While several studies have focused on the initial phases of new ventures and their first customer and supplier relationships, we have a limited understanding of how the new venture’s portfolio of customer relationships emerges. This paper aims to explore the emergence of the customer relationship portfolio of a new venture and to investigate the effects of early relationships on subsequent ones.
Methodologically, the authors rely on a longitudinal single case study of a new venture which develops, implements and sells customized cost-management software. The study is exploratory and based on 24 in-depth interviews.
The findings show that the development of a customer portfolio depends on the cumulative effect of heterogeneous elements and network connections. These include the initial link between the new venture and the first customer and a subsequent series of interconnections that develop with the emerging network capability of the new venture.
As one of the few studies that explore the emergence of new ventures’ customer relationship portfolio, this study demonstrates the value of applying a relational/network approach for studying relationship portfolio dynamics.
La Rocca, A., Perna, A., Sabatini, A. and Baraldi, E. (2019), "The emergence of the customer relationship portfolio of a new venture: a networking process", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 1066-1078. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-10-2018-0300
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