Purpose – The term customer intimacy has been used both in academia and business, albeit lacking clear definition and empirical validation. The authors in this paper aim to develop a measure of customer intimacy in business-to-business contexts and to assess its reliability and validity, as well as its relevance, within a nomological relationship marketing network. Design/methodology/approach – A multi-method (qualitative/exploratory and quantitative/confirmatory structural modelling), multi-staged (test, re-test) research approach is used and applied in the UK and Germany. Findings – The results show that customer intimacy is a second order construct reflected by the three formative dimensions of mutual understanding, closeness, and value perception. The results also show that customer intimacy is a relevant relationship indicator, distinct from the central relationship indicators of trust and commitment. It impacts relationship commitment levels, customer induced word-of-mouth, repurchase intentions, information disclosure, customer availability, and leads to an advisor status with the customer. Moreover, customer intimacy mediates relationship marketing's central trust commitment link. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations that should be addressed by future studies are: reliance on the key informant technique on one side of the supplier-buyer dyad; cross-sectional design. Practical implications – This study shows that achieving and managing customer intimacy is a relevant managerial goal and task for firms and shows managers how it can be measured and managed. Originality/value. – This study, for the first time, presents a measure for customer intimacy and assesses its quality and impact empirically. The measure will be of significant value in making customer-centric, relationship management approaches more accountable.
Available from: Stanley Kam Sing Wong
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – The question of R&D and marketing cooperation (RMC) in new product development (NPD) is of increasing relevance. However, it is unclear whether RMC really leads to new product success (NPS) and whether and to what extent other elements of market orientation (MO) impact on NPS and the RMC-NPS relationship. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on this important question and to verify the existence and degree of direct and indirect causalities between the core elements of MO and NPS.
Design/methodology/approach – An empirical study has been carried out to test the conceptual framework and the five hypotheses developed based on seminal literature. The conceptual framework and hypotheses are tested using both SEM and regression methods with survey data from 217 respondents from the electronics industry in China.
Findings – The results demonstrate that RMC has a significant and positive influence on NPS. The results on customer orientation support previous findings and the research offers interesting insights with respect to the role of customer orientation in NPD. While results from SEM analysis reject the hypothesized direct effect of competitor orientation on NPS and the predicted mediating effect of competitor orientation on the RMC-NPS link, results from regression analysis, however, suggest otherwise.
Practical implications – The results of the research help to assure practitioners of the primacy role of RMC in NPD and the positive effects of customer orientation on NPS. Such findings should enable NPD team leaders to make best possible decisions in allocating resources among competing priorities. Divergent results on the effects of competitor orientation on NPS and the RMC-NPS link remind practitioners that knowing the assumptions behind an analysis is actually a precondition for correctly assessing and implementing the results of any research.
Originality/value – Results of the study will fill a research gap in marketing studies which have largely neglected the interplay among the three core elements of MO and the mediating effects, individual and combined, of customer and competitor orientations on the RMC-NPS link. Divergent findings derived from the use of two different analysis tools yield new insights to both academics and practitioners and may warrant further investigation.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 12/2013; 28(7):589-601. DOI:10.1108/JBIM-04-2011-0046 · 0.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ This study aims to fill the void of previous research in organizational innovation. The understanding of the factors that affect intra-firm diffusion of innovations, which include the proactive management support and participation comprehensiveness from the adopting firm, as well as the provider's support of innovation utilization has been advanced. In addition, the extent to which the consequent intra-firm diffusion affects both the adopter's and provider's benefits has been explored based on their relationship. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A mail questionnaire on the organizational purchase and utilization of customer relationship management (CRM)-type database systems was developed for collecting data. A random sample of 480 firms from the Hong Kong Chambers of Commerce Directory was obtained. From the initial phone calls, 343 firms currently using a CRM-type database system were identified, and the questionnaires were mailed to the managers of these firms. In total, 163 responses were finally returned with usable data, for a response rate of 47.5 per cent. Findings ‐ The current study focuses on the causes and the effects associated with successful diffusion and utilization of innovation within a firm. Using data from business-to-business markets, the results find that the two parties involved benefit when both proactively participate in the intra-firm diffusion process; that is, benefits are created for the adopter via improvement in efficiency; and for the provider via establishment of a long-term relationship and switching costs. Research limitations/implications ‐ First, any moderating impact of the adopting firm's technological capabilities was not analyzed. Second, the research results were obtained from a sample of software product innovations (especially database management system). Even though it could be assumed that these results can also be applicable to other types of innovations (e.g. process innovations), empirical tests of our framework based on different innovation typologies are still warranted. Practical implications ‐ First, for an innovation-adopting firm, we have shown that a wide use of purchased innovations among the organizational members is at least as important as the adoption of new innovations. Second, we have included the participation comprehensiveness of adoption decision, arguing that the organizational decision-making process is also crucial to stimulating intra-firm diffusion. Finally, and more importantly, our study calls attention to the provider's role in expediting intra-firm diffusion. Originality/value ‐ First, we have suggested an analytic framework for intra-firm diffusion of an innovation and also provided its empirical support. Particularly, the current study has focused on the subsequent effects of intra-firm diffusion on both the adopter's and the provider's benefits. Second, we have examined further impact of the comprehensive participation of adoption decision on spreading innovation information, which subsequently stimulates the innovation's intra-firm diffusion.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 06/2014; 29(6). DOI:10.1108/JBIM-03-2012-0053 · 0.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In light of limited consideration given to how value of servitised offerings are derived and assessed from a customer perspective (Raja et al., 2010), this paper aims to introduce a new approach for value performance in servitising organisations. The four cases investigated confirm the findings reported in the literature review and suggest that companies' targeting servitisation transformation should put into consideration providing innovative value and solutions through connecting all stakeholders in an 'innovative ecosystem' to stimulate value co-creation and achieve value-in-use outcomes realisation. Therefore in order to conceptualise value creation determinants and outcomes a comprehensive literature review on value and performance measurement concepts was conducted to lay the foundation for theorising a new perspective to measure performance from a value driven lens in servitising organisations focusing on further exploring functional outcomes through the consumption of the servitised offerings or the so called 'value-in-use', especially that many existing studies were only exploring traditional value measures embedded in the output or the so called the 'value exchange'.
International Journal of Services and Operations Management 01/2015; 21(4):504-531. DOI:10.1504/IJSOM.2015.070258
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