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Value appropriation in business exchange – literature review and future research opportunities

Chris Ellegaard (Business Administration, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark)
Christopher J. Medlin (Business School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Jens Geersbro (Department of Marketing, Center for Business Marketing & Purchasing, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 4 March 2014




Value appropriation is a central, yet neglected aspect in business exchange research. The purpose of the paper is to generate an overview of research on active value appropriation in business exchange and provide the foundation for further research into value appropriation, as well as some initial guidance for managers.


Literatures investigating value appropriation were identified by the means of a systematic review of the overall management literature.


The authors provide an overview and comparison of the literatures and find that they apply diverse understandings of the value appropriation process and emphasize different mechanisms and outcomes of value appropriation.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the literature comparison and discussion, in combination with inspiration from alternative business exchange literature, the authors propose four areas with high potential for future research into value appropriation: network position effects, appropriation acts and behaviors, buyer-seller relationship effects, and appropriation over time.

Practical implications

Boundary spanning managers acting in industrial markets must master the difficult balance between value creation and appropriation. This review has provided an overview of the many managerial options for value appropriation and created knowledge on the effects of the various appropriation mechanisms enabling managers to secure company rents while not jeopardizing value creation.


To the authors' knowledge, this paper represents the first attempt at reviewing the management literature on value appropriation in business exchange. The authors provide overview, details, comparisons, and frame a research agenda as a first step towards establishing value appropriation as a key phenomenon in business exchange research.



Received 6 March 2012 Revised 5 September 2012 13 December 2012 Accepted 13 December 2012


Ellegaard, C., J. Medlin, C. and Geersbro, J. (2014), "Value appropriation in business exchange – literature review and future research opportunities", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 185-198.



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