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The surpluses and shortages in business‐to‐business marketing theory and research

Jagdish N. Sheth (Goizueta Business School, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Arun Sharma (School of Business, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 December 2006




Business‐to‐business marketing has come of age in the last three decades and research in this area has been extensive and impressive. This paper examines the extant body of business‐to‐business marketing research and identifies surpluses and shortages with the goal of stimulating future research.


This paper focuses on two questions regarding future business‐to business marketing. First, what has been the focus of understanding in business‐to‐business marketing theory and what should be its future focus? Second, what has been the purpose or objective to study business‐to‐business marketing and what should be the future objective for research?


It is found that research in business‐to‐business marketing is fundamentally changing and will continue to change. The paper identifies areas of business‐to‐business marketing research that have received surplus attention and areas that require additional attention.

Practical implications

The paper provides guidelines for future exploration of the business‐to‐business research domain.


The paper is analogous to the widely cited paper by Sheth (1979) that reviewed the state of consumer behavior research and identified areas that had been unexplored or under‐explored, and in the process provided an impetus for new research in consumer behavor.



Sheth, J.N. and Sharma, A. (2006), "The surpluses and shortages in business‐to‐business marketing theory and research", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 422-427.



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