The evolution of the business-to-business (BtoB) realm toward solution business calls for a better understanding of how relationships develop over time in such a renewed context. This paper aims to propose a phase model for solution relationship development, considering triadic relationships in complex engineering solutions.
To depict how relationships develop in solution business, the authors adopt a qualitative approach which allows to detail the episodes of interactions between the actors. A case study approach in an extreme sector – the aerospace industry – allows highlighting certain key traits. Extending conventional dyadic analysis, this empirical study focuses on the aerospace industry, using a case study approach to analyze relationship developments between a worldwide leading aircraft manufacturer, one of its customer and four providers of products and services. The authors adopt a triadic perspective in the selection of cases, considering a total of four manufacturer-provider-customer triads.
Four dynamic phases which track solution provision dynamics and involving dyadic and triadic relationship evolution are identified: matching; combining; mixing; and sharing. Each phase calls, from a management perspective, for specific competencies and resources of the actors in interaction.
This paper contributes to the gap about solution relationship development in a changing BtoB landscape. Considering the lens of a triadic approach, the paper also helps to fill the as-yet unattended to gap between dyads and triads in the literature.
João F. Proença thanks Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT Portugal) for financial She is teaching about business administration and marketing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also has occupied top positions in commercial companies.
João F. Proença is the Rector of Universidade Europeia – Laureate International Universities, professor of the University of Porto and researcher at the Advance-CSG, ISEG-University João F. Proença is the Rector of Universidade Europeia – Laureate International Universities, professor of the University of Porto and researcher at the Advance-CSG, ISEG-University She is teaching about business administration and marketing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also has occupied top positions in commercial companies.
Ferreira, F.N.H., Cova, B., Spencer, R. and Proença, J.F. (2017), "A phase model for solution relationship development: a case study in the aerospace industry", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 625-639. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-12-2014-0269
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