A study of industrial buying behaviour is concerned with examining a number of central issues which arise in business to business marketing. While conceptually very similar to consumer buying behaviour, an examination of industrial buying behaviour is concerned with a number of additional dimensions which are discussed below. In this study industrial buying is examined from the perspective of the state‐sponsored sector of industry in Ireland. Many of the state‐sponsored companies in Ireland are straightforward trading enterprises which differ from large private firms only in their shareholding and control. However, because of the control element exercised by the public authorities, state‐sponsored companies tend to resemble the public sector in their buying activities. On the other hand their need to meet commercial criteria places them in the private sector arena. Because they have to operate under two very different sets of criteria it is likely that their buying behaviour would differ somewhat from the buying behaviour observed in the public sector and the private sector. For the purposes of this study seven trading companies in the state‐sponsored sector representative of a number of industries including power and fuel, transportation, food and manufactured goods and communications were examined.
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