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Building Relationships for Survival: Coping Media Industry Dynamics

Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing

ISBN: 978-1-78441-080-3

Publication date: 27 August 2014


For several hundreds of years printing has been the only effective channel for spreading mass communication. During the 1900s several new media channels have been invented and, with the addition of the Internet, this has both changed the way media is consumed and has increased the competition between different channels. This qualitative case study of 37 firms reports on how relationships are used in the printing industry to relieve some of the impact of the competitive forces from new, and easily accessible, media as a means for marketing and, furthermore, on the impact on the printing industry as an industry. The results from the case study show that there are both internal and external effects of forming relationships and those vertical, as well as horizontal, relationships are of great importance to create a sustainable competitive situation for the printing industry. Relationships are used to increase both the strategic flexibility of the firm and the flexibility of the print media channel. Furthermore, the study illustrates that the printing industry, and print as a medium of communication, is drifting gradually away from the actual customer due to the new paradigm of value creation.




Thanks to my former colleagues Åsa Nordin at the Mid Sweden University, Sven Packmohr at Malmö University, and Magnus Viström at SCA Forest Products, for their continuous support and participation in my research for many years. Many thanks to my friend André Odeblom for checking my grammar and spelling. Furthermore, my sincere thanks to Grafiska Företagens Stipendiestiftelse for providing funds when I presented parts of this research at the ANZMAC Conference in Adelaide 2012 and, last but not least, the Kempe Foundations, for funding the digital printing research in Örnsköldsvik.


Mejtoft, T. (2014), "Building Relationships for Survival: Coping Media Industry Dynamics", Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 39-59.



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