

  • 10.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Visual vernaculars for global advertising: intercultural reception across emerging markets2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Given the increasing reliance on global advertising campaigns, visual elements predominate as a means to overcome language barriers but there is uncertainty on how the message is interpreted worldwide. Differences in cross-cultural interpretations of advertising visuals by media audiences across emerging-economies regions have been relatively under-researched. Textual analysis was conducted on the responses to mock print advertisements by potential consumers in geographic markets in three separate regions. The findings suggest that while the differences between emerging markets concerning the primary message are not particularly significant, there are nuances of interpretation in each, that are not easily classified. The tentative conclusions are that less adaptation may be needed for global campaigns targeted at developing/emerging economies, yet some fine-tuning is still needful. Furthermore, the paper proposes that cross-cultural perception of visual communications ought to be conceptualised as a continuum of variation, rather than as comprising discrete modes.

  • 11.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Voter empowerment for emerging democracies: Mobilising the marginalised in PeruIn: International Review of Public and Nonprofit Marketing, ISSN 1865-1984Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Motivating the politically and economically disenfranchised to vote can be problematic, particularly in the emerging democracies where political marketing is gaining ground without concurrent voter education. Utilising textual and discourse analysis this paper deconstructs a social marketing campaign in Peru where the rhetoric of political candidature is challenged. Through characterising voters as employers and selection criteria based on analogies of daily life, the political process is made comprehensible and accessible, if not also radically appealing. The author introduces voter empowerment as a concept positioned in the interstices between social marketing and political communications, and distinct from political marketing. Comparative studies of similar campaigns are needed to demonstrate whether these may prove effective and how much adaptation is needful cross-nationally. Meanwhile the Peru campaign provides policy-makers and social activists elsewhere with a model for communicating creatively with marginalised citizens about exercising their democratic rights.

  • 12.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Would you hire this person? Empowering voters in Peru2014In: Media Development, ISSN 0143-5558, no 3Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Democratic processes may have seen resurgence in many developing countries in recent years, but elections often remain a context for political manipulation and consequently alienation of the economically disenfranchised.  Much political communications is about marketing of particular candidates, parties and/or platforms.  This article documents the genesis of an innovative voter education campaign developed by an advertising agency in Peru having a strong social agenda.  The campaign distilled political choices for national leadership into more manageable selection criteria via analogies from daily life.  It was designed to cause citizens to self-examine their own political awareness and motivate them to utilise their voting privileges thoughtfully to further a public policy agenda they favoured.

  • 13.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Marandu, E.
    Rhetoric and realities of regional integration: Botswana SME perspectives on Southern African trade2017In: South African Journal of Business Management, ISSN 2078-5585, E-ISSN 2078-5976, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 75-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite political pronouncements about facilitating development through economic integration of geographic regions in Africa, intra-regional trade remains limited and unbalanced. While tariff barriers have declined within Southern Africa, non-tariff trade barriers to export-import growth persist, impacting on the smaller economies. Utilising interviews with small-to-medium enterprises in land-locked Botswana, this study generated in-depth qualitative data on their experience of barriers to trading regionally. The research found that administrative procedures at the national level, ambiguity of implementation at borders and constraints on logistics constitute their most daunting impediments. Among the key imperatives then for effective regional integration and economic growth among developing countries in Africa and elsewhere are standards harmonization, regulatory streamlining, process transparency and improvement of infrastructure.

  • 14.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
    Marandu, Edward
    Phambuka-Nsimbi, Catherine
    Unscrambling borders within Southern Africa: non-tariff barriers facing businesses in smaller states2014In: The development and sustainability of African business: The role of the African diaspora: Peer reviewed proceedings of the 15th IAABD annual conference / [ed] PD Rwelamila, Anita Spring, Toronto: Ryerson University , 2014, p. 78-90Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite long-standing rhetoric of facilitating trade within the economic regions in Southern Africa, little import and export actually takes place and volumes remain stagnant due to both perceptual and actual barriers. Hence the link between non-tariff trade barriers and export-import performance within SACU/SADC, as well as whether these vary with size and/or industry of the companies, deserves investigation. In-depth personal interviews were utilised for effectiveness in generating high-quality data to supplement that which is traditionally obtained via mail surveys, albeit done at higher cost. This research conducted in Botswana found that regardless of trade policies at a regional level, the national administrative regulations and ambiguity of enforcement at borders are the most significant trade barriers. Hence governments of smaller states need to cooperate in seeking equity of treatment while firms need to lobby those governments to do so urgently. The authors point out that borders imposed by colonial powers remain barriers to political unity and economic prosperity, even though borders have fallen between the former colonists in Europe. 

  • 15. Zellweger, Tobias
    et al.
    Thomas, Amos Owen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Overlooking the dark side of fast fashion: consumers' rationale for continued patronage2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The fast fashion business model is largely based on the exploitation of poor working conditions and lack of environmental protection laws in the production countries. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this dark side of fast fashion and the retailers are addressing their concerns with selective organic clothing collections. This study investigates the underlying rationale of environmentally and socially conscious young Swedish consumers for their continued consumption of fast fashion. The findings of this study show that the participants prioritize price, quality and how the clothes look over where they have been produced and under what circumstances. Future research could investigate how Sweden can take a more pro-active role in educating their citizens about the negative impact on people and environment caused by the overconsumption of disposable fashion.

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