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A phase model for solution relationship development: a case study in the aerospace industry

Fabiana Nogueira Holanda Ferreira (University of Porto, Porto, Portugal and Faculdade Metropolitana da Grande Fortaleza, Fortaleza, Brazil)
Bernard Cova (Kedge Business School, Marseille, France)
Robert Spencer (Kedge Business School, Marseille, France)
João F. Proença (University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; Universidade Europeia, Lisbon, Portugal and Advance-CSG, ISEG-University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

794

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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.

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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