This chapter points out that the use of a wide range of theoretical paradigms in marketing research requires researchers to use a broad range of methodologies. As an aid in doing so, the chapter argues for the use of case study research (CSR), defines CSR, and describes several CSR theories and methods that are useful for describing, explaining, and forecasting processes occurring in business-to-business (B2B) contexts. The discussion includes summaries of six B2B case studies spanning more than 60 years of research. This chapter advocates embracing the view that learning and reporting objective realities of B2B processes is possible using CSR methods. CSR methods in the chapter include using multiple interviews (2 + ) separately of multiple persons participating in B2B processes, direct research and participant observation, decision systems analysis, degrees-of-freedom analysis, ethnographic-decision-tree-modeling, content analysis, and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fs/QCA.com). The discussion advocates rejecting the dominant logic of attempting to describe and explain B2B processes by arms-length fixed-point surveys that usually involve responses from one executive per firm with no data-matching of firms in specific B2B relationships – such surveys lack details and accuracy necessary for understanding, describing, and forecasting B2B processes.
The author gratefully acknowledges permission granted by the publisher, Elsevier, to reuse content in this chapter appearing originally in Woodside and Baxter (2013), Achieving accuracy, generalization-to-contexts, and complexity in theories of business-to-business decision processes, Industrial Marketing Management, 383-393.
Woodside, A.G. and Baxter, R. (2016), "Case-Based Modeling of Business–Business Relationships", Woodside, A.G. (Ed.) Bad to Good, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 113-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78635-334-420161007Download as .RIS
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