The first and most basic issue is the position and role of Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) research in relation to contemporary economic research, where the authors raise the issue of phenomenon-driven theory development. The discussion hinges on the methodological implications of phenomenon-driven research and emphasizes the interplay of phenomena in focus, theory development and methodological approaches. Two approaches identified in a natural science field, depicted as image- and logic-based research, are used to examine research on business relationships, networks and interactions. The authors argue that the bulk of IMP studies has taken the image-based approach which, in the natural sciences, is considered to produce as hard facts as logic-based (theory testing) research. The detailed images (pictures) of the business landscape that IMP research has produced must be taken as seriously as any quantitative study of the same landscape. Greater awareness and more discussion of the ontological and methodological issues in researching the business world are needed.
Waluszewski, A., Håkansson, H. and Snehota, I. (2017), "Researching the Interactive Business World; Interplay of Research Object, Methodology and Theory", Håkansson, H. and Snehota, I. (Ed.) No Business is an Island, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 195-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-549-820171011
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