Industrial Marketing Management

Published by Elsevier
Print ISSN: 0019-8501
Key Networks of a companyAn Example of four Key Networks
Despite the rapid growth of business network research, effective approaches for systematic network management are still in their infancy. This article introduces a systematic approach for managing networks—key network management (KNM). This emerges by expanding the ideas of key account management (KAM) into the network context. A key network refers to a set of actors mobilized by the focal company to realize an opportunity. An opportunity is anything that potentially represents or results in value to the company. A company may manage several key networks. The KNM approach includes three basic elements: (1) identifying a key network, (2) strategies for managing actors of the key network, and (3) developing and applying operational level methods for managing actors within the key network. The KNM approach is not only focused on using networks to fulfill existing needs, but also on discovering new opportunities and establishing and managing networks to realize these opportunities. This article provides a framework for the implementation of KNM approach.
Effect of experience on attitude formation process
Chi-square difference test between low and high experience groups
Correlation between satisfaction, involvement and attitudinal loyalty
This paper examines the relative influence of two key antecedents of brand loyalty—satisfaction and involvement and the moderating role of experience, using a sample of business buyers. The central argument of this paper is that the strength of the effect of these variables on attitudinal brand loyalty will vary with the level of customer experience with purchasing the service. Building on previous research which examined low-risk, customer product settings [Kim, J., Lim, J.S., & Bhargava, M. (1998). The role of affect in attitude formation: A classical conditioning approach. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 26 (2): pp. 143–152; Shiv, B., & Fedorikhin, A. (1999). Heart and mind in conflict: The interplay of affect and cognition in consumer decision-making. Journal of Consumer Research 26: 278], this study shows that for a high-risk setting, involvement with the service category will be more dominant in its influence on brand loyalty than satisfaction with the preferred brand. Furthermore, it was found that experience moderated the influence of involvement and satisfaction on attitudinal brand loyalty for a high-risk business-to-business service. This study provides new insights into the theory and practice of buyer behavior and business-to-business brands.
The environmental movement has shifted from an individual focus to an organizational focus. ISO 14000 registration/certification is a response by the business community to the consumers' perception of the importance of the environment. ISO 14000 is a series of registration and behavioral standards that represent a comprehensive and potentially global environmental management system.
A cross-sectional examination of 11 segments of the business service sector indicates all these segments exceeded Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and four grew at least twice as fast as GDP in the 10-year period 1982–1992. Further analysis of this sector suggests that three distinct groupings can be identified-industries that “rent” highly paid personnel for relatively high fees, industries that receive relatively high rents for equipment while employing modestly paid and/or part-time employees, and industries that utilize relatively low paid or part-time employees in relatively standardized service offerings. A single regression was found to explain revenue/employee versus pay/employee across the 10, labor-intensive services studied. Profitability, on the other hand, varied by nearly an order of magnitude between most- and least-profitable segments.
This study reviews empirical research on inter-organizational trust. Since the early 1990s, researchers on inter-organizational relationships have consistently argued that mutual trust is an essential factor of relationship quality and performance. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the advancements and setbacks in current empirical research in terms of measuring inter-organizational trust. This paper analyzes the theoretical approach, the conceptualization and operationalization, and the measurement issues covered in studies on inter-organizational trust conducted from 1990 to 2003. Although trust has emerged as an important factor in inter-organizational relationships, there are still major conceptual and methodological challenges to be met in studying this complex concept. The results show major inconsistencies in conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement of trust. The paper concludes with suggestions for further empirical research.
Integrative decision making is key to effective supply chain management (SCM). This article examines five illustrative supply chain decision models that demonstrate the importance of integrating the decisions across the supply chain. The models that are discussed illustrate the diversity of analytical approaches and their usefulness in managing global supply chain issues. The paper identifies potential areas of additional research where analytical modeling can generate useful insights. The paper also presents a short categorization of decision models from literature.
Summary of manufacturers by SIC
Components listed by usage frequency on web sites Percentage (%)
(continued )
ANOVA results by category (mean number of components per category)
ANOVA results by category (mean number of components per category)
Forecasts for business-to-business electronic commerce over the next few years are in the trillions. Manufacturers represent a significant portion of business-to-business activity and their web sites an integral component of business-to-business electronic commerce. Should they choose to, manufacturers can use their web sites not only to conduct electronic commerce but also to engage in a wide range of marketing communications. Marketing communication activities include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing. The results of our content analysis of 188 Fortune 500 manufacturer web sites indicated that few manufacturers use a broad range of marketing communications activities. Analysis of differences in the use of marketing communications on web sites suggests that some aspects of web site marketing communications differ based on manufacturer characteristics such as sales, R&D to sales ratio, and net income.
A major focus of industrial marketing research has been industrial buyer behavior. The adoption of the ISO 9000 Standards may have a significant impact on industrial buyer behavior by removing some of the uncertainty in the selection of products and services. International trade has always been complicated due to differences in culture, language, and distance. Artificial barriers have been created to restrict trade by imposing national product and service standards. The International Standards organization was created by 89 member nations to develop product and service standards that would be acceptable to all member nations. Any product or service which met the ISO 9000 Standards could be distributed in all of the member nations without being subjected to other national requirements. Compliance to the ISO 9000 standards by product and service providers must be demonstrated by obtaining certification of their management and quality assurance practices by an independent audit organization.
The ISO certification process has been in existence for 14 years. During that time, hundreds of thousands of suppliers of mainly industrial products and services have become ISO 9000 registered. However, the adoption rate of ISO 9000 certifications in US industry has lagged that of other developed countries. This is now changing; the number of new ISO 9000 certifications being obtained annually in the US is currently higher than most other countries in the world. Concurrently, the ISO 9000 certification series recently underwent a major revision, and much has been learned about the ISO 9000 certification process over the last 14 years. Therefore, industrial marketers who have taken a wait and see approach or have decided that the process is irrelevant to their businesses may need to reconsider this decision. To assist in this process, this article reviews the former and current ISO 9000 certification process, discusses the criticisms of the program, provides information regarding costs and benefits of certification, and offers suggestions for effectively integrating certification with the marketing program.
Organizational and contextual factors impacting Anti-citizenship Behavior in the sales force and the moderating role of individual level factors.  
While anti-citizenship behavior (ACB) is under-researched across all academic domains, sales and marketing researchers have not done any work in the area. This oversight is significant given recent survey data that suggests sales representatives are misbehaving at an alarming rate; 60% of sales managers have caught their reps cheating on expense reports (an example of ACB) and 36% believe such behavior has gotten worse over the past several years. Directed towards the goal of understanding salesperson ACB, this research provides the first conceptual model of ACB in the sales force. The model contends that characteristics of the organization (justice and intra-firm competition) and contextual factors (fit and job stress) directly affect the performance of ACB while individual level factors (locus of control, self-monitoring and introversion) moderate the performance of these behaviors. In addition, this research explains the intra- and inter-organizational consequences of salesperson ACB and suggests several ways by which managers can address this issue.
An investigation was conducted that examined the satisfaction national account managers (NAMs) have with current sales training programs and how adequately the programs address required skills/abilities. Findings suggest that NAMs are not satisfied with current national account management sales training programs. The NAMs also reported they do not believe firms are doing an adequate job in addressing 13 out of 21 skills/abilities which are associated with the NAM role. Implications are offered regarding the findings and recommendations are given for practitioners to move toward strengthening national account management sales training programs.
The marketing and strategy literature hail strategic flexibility as a key success factor in creating continuously customer value and generating competitive advantage. However, empirical evidence indicates that rigidity in market strategies and actions is more the rule than the exception in organizations. The focus of this special issue is on better understanding rigidity and flexibility in business markets. This lead article seeks to elaborate on why companies face rigidity and how they can create flexibility. To do this, we relate rigidity in organizations to the concepts of dominant logic, industry recipe and persistence. The case illustrations highlight barriers to the development of absorptive capacity in business organizations. Identifying such barriers is a first step in better understanding how companies can remain agile and flexible in demanding and fast changing markets. The paper then proceeds with a brief introduction to the other contributions of this special issue and concludes with a research agenda.
This study utilized structural equations modeling (SEM) to explore the positive effects of relationship learning and absorptive capacity on competitive advantages of companies through their innovation performances in Taiwanese manufacturing industry. The results of this study showed that relationship learning and absorptive capacity positively influence upon innovation performances of companies, and further have positive effects on competitive advantages of companies. In addition, this study divided the sample into three groups by the levels of relationship learning and absorptive capacity and found that there was a significant difference of innovation performance among these three groups: ‘Highly Capable Companies’, ‘Medially Capable Companies’, and ‘Lowly Capable Companies’. It is important for ‘Lowly Capable Companies’ to increase both of their relationship learning and absorptive capacity to enhance their innovation performances.
This paper examines the significance of the rapid development of so-called “academic brands” in Marketing for the process of academic research and for the work and the careers of researchers: It focuses on the specific case of business market research and researchers. The paper starts by exploring the ideas behind the development of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and its impact on the academic community: CCT appears as an emblematic case of branding of an academic community. The paper then discusses the rapid emergence of the Service-Dominant Logic (SDL) as a case of branding which has a direct impact on business market research. The paper then relates the emergence of these two “brands” to developments in business market research and more specifically to the development of IMP as a brand. Finally, the paper draws some conclusions about the role of academic branding and its impact on scientific endeavour with emphasis on the future of business marketing research and researchers.
In recent years, industrial manufacturers around the world have deployed growing efforts in developing services in addition to their traditional product business in order to secure long-term growth and to remain competitive in the marketplace. Against this background, the present article introduces the reader to this special issue. It first recalls key aspects of the emerging service-dominant logic of marketing and examines how it relates to the business marketing field. It then illustrates the challenges faced by top executives of industrial companies in the transition from a product-centric to a service-centric business perspective through an interview with the managing director of ThyssenKrupp Service AG. After discussing how the articles included in this special issue advance the extant literature on industrial services marketing, the article finally develops a number of directions for future research on services in business markets.
This paper explores business-to-business (B2B) marketing on the Internet, and how the confluence of the two may transform the B2B landscape. Specifically, it discusses the notion of linkage value to demonstrate why the B2B phenomenon on the Internet is so significant. It then considers the mechanisms and enablers that have made the Web such an important B2B marketing channel. It also explores how the Web can reduce transaction costs, thereby facilitating more efficient exchanges and markets. The concepts of links and nodes are then introduced and the processes of disintermediation, reintermediation, disaggregation and reaggregation are explored. Finally, Web B2B configurations are considered by way of a model that describes four archetypal configurations, and the factors that are antecedent to these modes and how the Web may influence them.
Sales force automation systems are fast becoming a marketplace reality. Implementation of these systems represents a significant change for many organizations, often presenting difficult challenges for managers. This paper proposes several factors relating to sales force acceptance of automation. These factors are examined as potential characteristics in a successful implementation program. Results of the study are used in providing a series of recommendations for managerial use in enhancing the potential for success of automation implementation programs.
As customers' needs have changed rapidly, market orientation has become a more primary focus of marketing literature. This study explores the strategies market-oriented suppliers use to accommodate customer needs. In addition, because buyer–seller relationships proceed through phases characterized by distinct behaviors, this study explores the relationship between market orientation and accommodation strategies over the course of the buyer–seller relationship lifecycle. The results show that market-oriented firms use flexibility and relationship-specific adaptation as accommodation strategies. Also, three market orientation components (customer orientation, competitor orientation, and interfunctional coordination) relate differently to flexibility and relationship-specific adaptation during the relationship lifecycle. Finally, accommodation strategies significantly mediate the effects of the three market orientation components on customer satisfaction. Thus, market-oriented firms can satisfy their customers and avoid an overreliance on current relationships by emphasizing either flexibility or relationship-specific adaptations that correspond to the lifecycle of the relationship.
In the last ten years industrial companies have gone from offering products to offering products/services and then to offering solutions. At the same time, the theory of marketing has also evolved to provide, under the heading of S-D logic, an enlarged conceptual framework. In this article we apply the conceptual framework of S-D logic to the marketing of solutions. Based on two case studies, we highlight the limits to current offering strategies in terms of co-creation and involving customer network actors. We suggest an approach to co-create value in customer networks based on a switch from customer value proposition to customer network value proposition.
Key account management (KAM) is regarded as one of the significant marketing trends over the last few years. This study investigated the perceptions of suppliers and key account customers regarding the success factors of customer–supplier partnerships. The results are reported from a survey of 92 suppliers and 98 key account customers. Analysis of the results indicates that suppliers and their key account customers have similar perceptions of the key success factors in the customer–supplier partnership. Finally, recommendations for the development or improvement of a KAM program are presented.
This article proposes a method of composing and complementing industrial marketing strategy. A new approach to industrial marketing strategy is presented. It has the customer as the core of the analysis and considers some of the most important elements of industrial marketing, such as derived demand and buyer/seller relationships. This new approach, called account portfolio analysis, offers some indications to industrial managers and scholars for the analysis of marketing strategies tailored expressly for industrial companies.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a theory-based explanation for the adaptive variations in a supply manager's role within a global account management (GAM) relationship. The variations in a supply-side manager's role are explained using a combined knowledge-based view and relational contracting theoretical perspective. The demands of the global customer, which constrain the supply managers' role adaptation, present a unique set of challenges to organizations supplying in global accounts. The new managerial competencies, required for effective global account supply management under global customer's constraints, are described. In conclusion, specific managerial actions are recommended for effective global account supply management, which are intended to engender the development of trust and social capital in the global customer–supplier relationship.
Early work in key account management (KAM) led to the development of a Relationship Development Model that provided the basis for much of the work of other researchers in the field of KAM. More recently, attention has turned to the emerging management task of global account management (GAM). A major concern of GAM studies has been the nature of the role of the global account manager and a number of models that explore the notion of the global account manager as political entrepreneur have been developed. The aim of this paper is to introduce a contextual model of political–entrepreneurial behaviour and to integrate this with previously published work on the political entrepreneur, the model of global account manager boundary-spanning behaviour and the Relationship Development Model.
This article focuses on the adaptation process undergone by a company to manage a particular part of its customers' portfolio: the key accounts. It is based on an in-depth study of the evolution of a unit dedicated to the management of key accounts in a company belonging to the telecom sector. Data was gathered on a total of ten interviews with different managers of the key accounts unit using face-to-face interviewing techniques. After describing their theoretical framework grounded on the Interaction Model developed by an European research group (the IMP Group) and the networks perspective, the authors first concentrate on the description of the various stages of the process corresponding to different supplier organizational modes. Then the authors propose a categorization of the possible explanatory factors of this process. Several associated managerial implications are discussed. Particularly, the authors will show that the key accountization process is not uniquely a result of adaptation to the customers but also a process of adaptation to changes occurring at the supplier level or at the environment level. This process appearing more as a “muddling through” process than a carefully planned and implemented chain of events. Finally the authors will show that this process sometimes is also creating complexity by its very existence. This is raising the question of the desirable degree of organizational differentiation in key account programs.
National (or major) account programs have been used by companies for many years. However, the important premises behind the implementation of national account programs have not been examined in more than a decade. This study revisited these premises in an effort to explore whether the management or structure of national account programs has changed. Although many of the characteristics identified in earlier research still exist, this study identified some noteworthy differences. These include the trend of many companies to service international customers via a national accounts program, the integration of national account programs with traditional salesforces, and the increased emphasis on national account customers within sales organizations. Several managerial topics for future research are proposed.
This research suggests that firms considering a merger and acquisition strategy need to pay attention to the relationship marketing managers of the target firm and the implicit agreements that have kept them with the target firm. The results of this study convey that the joint activity of maintaining the implicit contracts and retaining the relationship marketing managers have a stabilizing and positive impact on the productivity of subordinate marketing employees. These employees are a key success factor that enables the target firm to function effectively after the acquisition.
Mergers and acquisitions have become a popular strategy for gaining growth. Studies show, however, high failure rates for acquisitions. Earlier literature concentrates on the strategic or organizational fit between companies and integration processes and fails to recognize the companies' external business relationships. An implicit assumption seems to be that through acquisition the market position of the target firm can be taken over. We argue that it is not always easy or even possible to take over a company's customer and supplier relationships. We elaborate on the various problems related to relationships that acquisitions may give rise to. Our conceptual discussion is illustrated with a case study from the graphics industry.
A merger or acquisition may cause dramatic changes in a business network, which in turn affect managerial cognition as well as managerial activities. We use the concepts of ‘network pictures’ and ‘networking’ to illustrate and analyse changes in managerial sense-making and networking activities following a merger or acquisition. The paper focuses on acquiring, acquired or merging parties and those companies with which they have direct customer relationships. Based on three case studies comprising seven acquisitions and one merger, we show that following a merger or acquisition managers may need to adapt their previous network pictures in a radical way; these adaptations are, however, not always realized as shifts in network pictures and adjustments in networking activities by all the managers involved. Whereas the merging parties' network pictures and networking activities are largely driven by their perception of customers' needs and developments, it is not certain that the merger or acquisition is enacted accordingly. The paper contributes to a clearer view on the conceptual interdependence of the constructs of network pictures and networking in multi-actor situations and thus it develops a network perspective on mergers and acquisitions.
Commentators suggest that the business-to-business sales role is changing and evolving into relationship management. Previous research indicates that a relationship management role is very different from ‘traditional’ sales, and that it may require a different attitude on the part of the relationship manager. This research explores attitudes towards various aspects of relationship management across an entire international business-to-business sales force in a service industry context. We find that attitudes towards relationship management do not in fact align with job role. A cluster analysis reveals three attitudinal types of sales persons: Self-Directed; Team Leaders; and Strategic Sellers. Our findings suggest that some individuals may have attitudes that are inappropriate to their roles, and that attitudes should be taken into account when selecting relationship managers.
The emerging paradigm of network competition is increasingly in evidence across many industrial sectors and provides further support for the idea that ‘supply chains compete, not companies’. It can be argued that network competition requires a much greater focus on managing the interfaces that connect the individual players in that network and exchanging and leveraging knowledge across the network. This paper sets out to establish a framework whereby the critical interfaces and the knowledge sharing benefits can be identified and how the strength of the relationships at those interfaces can become the basis for building organisational reputation and create an environment more conducive to co-operation and knowledge sharing. Finally, the paper analyses the potential impact of reputational risks in influencing the perception of stakeholders about the organisation.Whilst the idea of value-adding networks based on closely connected providers of capabilities and resources is appealing, it should be recognised that, if not properly managed, the actions of the stakeholders in those networks can impact the risk profile of the business significantly—particularly reputational risk. The more that organisations become part of complex global networks, the more dependent they become upon the other network members for knowledge and other resources. Because of this dependency there is always the danger that the reputation of the focal firm can be damaged by the actions of other network members, hence reducing the likelihood of future collaborative working and knowledge exploitation.Using examples drawn from a variety of industries, the paper highlights the potential for reputational risk if the critical network interfaces are not closely managed. It will be argued that by actively managing relationships with stakeholders in the network the risk to the organisation's reputation can be mitigated and the sharing of knowledge simultaneously enhanced.
Both academicians and practitioners agree that there exists a critical threshold to cross for an innovative new product to be able to achieve ultimate market penetration. In this article, the authors characterize the threshold as depending upon innovation characteristics: performance and compatibility, in particular. Based on the insights from evolutionary games, several numerical simulations are conducted to investigate how the critical threshold changes as each parameter representing the innovation characteristics undergoes a change. The analysis results confirm that relative advantage and compatibility are of critical influence in impacting the threshold and thus the successful market entry. Moreover, the effect size was different depending on the size of the firm's proprietary customer base. Based on the findings, discussion on new product design strategies for companies having different market positions (i.e., new start-up firms, established firms, and incumbent market leaders) is provided.
The new product launch is a critical stage of any new product development process. The success of the product is likely to depend heavily on how well marketing managers deal with the launch. Very little has been written on the kinds of tactics marketers use to launch their products. This article aims to rectify this by presenting the results of a detailed investigation into the actions and tactics marketers employ to launch high-technology products. A framework of 22 tactics, based upon 103 different marketing actions, is presented. The circumstances in which the tactics are used are described in terms of technological maturity. The results show that for revolutionary innovations, marketers tend to emphasize the technological component of their products and concentrate more on positioning and attack tactics than on market preparation or targeting.
Supply chain is an emerging term that emphasizes interactions among marketing, logistics, and production. With this term and its application come opportunities associated primarily with managing the logistics channel across the legal boundaries of enterprises, such as between firms and their suppliers. In this paper, there is a discussion of the evolution of logistics to see how it is defined and practiced today, with the intent of highlighting the emerging opportunities for channel performance improvement. It is shown that supply chain management has moved us from an intrafunctional vision of the channel toward an interfunctional and even inter-organizational one. Examples are given to illustrate the type of problems that are associated with each of these visions. Focus is given to those problems inherent in managing inter-organizationally, since this is where traditional management tools and techniques are no longer appropriate. The new metrics, informational sharing systems, and allocation-of-benefits procedures needed to operate in the expanded channel are discussed.
LCs in the first edition.
Companies participating in GM's fair.
This paper presents the processes involved in organizing a buyers' fair, a fair where first- and second-tier suppliers of the automotive industry make known their buying requirements for non-critical items to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). The fair allowed the procurement process of LCs (large companies) and the prospecting process of SMEs to be faster and less-expensive. The fair was the result of an action research project performed by the researchers in partnership with the Brazilian Federation of Industries.
This article proposes and tests a conceptual model of departmental influence in organizational purchase decisions based on three distinct streams of research in organizational behavior, political science, and marketing. Although the model does seem to fit the data quite well, explaining nearly half of the variance in departmental influence, some measurement problems were encountered. Findings indicate that power and stake are noncompensatory in their contribution to explaining differences in departmental influence. Implications for both managers and researchers as well as future research directions are discussed.
This article focuses on the predevelopment activities of the product innovation process: those often ignored steps that precede the actual development of the product. We first look at the mounting evidence that identifies holes in the way in which many industrial firms handle the predevelopment steps. The evidence also reveals that new product success and failure is often decided before the new product project even enters the product development phase. Second, we turn to ways that managers can, should and have improved the effectiveness of these early and crucial stages of the innovation process.
Following over a decade of relationship marketing, this paper re-visits the notion of relationship quality to determine relational drivers of account profitability. Customer executives from multiple industries are interviewed to identify critical success factors in buyer–seller relationships. Based on their responses, a “back-to-the-basics,” grass roots approach to the measurement of relationship quality is offered. To further demonstrate its value for marketing practice, this measure of relationship quality is administered to a nationwide sample of key customer decision-makers to determine its link to profitable outcomes. The results support this measure as a driver of actual sales and recommendation intention.
This study attempts to assist business-to-business marketers in creating more effective print ads. The criteria used by business marketers to evaluate print ads are examined in order to determine underlying dimensions to the criteria. Four dimensions are found: characteristics of the ad, viewers' feelings with respect to the ad, selling proposition, and company orientation. The study then links these dimensions to 34 specific ad content characteristics.
The concept of interfirm adaptation is a critical component in the IMP (industrial marketing and purchasing) paradigm. The existing wisdom points to the “five metaphors” (investment, decision making, political process, learning, and evolution) as the cognitive map for understanding the mechanisms of interfirm adaptations. This article, however, reveals that culture can be a significant force driving interfirm adaptations. An empirical case of a Chinese shipyard negotiating large shipbuilding projects with Scandinavian ship owner and classification society is used to illustrate the role that culture plays in interfirm adaptations. The article concludes by suggesting adding a new metaphor—the culture metaphor—to the list of the metaphors to better understand the workings of interfirm adaptation in business relationships.
Despite the importance and revenue potential of global markets, many companies still fail to train marketers to interact with diverse customers. Too often, international marketers are caught off guard in how to approach and respond to customers of different cultures. This lack of sensitivity can put companies at a competitive disadvantage. The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework and matrix that incorporate the role of intercultural communication in developing international buyer-seller relationships. The framework focuses on the predispositions and abilities that marketers bring to an intercultural selling encounter and the consequences of these abilities in developing buyer-seller relationships. Implications for developing interculturally adaptive training programs are discussed.
Effective strategic planning demands that organizations develop an understanding of the forces shaping the situation by engaging the collective efforts and interpretive capabilities of various representatives of the organization. This study investigates the mechanisms by which such an understanding develops and, subsequently, shapes marketing strategy. Specifically, organizations are examined as sensemaking units stimulated by perceived environmental turbulence, cultural open-mindedness, and team functional diversity. These factors are modeled as determinants of an organization's sensemaking capability, which is comprised of communicative, interpretive, and analytical dimensions. This study argues that a developed sensemaking capability increases the potential range of strategic responses and, ultimately, enhances customer-based performance. The results from a sample of wholesale distributors suggest that organizations that maintain greater internal variety are better able to sense and respond to the environment.
It is a feature of business-to-business markets that individual buyer–supplier relationships can assume great importance for both the buying and the selling organization. In such relationships both firms, to a greater or lesser extent, make specific adaptations. Such adaptive behavior may be designed to meet some specific need of the partner, or to nurture and develop the relationship itself. The article, which is based on case studies collected at both ends of 13 buyer–supplier relationships, examines motivations and decision-making processes underlying adaptive behavior in buyer–supplier relationships. As an increasing number of firms espouse an explicit “partnering” approach to buying and selling in business markets, the question is addressed of the extent to which the explicit strategy of the firm (relationship marketing or partnership sourcing) is likely to be reflected in concrete adaptive behavior.
The increasing emphasis on supply chain management is creating a greater focus on the supply management link in the supply chain. This focus will become even more intense as firms continue to adopt e-procurement strategies to leverage the competitive advantages of the Internet. Supply managers need to understand the impact of technology and gain competency in making a business case for e-procurement. The implications are profound for the industrial marketer.
For many businesses, competitiveness is highly dependent on the technical knowledge of its operating personnel. This article presents the view that vendors able to offer cutting-edge technological expertise relevant to customers' operations as part of their overall “bundled” offering add more value for customers than competitors emphasizing product supply alone. Concurrently, it is suggested that purchasing and materials management should view technical knowledge as a strategic resource and adopt procurement strategies that encourage knowledge acquisition. An exploratory study was undertaken to determine the degree to which technical knowledge is linked to more desirable decision-making styles and outcomes using a sample of key buying center members (operating/manufacturing managers). The results of a mail survey indicate that higher levels of technical knowledge are linked to more desirable decision styles and decision outcomes, suggesting that managers' technical knowledge is an important asset for firms with manufacturing or process operations. Implications for procurement and marketing are discussed.
This study explores and describes the rationales and approaches of a market orientated supply chain — labeled the “demand chain”. The objective is to develop theory by providing grounded insights into how and why managers design and implement a market orientated supply chain. Analysis of twenty field interviews uncovered three main rationales for demand chain configuration. Further, a continuum of integration typologies is presented and three key responses explored and described. These findings are discussed and implications for theory and practice are offered.
The emergence of the Internet has forced firms to add eChannels to their existing channel system. Nevertheless, empirical studies failed to provide direct evidence on whether eChannel addition could enhance the financial performance of the firm. In this research, an attempt was made to fill in this literature gap from three financial measure perspectives, i.e., Event Study methodology, Economic Value Added (EVA) measure and Market Value Added (MVA) measure. Empirical data were collected from Taiwan's financial service sector. The finding revealed that eChannel addition announcement could increase a firm's accumulative abnormal returns, EVA value and MVA value. We therefore concluded that eChannel addition could help increase the financial performance of the firm.
This study reviews the considerations involved in employing an expatriate industrial sales force and then explores the nature of culture shock and sojourner adjustment in terms of their impact on expatriate sales performance and turnover. Managerial actions for enhancing expatriate performance and reducing turnover are suggested.
As advancement in electronic commerce (EC) continues to revolutionize today's business practices, it became apparent that EC has become an integral part of the business landscape. EC generated a high level of interest because of its ability to expedite the purchase ordering process, simplify purchase payment, expand supplier bases, reduce paperwork, and eliminate order errors. Realizing such managerial benefits, a growing number of purchasing organizations are exploring the possibility of utilizing e-purchasing systems. This paper identifies contextual variables (e.g., organizational readiness, user characteristics, and information technology [IT] infrastructure) that influence the successful adoption of EC for business-to-business (B2B) purchasing by examining the differences in survey responses between adopters and nonadopters of e-purchasing.
The computer industry is changing dramatically thanks to new technologies that facilitate departure from the lock-in strategies pursued by the long-term industry leaders. New, highly competent competitors have entered the market with the resulting lower profit margins. Innovations in hardware and software are continuously introduced, and a rapid, successful introduction in the market is essential to gain a foothold before new contenders erode the opportunity. The selection of the most likely buyers is therefore important to direct the marketing efforts optimally. An international and a regional field study were carried out to identify the profile of organizations and individuals most likely to adopt an innovation in the computer field. These findings coupled with data base marketing techniques seem promising for a higher success rate in reaching the early adopters (lead users), making it possible to establish a first-mover advantage. The suggested approach can be used in other industries in rapid change.
With the increased popularity of the World Wide Web, companies are rushing to have a presence on the Web. However, many companies do not know whether the Web will be effective for them, or what they can do to increase its effectiveness. Few empirical studies have been done on what companies can do to increase the adoption and effectiveness of the Web in marketing. By studying the practices of 110 marketers, we found that adoption and effectiveness of the Web can be positively influenced if a company 1) provides formal training to its marketing organization, 2) encourages an effective relationship between the marketing and IS/MIS organization, 3) demonstrates the usefulness of the Web to the marketing organization, and 4) uses younger marketing personnel.
Top-cited authors
S. Tamer Cavusgil
  • Georgia State University
Kristian Möller
  • Aalto University
Maria Bengtsson
  • Umeå University
Roger Calantone
  • Michigan State University
Wesley James Johnston
  • Georgia State University