Challenges the traditional perspective of product services in the business marketing literature. An original classification system is proposed that isolates and compares two types of product services: services that support the supplier's product (e.g. after-sale services) and services that support the client's action in relation to the supplier's product (e.g. training service). A qualitative study based on this classification is then reported. The study centered on one of the main European manufacturers in the micro-electronics industry, and involved interviews with customers, distributors, and managers in the manufacturing firm.
Relationships between a supplier's corporate reputation, trust in the supplier, co-operation, buyer commitment, and willingness to undertake relationship-specific investments were examined in the context of interactions between three UK seaports and a sample of 144 of their customer shipping firms. It emerged that the model proposed by the International Marketing and Purchasing Group performed well as a predictor of supplier purchaser relationships within this sector. Seaports' corporate reputations (as measured by the Fortune reputation index) significantly affected shippers' desires for close relationships with particular ports, and acted as a quasi-moderator of the impact of supplier trust on closeness. Reputation, moreover, constituted a pure moderator vis-à-vis the influences of trust on commitment and on relationship-specific investments and adaptations of business systems. Additionally reputation modified the effects of experience (i.e. the period for which a shipper had been doing business with a specific port) on trust.
Develops a summary construct, relationship strength, composed of interfirm trust, relationship commitment, and relationalism and supports the role of relationship strength in achieving positive relational outcomes, like relationship satisfaction and performance. The survey sample comes from a national population of hospital material managers who make decisions regarding purchases from a small group of large medical surgical supply firms. Structural models support improved fit provided by relationship strength over a model containing the individual constructs comprising relationship strength. Managerial and academic implications of relationship strength include improved strategic planning and actionable information on improving relational outcomes.
The literature has traditionally argued that marketing in firms serving consumer markets is, and should be, different from that in firms serving business markets. This research investigates the marketing practices of 279 firms in Canada and New Zealand to examine the relevance of the consumer B2B dichotomy in the context of a contemporary conceptual framework. The results show that while consumer firms are somewhat more transactional in their approach to the market and B2B firms are more relational, overall patterns of marketing practice are similar across firm type. Theoretical, practical, and research implications are discussed.
Develops a model which integrates the development of marketing relationships with marketing communication practice. Especially within the realm of relationship marketing thinking, communication may be understood as an act of persuasion. Using three classical rhetorical elements, we may see this process as developing an understanding of the communicator's intentions and qualities (ethos) and the communication climate (pathos), both of which are necessary for engaging in constructive dialogues with customers (logos). On this basis, the paper outlines a model for integrating practices of marketing communication with relationship building and illustrates the model using a case study from a Danish bank as a reflective device.
Offers a discussion on the interorganizational network approach as an interesting, alternative avenue for the development of sponsorship research. An example of how to describe and analyze a sport sponsorship arrangement case, using the interorganizational network approach as a theoretical frame of reference, is presented. Researching sports sponsorship from a network perspective extends the interorganizational network thinking from a traditional industrial marketing channel context to the context of sponsorship formed by actors from the fields of sports, media and business. The phenomenon of networking is quite visible in the case of NMP-FIS sponsorship arrangement. NMP has entered into relationships with various types of organizations in order to more effectively gain benefits from its sponsorship investment. Actors of the NMP's focal snowboard sponsorship net possess different kinds of resources linked to public relations management, sports management and distribution of television rights. Different network actors bring to the arrangement not only their own resources and capabilities, but also their own networks of value adding relationships. Consequently, when planning international sponsorships companies need to assess not only the sponsored event organization (its resources) but also its corresponding network (ability to link activities and tie resources with those of other actors), i.e. the "network identity" of the sponsored. The case presented clearly demonstrates the appropriateness of the network approach to sponsorship and other service-oriented situations different from the "traditional" production situations. Further research could continue to add examples from other kinds of sponsorship relationships and networks, for example, from different kinds of sports and arts sponsorship arrangements. Furthermore, longitudinal perspectives are needed in order to gain understanding of the development processes of sponsorship relationships and networks.
What is the nature of the key account management (KAM) approach? Various themes have been discussed under the title "key account management", however, the approach seems to lack coherence and clearly requires further conceptualization. Based on an extensive literature analysis, this article identifies and describes the basic elements of KAM and offers a definition of it. What kind of managerial practices facilitate KAM at the company and individual levels? Although paying customers in the business-to-business market are organizations, they are always represented by individuals. Thus, successful KAM requires appropriate handling at both the organizational and the individual levels. This paper describes the nature of company- and individual-level customer benefits in business-to-business relationships. As a synthesis, this paper suggests a framework for KAM practices deploying the main elements of KAM and the company and individual levels of business-to-business relationships.
The study of interorganisational cooperation has gained increased currency. An important empirical and conceptual contribution in this field owes much to the network approach. The picture provided by the network approach contrasts with other models that regard cooperation as a mere contractual and legal inter-corporate connection. Whilst accepting the existence of formal types of collaborative arrangements, the network approach emphasises the importance of informal and emergent cooperation. This paper is an attempt to extend the current perspective by focusing on interorganisational cooperation in the context of collective action phenomena. These usually involve a large number of actors concerned with the formulation of market rules, the prevention of instability and disorder and, in general, the promotion or defence of their mutual interests. The paper offers an institutional explanation of why and how collective actions emerge and influence the shape and evolution of industrial networks.
Service quality performance is benchmarked at business-to-business and business-to-consumer call centers. Differences between call center types are observed including characteristics of operation, customer ratings of service quality performance, and employee ratings of workplace issues. Business-to-business call centers are challenged by customers who have higher expectations for service performance and who are more critical evaluators of organizational service performance. Implications for customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty are discussed.
The potential of the purchasing function to increase shareholder value is not well publicized and hence not widely recognized. This fact becomes self-evident when the effect of purchasing strategies on performance is well understood. With an increasing number of organizations embracing long-term oriented collaborative relationships, studies looking at performance implications of contemporary purchasing practices are particularly timely. Attempts to provide empirical evidence linking four purchasing strategies to two dimensions of procurement performance: effectiveness and efficiency. Results indicate that purchasing managers can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their purchasing efforts via cooperative negotiation with a small base of suppliers and by establishing collaborative long-term oriented relationships with them, revealing the impressive ability of the purchasing function to enhance shareholder-value.
Outsourcing of logistics services has increased rapidly during the last few years. Accordingly, third-party logistics and supply chain management as a research phenomenon has gained increased attention from academia. However, a strategic view focusing on the relationship between supply chain management and third-party logistics service strategies has gained little attention. This paper focuses on alternative supply chain strategies and their relationship to different types of third-party logistics services. A normative framework for organizing these relationships is developed. The strategic view adopted in this paper fills a gap in the understanding of how third-party logistics providers should offer their services more effectively and efficiently to different types of supply chains.
Much of the recent attention devoted to marketing channel relationships has focused on the development or maintenance of effective relationships. Relatively little research has been devoted to the termination of an inter-firm relationship and that which does is largely based on the concepts of personal or consumer relationship termination. This deficiency is addressed through exploratory research involving case studies of dyads with experience of inter-firm relationship termination. The case studies illustrated the complex nature of inter-firm relationship termination. Each termination situation was uniquely characterised by a different combination of relationship factors that complicated the termination process and the termination strategies that could be used. It appears that the use of direct and other-oriented termination strategies will increase the likelihood of both firms perceiving the termination process and its outcomes more favourably.
In discussing what a firm's competence is all about and how that is developed over time, the focus has been on how a firm develops its "core" or "distinctive" competence all by itself. The imbeddedness of a firm in networks of exchange relationships and how that impinges on the development and nurture of a firm's competence has attracted very scant study. The purpose of this study is to deepen our understanding of the extent to which a firm's networks of exchange relationships influence its competence development. Two empirical case studies have been conducted in that regard. One important conclusion is that a firm's network(s) of exchange relationships is an asset that can be exploited to develop its competence. An important implication of the study is that it takes a long time and many resources to build exchange relationships that last in our integrated markets. Many resources and skills will be needed to handle relationships, once established.
While significant empirical work exists around the conceptualization of the notion of market orientation (MO), as well as its relation to company performance, little empirical work has attempted to depict the actual steps a company has to take in order to increase its adaptability to market situation and, thus become market oriented. Furthermore, no empirical work has attempted so far to investigate the degree of MO between companies producing consumer goods vs companies producing industrial goods. By examining a number of research propositions, this paper attempts to investigate the marketing practices of consumer goods producers vis-à-vis the practices of companies that participate in industrial markets and to discriminate industrial from consumer goods companies based on their marketing practices and MO adoption profile.
Business markets are complex. Sellers have to deal with customised demand, both passive and active markets, multi-person interactions and interconnected relationships. Reports the case study of HDoX, a producer of hydrogen peroxide, an industrial chemical that has wide applications from the disinfecting of equipment in the foodstuffs industry to the bleaching of paper pulp. Focuses on HDoX's practices for retention of its business customers, specifically, its industrial bulk users of hydrogen peroxide, through adaptation and bonding. HDoX's customer retention practices are not part of an explicit retention plan but, instead, emerged as a result of HDoX's continuous adaptation to customers and other members of its business network. The process of retaining industrial business customers is dynamic and contextualised and involves managing multi-dimensional bonds between the seller, customers and other members of the business network.
The effects of the Internet on the long-term viability of buyer seller exchange relationships is examined within the US plastics industry. The author poses two possible scenarios: the Internet causes firms to be "drawn apart" due to the decrease of switching costs of changing suppliers; or firms become "closer" due to the communication efficiencies gained from the technology. A series of regression models lends support to the latter hypothesis. Along with this analysis, comparisons are made between Internet users and non-users with regard to company size and position in the firm. Findings also show that Internet users tend to communicate with suppliers and customers more frequently using traditional modes than non-users.
International sales negotiations are fast becoming a major part of the marketeer's mandate in an increasingly globalised economy. To be successful in that role, managers need to be aware of the limits of acceptability of their behaviours, able to anticipate their counterparts' actions and understand the motivations behind them. Presents a cross-national study of 332 experienced sales negotiators' perceptions in Australia, the USA, the UK, Japan, Russia and Greece. It explores the degree to which different tactics are considered morally acceptable in each country and how the decision-making frameworks the managers employ affect their evaluation. The results demonstrate that, although moral acceptability of specific practices, the overall level of tolerance and the effect of each one of a set of decision-making variables vary among different nationalities, the mechanism of the evaluation can be analysed by a single explanatory model.
Industrial purchasing is a growing discipline with a broad scope of research issues. Research contributions vary greatly with respect to problem issues, the level of analysis, research methods and the application of theoretical frameworks. Literature reviews in the purchasing research field give the reader some tracks back to current theoretical frameworks, for instance industrial buying behavior or economics of organization. Notwithstanding, explicit and precise references to these frameworks are usually rare compared to the marketing science tradition which has built its research tradition and theoretical framework on established sciences, e.g. micro economics, organization science, sociology and psychology. This article presents and compares some contributions from micro economic theory, industrial buying behavior and inter-organizational theory that make appropriate theoretical approaches to industrial purchasing research.
Research of existing literature reveals some models (sequence of steps) for companies that want to plan distribution channels. None of these models uses strong contributions from transaction cost economics, bringing a possibility to elaborate on a "distribution channels planning model", with these contributions and organizing the steps according to a sequence that would be useful for companies when reviewing the distribution process. This sequence was refined through in-depth interviews with companies. Presents the final version of our model incorporating the results from the interviews.