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Development of dyadic relationships between competitors within multi-actor alliances

Jose Novais Santos (ADVANCE/CSG, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Cristina Sales Baptista (ADVANCE/CSG, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 February 2021

Issue publication date: 27 July 2021

303

Abstract

Purpose

Several studies have focused on the development of relationships between buyers and sellers; however, we still have a limited understanding of the interaction processes of the relationships between competitors over time. This paper aims to explore the development of relationships between competitors adopting an interaction and network approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines nine relationships between competitors that are part of two multi-actor alliances in the pharmaceutical industry. The study builds on nine longitudinal case studies supported by 24 in-depth interviews.

Findings

The findings reveal that the development of the relationships between competitors within the alliances comprises exchange and coordination processes. The cases show that relationship development is a “never-ending process” within the alliance that includes five phases: co-existence, formation, development, dormancy and dissolution. A third party is identified as having a catalyst role in relationship development.

Originality/value

Supported by a comprehensive literature review on relationship development models, this study highlights the value of applying an interaction and network approach for studying relationships between competitors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from FCT – Fundação para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (Portugal), national funding through research grant UIDB/04521/2020. The authors are grateful to the editor Ivan Snehota and to the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments throughout the review process.

Citation

Santos, J.N. and Baptista, C.S. (2021), "Development of dyadic relationships between competitors within multi-actor alliances", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 1246-1260. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-10-2019-0460

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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