Search results

1 – 10 of over 104000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Håkan Håkansson and Ivan Snehota

Interactivity is a dimension that describes a certain condition in business networks – a propensity to use interaction in business as a major means in development…

Abstract

Interactivity is a dimension that describes a certain condition in business networks – a propensity to use interaction in business as a major means in development processes. Expectations formed as a collective attitude and knowledge about existing economic conditions and the importance of joint solutions formed through interactions to handle them are an expression of interactivity in the network. This collective condition is important because there are some obstacles confronting the development of substantive interaction. Businesses engage in interaction only when they acknowledge and accept that mutuality is something positive and a necessary condition to achieve some positive outcomes that cannot be achieved in isolation, and that interdependencies can be used in a constructive way. Finally, there must be managers prepared to use resources to build up relationships and to develop joint solutions that will pay in the long run. All relationships require investments. These attitude and knowledge factors, which are aspects of interactivity, are a condition for handling resources and activities to create efficiency and innovativeness.

Details

No Business is an Island
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-550-4

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Mateusz Tomasz Kot and Grzegorz Leszczyński

Interactions are fundamental for successful relationships and stable cooperation in a business-to-business market. The main assumption in research on interactions, so…

Abstract

Purpose

Interactions are fundamental for successful relationships and stable cooperation in a business-to-business market. The main assumption in research on interactions, so obvious that usually not stated by researchers, is that they are set between humans. The development of artificial intelligence forces the re-examination of this assumption. This paper aims to conceptualize business virtual assistants (BVAs), a type of intelligent agent, as either a boundary object or an actor within business interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Reference is made to the literature on business interactions, boundary objects and identity attribution to problematize the process of interpretation through which BVA obtains an identity. The ARA model and the model of interaction process is used to create a theoretical framework.

Findings

This paper contributes to the literature on business interactions, and to the core of the IMP discussion, in three aspects. The first provides a framework to understand the phenomenon of an artificial entity as an interlocutor in business interactions. While doing that a new type of entity, BVA, is introduced. The second contribution is the exploration and augmentation of the concept of a business actor. The third calls attention to BVA as a boundary object. These issues are seen as essential to move forward the discussion about the meaning of business interaction in the near future.

Originality/value

This paper conceptualizes the presence of a new entity – BVA – in the business landscape.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Håkan Håkansson and David Ford

The purpose of this paper is to address three aspects of the managerial challenge that arises from the process of business interaction: the diversity of interaction; the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address three aspects of the managerial challenge that arises from the process of business interaction: the diversity of interaction; the dynamic effects of interaction; and the integration of interaction into company operations and strategy. The paper develops a typology which characterizes different types of interaction in order to identify the managerial issues they represent.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the empirical research programme of the IMP Group (impgroup.org) and on a recent large scale research project within that programme.

Findings

The paper seeks to identify the dynamic effects of each type of interaction on the resources and activities involved in it and address the implications that these effects have for management. Finally, the paper discusses how the challenges and opportunities presented by business interaction can be integrated into the general management of a company.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is mainly based on detailed empirical observations focusing some special features. Focusing other aspects would give another result.

Practical implications

Important for all companies having important business relationships.

Originality/value

Gives a new view of managerial challenges related to the variety in business relationships.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

David Ford, Lars-Gunnar Mattsson and Ivan Snehota

The issue dealt with in this chapter is the role of management in developing and maintaining business relationships among companies. Interdependent business network…

Abstract

The issue dealt with in this chapter is the role of management in developing and maintaining business relationships among companies. Interdependent business network structures result from interactions in dyads between single actors and interactions among all involved actors collectively. Managers as ‘architects and constructors’ of business relationships, involved directly in developing the relationships between customers and suppliers, are mostly middle-management positions rather than top management. Purchasing managers, sales managers and technical managers are fundamental for the development of business relationships as they create value in business relationships. Relationships between companies cannot be developed unilaterally; they have to be developed jointly. Since value creation requires involvement of others, motivating other actors and mediating are fundamental in developing relationships and creating value. The effective development of business relationships of value hinges on the capability and skills of management to work with and through others, to relate to others and to cope with interdependencies that arise in relationships. However, the capability of a company to interact and create value in business relationships is not simply a sum of individual managerial skills; it is an issue of organising the interfaces in relationships to other business.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Sergio Biggemann

Relationships are socially constructed by companies in interaction. This study explains the dynamic character of business-to-business relationships with the aid of rules…

Abstract

Relationships are socially constructed by companies in interaction. This study explains the dynamic character of business-to-business relationships with the aid of rules theory, a theory borrowed from the communications field. Two forms of rules are identified: constitutive rules guide the interpretation of the other's acts, and regulative rules guide the appropriate response to the interpreted act. Rules theory asserts that companies act as if applying these rules. Relationships provide not only the context in which the parties’ acts are performed but are also the result of such acts. Thus, relationships are potentially reshaped each time one party performs an act and the other party gives meaning to that act and reacts.

Details

Organizational Culture, Business-to-Business Relationships, and Interfirm Networks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-306-5

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Magnar Forbord

In every industry there are resources. Some are moving, others more fixed; some are technical, others social. People working with the resources, for example, as buyers or…

Abstract

In every industry there are resources. Some are moving, others more fixed; some are technical, others social. People working with the resources, for example, as buyers or sellers, or users or producers, may not make much notice of them. A product sells. A facility functions. The business relationship in which we make our money has “always” been there. However, some times this picture of order is disturbed. A user having purchased a product for decades may “suddenly” say to the producer that s/he does not appreciate the product. And a producer having received an order of a product that s/he thought was well known, may find it impossible to sell it. Such disturbances may be ignored. Or they can be used as a platform for development. In this study we investigate the latter option, theoretically and through real world data. Concerning theory we draw on the industrial network approach. We see industrial actors as part of (industrial) networks. In their activities actors use and produce resources. Moreover, the actors interact − bilaterally and multilaterally. This leads to development of resources and networks. Through “thick” descriptions of two cases we illustrate and try to understand the interactive character of resource development and how actors do business on features of resources. The cases are about a certain type of resource, a product − goat milk. The main message to industrial actors is that they should pay attention to that products can be co-created. Successful co-creation of products, moreover, may require development also of business relationships and their connections (“networking”).

Details

Managing Product Innovation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-311-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Peter Ekman, Peter Dahlin, Cecilia Erixon and Steven Thompson

To explore the emergent characteristics of IT portfolios in business-to-business (B2B) firms. The goal is to develop a model that clarifies what interaction capabilities…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the emergent characteristics of IT portfolios in business-to-business (B2B) firms. The goal is to develop a model that clarifies what interaction capabilities B2B firms develop and to what form of IT this corresponds to.

Design/methodology/approach

We apply an a priori conceptual framework that is based on the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group's theoretical focus on business relationships. The framework depicts the business relationship as dealing with uncertainty and equivocality as well as building and upholding reliance and trust. We utilize a case study approach involving a focal firm and ten of its customers and suppliers. Building on 60 interviews, field observations and archival data, we analyze interviewee responses and the complementary data to evaluate the role of IT in supporting or automated various aspects of organizational relationships.

Findings

Results show how “high tech” and “high touch” relate to different interaction capabilities, which firms develop based on the characteristics of their business relationships. Although IT is associated with “high tech” and “high touch” interaction capabilities, some forms of IT are deployed to support the former, while other forms support the later. Both forms of technology-enabled interaction capabilities require investment, and firms must balance investment costs against the value created by improved interaction capabilities.

Originality/value

Our findings emphasize the interorganizational perspective (dyadic or network) rather than a solely organizational perspective for understanding IT portfolio development. This perspective is presented through an emergent tech–touch interaction capability model that shows how B2B firms can align their IT portfolio based on the specific characteristics of their business relationships.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Hakan Hakansson and Alexandra Waluszewski

The prestigious policy advisor, World Economic Forum (WEF), underlines that “governments, businesses and civil society organisations” must find “new ways of tackling the…

Abstract

Purpose

The prestigious policy advisor, World Economic Forum (WEF), underlines that “governments, businesses and civil society organisations” must find “new ways of tackling the systemic risks that affect us all”. Paradoxically, policy’s and politicians’ great trust in the basic forces of the business world is accompanied with a disinterest in how they are captured in analytical approaches. The purpose of this paper is to discuss what consequences different approaches to interaction present for policy attempts to use business forces to achieve change.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion of theoretical approaches available for policy aiming to use the basic forces of business exchange for efficiency, innovation and industrial/societal renewal in specific directions is designed as follows: The authors identify two main choices of dimensions in the conceptualisation of business exchange, based on the acknowledgement of thin or thick interactions. The authors discuss how these are related to how interaction patterns appear in empirical studies of exchange. Based on the identification of conceptualisations and empirical findings, the authors discuss the ability for the public sphere to use the basic characteristics of business exchange to cope with societal challenges.

Findings

Research experiences on thick interaction and its consequences, that businesses and their input and output are interdependent, systemic and promote certain development paths, are largely ignored in approaches used in policy circles. Instead, policy advisors’ and policy commissioners’ understanding of business interaction patterns is coloured by mainstream economies assumption of thin interaction. The content and function of the market as depicted in this tradition are within EU, the basic foundation for legal regulations and limitations of businesses interaction patterns. Simply put, actors as well as the activities and resources that they are related to are approached as independent.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is focussed on the conceptual underpinnings of contemporary policy advices and commissions. This paper does not investigate deviations from these advices and commission made by policy practitioners on a local level

Practical implications

The message given by theoretical approaches recognising thick interaction is that the thicker it is, the more intervening, broader and more differentiated the policy tools and measures have to be. But that also puts high demands on policy actors on all levels to have both general and specific knowledge about thick interaction patterns. However, given the big challenges the society is facing, increased speed of change and, above all, increased influence over the direction of change are needed.

Social implications

WEF recognises the systemic features of the contemporary challenges to society with climate change in the foreground, and it stresses the need for finding new ways for public bodies and private businesses to cooperate to solve this. This implies the need to consider what theoretical approaches that should guide policy advice and measures. Hence, there is a need for the use of more sophisticated analytical approaches to the collective level, instead of those relying on that the interaction pattern of the business world is thin, straightforward and easy manageable.

Originality/value

This paper takes a novel approach to policy advice and policy commissions through focussing on what kind of theoretical concepts and approaches that actually are available for policy advisors and policy commissioners interested in using the basic forces of business exchange to increase efficiency and innovation in the public setting in general and furthermore to solve specific problems and to create new, specific development paths. Hence, both approaches adopted and neglected by policy are considered.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Tuija Mainela and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of personal interaction in customer relationship management in the project business. The research question addressed is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of personal interaction in customer relationship management in the project business. The research question addressed is: How is personal interaction intertwined with the management of customer relationships in the project business?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors connect an extensive knowledge of personal interactions in industrial business relationships with research on social interaction in the project business to enrich their understanding of customer relationship management in that business. Exploratory case study is used to empirically examine two firms providing project business solutions: one provides highly-tailored technological solutions to the process industry, and the other provides professional engineering services to that same industry.

Findings

The study reveals two specific functions that connect personal interaction with customer relationship management. These two functions explain the importance of personal interaction and disclose the contents of interaction that should be considered in relationship and project management. Furthermore, the authors illustrate how two situational factors influence and are influenced by personal interaction.

Originality/value

The study suggests specific conceptualization of personal interaction as a part of project business management.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Kristin B. Munksgaard and David Ford

IMP literature has developed the conceptualisation of a business landscape comprised of varying combinations of more or less interdependent activities, resources and…

Abstract

Purpose

IMP literature has developed the conceptualisation of a business landscape comprised of varying combinations of more or less interdependent activities, resources and actors, the form of which are defined by the interactive processes in which they are involved. However, the conceptualisation of the interactively defined business actor presents challenges to the understanding of the nature of business and the process of management. The purpose of this paper is to discuss what it is to be a manager in the complex interactive business landscape and the capabilities needed by business managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Few, if any, IMP studies have systematically addressed the concept of the business actor directly and the authors do not have a well-developed framework for analysing actors from the perspectives of interaction and networks. This paper analyses the evolving semantics of the concepts of the interactive business actor within some of the literature associated with the IMP research tradition, using the software Leximancer.

Findings

The paper integrates the analysis into a preliminary framework for describing the characteristics of the interactive business actor. The paper concludes by using this framework to suggest some of the capabilities that are required by the interactive business actor.

Originality/value

The analysis points to the ways that ideas of the business actor and business acting have developed in the literature. The analysis highlights some of the ways in which the development of these concepts is incomplete and points to potentially fruitful ways in which conceptual and empirical research could proceed.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 104000