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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Volume 23, Issue 4.
Jeffrey LewinCurrently an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of North Texas. He earned his PhD from Georgia State University after a successful 17-year career in industry, first as a key account rep for Unysis Corporation and later as the managing partner of an industrial distribution firm. Dr Lewin’s work has been published in several academic outlets including Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Business Research, and Competitiveness Review. He also has presented numerous works at national conferences including AMA, AMS, and SMA.
This special issue of the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing (JBIM) represents a collaborative effort between JBIM and the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS). The articles appearing in this special issue represent the best work submitted to the Business-to-Business Track of the 2006 AMS Annual Conference. As the 2006 AMS B2B Track Chair I was delighted to be selected as the Guest Editor for this special issue of JBIM. Unlike many special journal issues, there is no central theme among the offered works. Rather, they represent a broad array of topics. However they share one important attribute they all offer topics and discourse of interest and importance to practitioners and academics operating in B2B environments. The following paragraphs provide very brief summaries of the six articles included in the special issue.
In the first article, Drs Barry and Terry develop a framework for operationalizing and evaluating relationship value in a global services environment. They then test their framework across a sample of 202 buyers working in 42 countries (representing both industrialized and emerging economies) in a business-to-business service setting.
The second article in this special issue draws on extant work found across several research streams to develop a conceptual framework for examining virtual new product development (NPD) teams. As pointed out by Drs Badrinarayanan and Arnett, given the unusually low success rate of traditional NPD teams coupled with the unique challenges associated with virtual teams (i.e. geographic dispersion, asynchronous interaction), understanding and managing virtual NPD teams has important managerial implications in today’s global business environment.
The next article focuses on whether or not organizational downsizing influences the ability of industrial suppliers to satisfy their business customers. Using data collected from 560 purchasing professionals across a wide range of industries, Drs Lewin and Johnston examine the extent to which downsized suppliers, as compared to non-downsized suppliers, are able to satisfy their business customers over time. They also examine how the 560 purchasing respondents compare performance levels of downsized versus non-downsized suppliers, as well as their subsequent repurchase intentions toward these two groups of suppliers.
Article number four in this special issue points out that in traditional franchisor-franchisee relationships it is the franchisor that wields the great majority of control and power. However, the profitability of the franchisor is dependent on the effectiveness and success of its franchisees in managing the daily operations of their respective outlets. In light of this, authors Harmon and Griffiths consider this relational imbalance in franchise networks, and based on extant literature develop a conceptual model to aid in future research of this important topic and economic sector.
In the fifth article, Dr Zahay proposes that firms can create key competitive advantage through the effective use of their customer information database assets. Based on findings from iterative interview, case study, and survey techniques, Dr Zahay offers a series of precepts to guide organizations in developing and managing their customer information database as a strategic asset.
The final article in this special issue examines the motivation of high-awareness brand manufacturers (i.e. GE, Kraft, Unilever) to supply private label products to their existing retailer base. After pointing out that private store brands account for a significant percent of supermarket sales in both the USA (20 per cent) and Europe (40 per cent), Drs Gomez-Arias and Bello-Acebron propose that the often cited reasons for manufacturers producing private retailer brands are insufficient to account for the growth in this important segment. To support this view, the authors use a game-theoretical approach to develop a vertical-differentiation model of private branding. The results of this effort offer additional insight as to why well-known brand manufacturers continue to provide these private label products.
I hope readers of this special issue of JBIM enjoy reading these combined works as much as I have, and derive benefit from the efforts and insights provided by the various authors. I would also like to express special thanks to the following reviewers who helped me select and refine the work included in this special issue:
Dr Charles Blankson, Dr Lou Pelton and Dr Jeffrey Sager, University of North Texas;
Dr Roger Calantone and Dr Dale Wilson, Michigan State University;
Dr Michael Ehret, Technical University Munich;
Dr Michael Wittmann, University of Southern Mississippi; and
Dr James Wiley, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.