Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Volume 26, Issue 7
This Special Issue of Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing focuses on the ever increasing need to understand business and industrial marketing in a global marketplace. Since the call for papers went out, the turbulence of global markets, the extension of manufacturers into new service provider roles, and the spectacular growth of the BRIC economies all point to the reality that marketing managers must understand how to organise, measure, and manage a global marketing enterprise. This Special Issue has a selection of papers that address many of these issues. Welcome to “The Global B2B Challenge”.
The first article focuses on the structure and management of global service supply chains, a major concern for product manufacturers who are moving into the service provision space. One key question concerns integration versus separation of the service organisation. Gebauer and Kucza, in their qualitative multi-case study “Global approaches to the service business in manufacturing companies”, explore how product manufacturing firms can configure their global service approach. Their findings point to approaches on when and how firms should focus on integration or separation, combined with an overlapping dimension of a central versus local organization. Each of the various configurations is presented in their findings.
Kowalkowski explores service-related roles and inter-dependencies between organisational entities in his conceptual article entitled “The service function as a holistic management concept”. The study’s key theoretical contribution is the concept of service function. Kowalkowski argues that services must not be equated with activities of the service organisation only; even if the service organisation may be the key entity of the service function, other organisational entities such as sales and product development are likely to play important roles as well. The study highlights the inter-relatedness between the service organisation and other parts of the firm and should be of particular practical relevance to managers in product-dominant firms.
Value analysis and value-based selling are two topics that are often mentioned in the academic and practitioner journals, but there remains a disjoint between theory and application. In “Bridging the theory to application gap in value-based selling”, Töytäri et al. explore how this gap is closed based on their comparative case analysis. The authors explore two focal firms’ best practices in customer value quantification from the point of view of industrial customers. The findings reveal that applying value-based selling requires customer-focused sales processes designed to pinpoint when, where and how value is created for a customer’s customer. Further, customers accept the “value promise” when they co-develop the methodology to quantify value and see each partners’ maximising their utility through value sharing.
Calculating value is a central theme found in the study “Mapping B2B value exchange in marketing relationships: a systematic approach” by Albadvi and Hosseini. They present a framework for mapping, modelling and analysing business customers’ value networks (BCVN).
Their systematic approach for mapping the value exchange combines quantitative sales information combined with qualitative research approaches, using case study, interviews, and expert opinion. For selling firms and their customers, this approach provides an efficient analytical system for B2B marketers and managers to understand their business customers’ network in detail.
In “Networking and developing collaborative relationships: evidence of the auto-part industry of Brazil”, Claro and Claro assess the moderating effect of the business network on relational behaviour and the effects of transaction specific investments on joint actions. They take the perspective of the auto-part supplier engaging in joint action with its auto-manufacturer and draw on marketing channels, transaction cost economics and network perspectives to develop the hypotheses. The results show the importance of relational behaviour and the network in coordinating joint actions. The findings also provide various actionable managerial implications for the coordination of a collaborative relationships.
Vieira et al. develop and test a theoretical model in their paper “Relationship marketing in supply chain: an empirical analysis in the Brazilian service sector”. Based on a national survey in Brazil, the authors look at relationship marketing from the supply side perspective. The results show that transactional quality had a positive effect on satisfaction and trust. Trust and commitment, two mediating variables, both were related to the intention to maintain, communication and cooperation. In this study, trust plays a more direct mediating role for transaction costs and opportunistic behaviour.
In “Approaching global industrial marketing from a managerial cognition perspective: a theoretical framework”, Madhavaram et al. develop an integrative theoretical framework for using a managerial cognition perspective in international marketing. The authors propose that individual and organizational variables affect the managerial level of cognition. These managerial cognitions in turn have direct links to organisational outcomes. The conceptual research provides a theoretical abstraction for evaluating managerial cognition in their firms and presents an opportunity for new theory testing.
Market orientation, international orientation and market turbulence are three key factors that affect export performance of Indian SMEs in Javalgi et al.’s paper, “The internationalization of Indian SMEs in B-to-B markets”. This study of 150 Indian SMEs finds that the Indian companies that are more market and internationally oriented have higher export performance. The authors also found that market turbulence interacts with market orientation to increase performance. The role of market orientation by exporting SMEs in an emerging market extends the scope of the research and provides interesting findings that may generalise to other big emerging markets.
In closing this Guest Editorial, a note of gratitude is in order for the following groups and individuals for their support of this Special Issue: Thiago Dumont assisted in the initial organisation and management of the manuscripts and reviews; Fundacão Dom Cabral (see www.fdc.org.br) provided unequalled infrastructure and support; Wesley J. Johnston provided the opportunity and his encouragement throughout; and various reviewers and authors graciously and patiently contributed to this Special Issue. A personal thanks to the following helpers for their assistance over the duration of this project: Ana Silvia Cardoso, Thiago Habib, Rafael Caldas, Larisa Gil, Ana Cristina Veiga, Carolina Pirmez, Cintia Motta, Daniel Abreu, Adriano Baroni, Marilia Ferneda, Daniel Nazareth, Luana Zanotto, Louise Vendramini, Paula Gulin, Giovana Murara, and Giovani Tecchio. Muito obrigado, vocês foram estupidamente maravilhosos!
Thomas Brashear AlejandroGuest Editor