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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Maria Holmlund and Jan‐Åke Törnroos

An understanding of business networks and the specific processes affecting change in networks is intimately connected to the understanding of the nature of relationships

Abstract

An understanding of business networks and the specific processes affecting change in networks is intimately connected to the understanding of the nature of relationships. Relationships constitute the core aspect which connects actors, resources and activities in a business network. Presents an overview of basic features of relationships. Groups relational concepts from the business marketing literature into structural, economic and social dimensions. Outlines a marketing model of three network layers in business networks based on different types of actors. The proposed network layers in the model constitute the production network layer, the resource network layer and the social network layer. Finally, assigns relational concepts to their related network layers in a relationship matrix.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Seppo Leminen

Aims to increase understanding of business logic in buyer‐seller relationships. Increasingly complex, fast‐changing, and dynamic business environments provide a rich…

Abstract

Aims to increase understanding of business logic in buyer‐seller relationships. Increasingly complex, fast‐changing, and dynamic business environments provide a rich research environment for analysing business logic in business relationships. Defines a new concept, the business logic (operation mode), in order to holistically understand projects, services, and packaged products in their lifecycles between and within buyers and sellers. This means offering, delivering, and installing and maintaining the project, service, and packaged product.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 39 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Simone Guercini and Silvia Ranfagni

As conviviality can nurture community social capital, this paper aims to investigate how such capital can give rise to economic behaviour in terms of developing business

Abstract

Purpose

As conviviality can nurture community social capital, this paper aims to investigate how such capital can give rise to economic behaviour in terms of developing business relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis was based on case studies of Italian businesses recognised as active communities that periodically organise convivial activities to fuel reciprocal collaboration. The case studies were constructed by combining a collection of secondary data, in-depth interviews and participant observations.

Findings

This paper shows how: community social capital in convivium emerges from self-narrative stimulated by ritual practices; social trust mobilising a convivial social capital is fuelled by knowledge generated through sharing and empathic relationships; community-based social relations embed business relations and if mediated, community-based business relations can also embed a community business.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is twofold as it contributes: to understanding how conviviality can be used as a strategic tool for entrepreneurs to develop business relationships from convivial relations; and to finding intersection points between studies on business relationships from social capital and studies on entrepreneurship from community social capital.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2012

Siavash Alimadadi, Christer Forsling, Cecilia Pahlberg and Firouze Pourmand Hilmersson

This chapter deals with firms’ relationships in particular with political actors when expanding in emerging markets. Our main purpose is to illustrate the importance of…

Abstract

This chapter deals with firms’ relationships in particular with political actors when expanding in emerging markets. Our main purpose is to illustrate the importance of including such relationships when describing how firms develop insidership in networks in these markets. Emerging markets are often described as if they pose similar challenges but we will focus on the heterogeneity and how firms handle the diversity of the non-business foreign environment. Based on experiences from three Western multinationals — Sandvik, Ericsson and ABB — the main challenges in China, South Africa and Turkey are described. In addition to relationships with political actors, the discussion indicates the importance of also including other non-business actors, such as NGOs. The cases also illustrate that knowledge acquired in one cultural setting may not easily be transferred to another since the contexts are so different.

Details

Business, Society and Politics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-990-5

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

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.

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Anne-Maria Holma

This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial…

Abstract

This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial network approach (see, e.g., Axelsson & Easton, 1992; Håkansson & Snehota, 1995a). The study describes how adaptations initiate, how they progress, and what the outcomes of these adaptations are. Furthermore, the framework takes into account how adaptations spread in triadic relationship settings. The empirical context is corporate travel management, which is a chain of activities where an industrial enterprise, and its preferred travel agency and service supplier partners combine their resources. The scientific philosophy, on which the knowledge creation is based, is realist ontology. Epistemologically, the study relies on constructionist processes and interpretation. Case studies with in-depth interviews are the main source of data.

Details

Deep Knowledge of B2B Relationships within and Across Borders
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-858-7

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2003

Angelica C Cortes and Arturo Vasquez-Parraga

This paper aims at advancing research on the identification and the first test of the primary steps companies follow to generate and maintain enablers of long-term…

Abstract

This paper aims at advancing research on the identification and the first test of the primary steps companies follow to generate and maintain enablers of long-term marketing relationships in cross-cultural business. To achieve the objective, the authors first identify the communication difficulties in generating and maintaining long-term relationships in bi-cultural or multi-cultural settings. They then develop the building blocks, or enablers, that are needed to form and maintain enduring relationships. They finally illustrate the suggested process by describing the use of enablers in two contrasting cultures, the Anglo-Saxon and the Latin, using samples from the United States and Chile, respectively.

Details

Reviving Traditions in Research on International Market Entry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-044-9

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Benjamin Fath, Antje Fiedler, Noemi Sinkovics, Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor

This paper aims to empirically investigate how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have engaged with international network partners during COVID-19 and how the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically investigate how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have engaged with international network partners during COVID-19 and how the crisis has changed network relationships and resilience depending on pre-COVID relationship strength and, secondarily, on opportunity outlook in a market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on 14 qualitative interviews with managers of New Zealand SMEs from diverse industries and four with industry experts. Rather than generalization, the aim of this exploratory paper is to identify contingency factors, which, under duress, strengthen or break business relationships.

Findings

Four main patterns emerge from the data, with respect to how SMEs engaged with network partners depending on the nature of their prepandemic relationships and the extent to which their markets had been affected by the pandemic. During crisis, weak ties either break or remain weak, forcing firms to create new, potentially opportunistic, relationships. Strong ties increase resilience, even under a negative outlook, as network partners support each other, including through the development of new ties. Strong ties can also accelerate business model transformation.

Research limitations/implications

Future large-scale research is needed to test the generalizability of the authors’ findings.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper indicate lessons for business continuation management and future preparedness for major disruptions. Specific insights may help stimulate managerial action to accelerate contingency planning and policy to support SMEs.

Originality/value

This paper is an early study on how weak and strong ties influence SME resilience during crisis.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2010

Filipe J. Sousa

This paper exposes the development of markets-as-networks theory from formal inception in the mid-1970s until 2010 state-of-the-art, en route presenting its historical…

Abstract

This paper exposes the development of markets-as-networks theory from formal inception in the mid-1970s until 2010 state-of-the-art, en route presenting its historical roots. This largely European-based theory challenges the conventional, dichotomous view of the business world as including firms and markets, arguing for the existence of relational governance structures (the so-called “interfirm cooperation”) in addition to hierarchical and transactional ones.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2005

Fredrik von Corswant

This paper deals with the organizing of interactive product development. Developing products in interaction between firms may provide benefits in terms of specialization…

Abstract

This paper deals with the organizing of interactive product development. Developing products in interaction between firms may provide benefits in terms of specialization, increased innovation, and possibilities to perform development activities in parallel. However, the differentiation of product development among a number of firms also implies that various dependencies need to be dealt with across firm boundaries. How dependencies may be dealt with across firms is related to how product development is organized. The purpose of the paper is to explore dependencies and how interactive product development may be organized with regard to these dependencies.

The analytical framework is based on the industrial network approach, and deals with the development of products in terms of adaptation and combination of heterogeneous resources. There are dependencies between resources, that is, they are embedded, implying that no resource can be developed in isolation. The characteristics of and dependencies related to four main categories of resources (products, production facilities, business units and business relationships) provide a basis for analyzing the organizing of interactive product development.

Three in-depth case studies are used to explore the organizing of interactive product development with regard to dependencies. The first two cases are based on the development of the electrical system and the seats for Volvo’s large car platform (P2), performed in interaction with Delphi and Lear respectively. The third case is based on the interaction between Scania and Dayco/DFC Tech for the development of various pipes and hoses for a new truck model.

The analysis is focused on what different dependencies the firms considered and dealt with, and how product development was organized with regard to these dependencies. It is concluded that there is a complex and dynamic pattern of dependencies that reaches far beyond the developed product as well as beyond individual business units. To deal with these dependencies, development may be organized in teams where several business units are represented. This enables interaction between different business units’ resource collections, which is important for resource adaptation as well as for innovation. The delimiting and relating functions of the team boundary are elaborated upon and it is argued that also teams may be regarded as actors. It is also concluded that a modular product structure may entail a modular organization with regard to the teams, though, interaction between business units and teams is needed. A strong connection between the technical structure and the organizational structure is identified and it is concluded that policies regarding the technical structure (e.g. concerning “carry-over”) cannot be separated from the management of the organizational structure (e.g. the supplier structure). The organizing of product development is in itself a complex and dynamic task that needs to be subject to interaction between business units.

Details

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

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