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Relationship beginning and serendipity: insights from an Italian case study

Andrea Perna (Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy AND Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Andrea Runfola (University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy)
Simone Guercini (University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Gian Luca Gregori (Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 19 October 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose evidence on the role of serendipity in business relationship. It concerns the understanding of the unplanned development of the relationship and the opportunities that may arise from taking serendipity as a “shaping” factor of relationship beginning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper recurs to a longitudinal case study in the mechanical industry. In particular the development of the relationship between an Italian manufacturing company as supplier and a Chinese large customer is presented.

Findings

The case study highlights the role played by serendipity in the beginning and development of the business relationship between an Italian manufacturing company and a Chinese customer.

Originality/value

The main theoretical contribution of the paper is to point out how serendipity may affect business relationship development.

Keywords

Citation

Perna, A., Runfola, A., Guercini, S. and Gregori, G.L. (2015), "Relationship beginning and serendipity: insights from an Italian case study", IMP Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 233-249. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMP-07-2015-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited