The purpose of this article is to review the emerging literature of services business markets (SBMs) from 1974 to 2007 and analyse main themes that indicate the development of the literature. It also aims to provide an introduction to the special issue on services business‐to‐business markets by examining the context.
The literature of SBMs from 1974 through 2007 was searched in relevant databases. The articles were analysed using Glaser's grounded theory. The constant comparison method was used with in vivo coding to reveal themes in the literature. These themes were then analysed contextually.
The literature revealed seven themes which followed a trajectory from implicit to explicit consideration of SBMs, as well as to multi‐ and cross‐disciplinary focus with integration of variables from consumer services marketing. The landscape for SBMs has become blurred due to deregulation, globalisation and information technology, particularly the internet and e‐commerce. The complexity and diversity of the literature reflects this new, blurred reality.
This research is limited to indicative literature about SBMs as an introduction to the special issue on services business‐to‐business markets. The literature would benefit from a full critical review and research agenda.
The integration of theories coupled with the focus on specific service sectors and contexts, provide useful, applicable and transferable concepts which may be helpful to managers who are working in new contexts.
This article surveys the emergence of the literature on SBMs and defines its trajectory, themes and characteristics. It provides a useful background for academics and practitioners who would find a guide to the fissiparous literature on SBMs useful.
Tyler, K., Patton, M., Mongiello, M. and Meyer, D. (2007), "Services business markets: a further view of a new reality or a blurred landscape?", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 295-303. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040710773606
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