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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Seppo Leminen

The purpose of this study is to increase understanding of gaps in buyerseller relationships. Business relationships are more complex and more dynamic in today’s…

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to increase understanding of gaps in buyerseller relationships. Business relationships are more complex and more dynamic in today’s environment, which itself is more complex, rapidly changing, and dynamic. It can be assumed that when an industry undergoes rapid change a great number of different groups of gaps, such as contextual, economic, informational, legal, planning, procedural, social, and technological, are likely to emerge. The present study provides a new framework and its seven glasses (perspectives of framework), i.e. viewpoints for managers to use for understanding, describing, and analysing gaps in buyerseller relationships.

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Management Decision, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2008

Roger Baxter

The provision of value, as a marketing issue, is receiving increasing attention from managers and scholars. This attention, in combination with strong calls for better…

Abstract

The provision of value, as a marketing issue, is receiving increasing attention from managers and scholars. This attention, in combination with strong calls for better quantification and stronger measures in marketing, has lead to increased interest in the assessment, quantified where possible, of the provision of value through buyerseller relationships. This paper identifies dimensions of value provision through relationships in business markets with specific emphasis on the intangible aspects of value, which are important to long-term competitive advantage. The provision of value to the seller is the prime focus in this paper. The paper discusses the meaning of both tangible and intangible relationship value and the interplay between them and notes the importance of assessing the intangible part of the value, particularly the part which derives from the human aspects of the relationship. Despite their importance, the human aspects of relationships and their contribution to value is a sparse topic among researchers. The paper compares and evaluates potentially useful relationship and value conceptualizations. The paper discusses studies of relationship value and then outlines the results of a recent line of empirical research into the provision of value by a buyer to a seller that utilizes a framework synthesized from the intellectual capital literature. This recent research conceptualizes the potential for a seller's relationship with a buyer to provide intangible value to the seller in terms of, first, the resources available in the buyer and second, the capabilities of the buyer's boundary personnel to aid in facilitating the flow of those resources to the seller. The paper also includes the softer human aspects in the dimensions of value. These latter aspects are important to a full assessment of value. The paper concludes with a discussion of aspects of intangible relationship value that need further elucidation and will thus provide opportunities for future research.

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Creating and managing superior customer value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-173-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Anna Kaunonen

Three types of industrial buyer-seller relational process models are available: joining theory, stage theory, and state theory. However, historically, these models have…

Abstract

Three types of industrial buyer-seller relational process models are available: joining theory, stage theory, and state theory. However, historically, these models have developed based on the knowledge and cultural context of the Western world. Several researchers note that national culture may have an impact on international industrial buyer-seller relationships. Including culture in the models is highly important, especially as the business environment is increasingly more global and different countries have different business cultures. The goal of this paper is to define the most suitable industrial buyer-seller relational process models for describing relationships in various contexts. The paper includes a through literature review and a single case study in order to reach this objective. A new state theory model evolved during the research. It consists of two beginning states: searching and starting; four purely middles states: constant/static, decline, growth, and troubled; and a purely end state: termination. The state of dormant/inert is both a middle state and an end state, that is, when the relational actors are not in contact does not mean that the relationship has ended, but instead, for example, new legislation may have been implemented, which requires the actors to evaluate their relationship and its future. A relationship goes through the two beginning states in the order mentioned above, but after that, any state may occur.

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Advances in Business Marketing & Purchasing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-858-7

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Anna Kaunonen

The industrial buyer-seller relational process models from the Eastern and Western worlds have not been combined. The Western world has dominated the development of the…

Abstract

The industrial buyer-seller relational process models from the Eastern and Western worlds have not been combined. The Western world has dominated the development of the models, while there exist only a very limited amount of guanxi development models from the East. This paper is exploratory in nature, focusing on combining the development of these two worlds into one intercultural model. Four case relationships verify the proposed model.

This paper focuses on only one cultural context outside of the West, that is to say, China. In order to justify the model to be completely an intercultural one, research in other cultural contexts is necessary.

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Advances in Business Marketing & Purchasing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-858-7

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Book part
Publication date: 16 April 2012

Roger Baxter

Both the service-dominant logic of marketing and the resource-based view of the firm strongly emphasize the creation of value through buyerseller relationships by the…

Abstract

Both the service-dominant logic of marketing and the resource-based view of the firm strongly emphasize the creation of value through buyerseller relationships by the exchange of resources. To facilitate this exchange of resources, and hence to facilitate value co-creation, the resources of both buyer and seller must be made available to one another. This availability is no accident. Availability of resources occurs through the interaction between the buyer and the seller. In order for this interaction to take place effectively, the relationship must be a good one, particularly in terms of factors such as the commitment, trust, and satisfaction that each partner feels with respect to the other.

Issues of exchange of resources, especially intangible informational resources, through relationships as noted above currently occupy the minds of both managers and researchers. This chapter therefore explores these issues and describes an empirical study that investigates aspects of the exchange of these types of resources through buyerseller relationships, and some of the conditions that facilitate availability of the resources, specifically in the business-to-business context. The chapter develops a model from the perspective of a seller in a buyerseller relationship in the business-to-business context and describes the testing of that model.

The model's main constructs are the perceived future accessibility to the seller of the buyer's less tangible resources, the quality of the relationship, and the future financial performance outcomes of the relationship. Survey data, analyzed using structural equation modeling, support the model's proposition that both accessibility of buyer's resources and quality of the relationship have positive outcomes for future financial performance. The analysis also supports the proposed positive relationship between relationship quality and accessibility of buyer's resources. A case study illustrates the application of the model's concepts.

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Business-to-Business Marketing Management: Strategies, Cases, and Solutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-576-1

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Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

Jari Salo, Teck Ming Tan and Hannu Makkonen

The purpose of this paper is to cast light on the nature of the digitalization process that occurs when digital technologies are adopted in buyerseller relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to cast light on the nature of the digitalization process that occurs when digital technologies are adopted in buyerseller relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study features a case study from the steel processing industry.

Findings

The present research builds on and extends the interaction approach to the context of buyerseller relationship digitalization process. The study explicates the interrelated elements of digital infrastructure, digital communication and degree of digitalization of the buyerseller relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The study aims at theoretical generalization and thus produces conceptual understanding that is to some extent applicable to various contexts. The generalization of the empirical insights to other process-focused industries is to some extent possible. However, further research in versatile empirical contexts is needed to validate the results.

Practical implications

For managers, the study presents a success case of digital technologies use for improving a buyerseller relationship.

Originality/value

The originality of the present research is in the way it depicts how a buyerseller relationship is gradually digitalized in successive digital technology adoptions, that is, a virtuous cycle of digitalization, that creates and alters the digital infrastructure and digital communication processes between the buyer and the seller resulting in different outcomes (degrees of digitalization in the buyerseller relationship).

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Jonna Pauliina Koponen and Saara Rytsy

Currently, online chat is in common use in e-commerce. By adding social interaction to the online context, companies hope to increase customers’ purchasing intentions…

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1999

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, online chat is in common use in e-commerce. By adding social interaction to the online context, companies hope to increase customers’ purchasing intentions. However, previous studies have not investigated how social presence is embedded in online business-to-business (B2B) chat conversations between buyers and sellers. Moreover, the functions of online chat in B2B sales have not been investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

The data was collected at a case company over the course of four years, from which the authors analyzed 157 online chat conversations between buyers (n = 157) and sellers (n = 9) with a theory-driven thematic analysis. In addition, data from the company’s customer relationship management system was collected to specify buyer types.

Findings

The results reveal that social presence was embedded in online B2B chat via buyers’ interactive, affective and relationship maintenance responses. Social presence differed depending on the type of buyer, with only existing customers having relationship maintenance responses. E-commerce B2B chat functions can be described as multiple and changing depending on the buyerseller relationship stage.

Research limitations/implications

Having data only from one case company limits the results to one type of industry.

Practical implications

The results can be used in sales training and when developing online chat services.

Originality/value

Results bring scientific utility to B2B sales and marketing research, as the authors build a bridge between social presence, the existing theoretical model on B2B buyerseller relationship development and online chat as a communication medium. Other researchers may use this understanding when exploring B2B buyerseller interaction in different digitalized communication media.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Jing Zhang, Ya Zhang and Mingfei Du

This paper aims to investigate how relative contractual and relational governances impact seller’s value appropriation via buyer’s trust, perceived justice and opportunism…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how relative contractual and relational governances impact seller’s value appropriation via buyer’s trust, perceived justice and opportunism in the context of industrial buyerseller relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from 232 matched buyer-seller dyads of Chinese business-to-business (B2B) firms was used to test the conceptual model and research hypotheses. The confirmatory factor model and structural equation model were tested by using Lisrel 8.80.

Findings

The findings show that relative contractual governance and relative relational governance have opposite consequences on B2B relationship and value outcomes. Relative contractual governance generates higher level of buyer’s opportunist behavior because it reduces buyer’s trust and perceived justice, therefore harms seller’s value appropriation. By contrast, relative relational governance enhances buyer’s trust and perceived justice, therefore curbs buyer’s opportunism and improves seller’s value appropriation.

Originality/value

This study makes significant contributions to theory development of value appropriation and inter-firm governance mechanism by extending dyadic view to network view. It proposes the concept of relative governance and explores its role in shaping a business partner’s perception and behavior. It also provides insightful implications for B2B companies on capturing more benefits from the relationship with buyers by leveraging relative governance strategies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2020

Khalid Hussain, Fengjie Jing, Muhammad Junaid, Huayu Shi and Usman Baig

Contemporary scholars contend that the buyerseller relationship is dynamic in nature, so it grows, matures and declines over time. However, most studies that adopt the…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary scholars contend that the buyerseller relationship is dynamic in nature, so it grows, matures and declines over time. However, most studies that adopt the dynamic perspective debates its conceptualization and how dynamic effects are captured. This scholarly discourse has led to multiple dynamic perspectives and resulted in fragmented and scattered literature on the subject. This study aims to synthesize the large body of research on dynamic perspectives in a systematic way.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper follows a systematic review approach to extract and review 192 research articles from four electronic databases: Web of Science, EBSCOhost Business, ScienceDirect and Emerald. Based on the inclusion criteria that the articles examine time-dependent relationship development in light of a generalizable dynamic perspective, 61 articles were selected for the final examination and reporting.

Findings

This review reveals that most research on the buyerseller dynamic relationship follows at least one of four perspectives: the relationship lifecycle, relationship age, relationship velocity and the asymmetric–dynamic perspective. Each perspective offers a distinct conceptualization of relationship development and has certain advantages that enable researchers to capture information about relationships’ growth trajectory in a unique manner.

Practical implications

Firms need a set of diverse strategies for their customers, depending on the state of the relationships’ development, as strategies that pay off at initial levels may fail at later stages. This study helps managers select an appropriate dynamic perspective that best aligns with their customers’ stage of relationship development so they can devise customized relationship-management strategies.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this article is the first attempt to organize the discourse of a large body of research on dynamic perspectives, and therefore it helps academicians and practitioners to choose the dynamic perspective that best suits their objectives and research settings. This review documents key research areas that have been overlooked and highlights opportunities for future research.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2020

Abhishek Dwivedi, Morgan Miles, Eddie Oczkowski, Jay Weerawardena, Lester W. Johnson and Dean Wilkie

Relational engagement is offered as a framework to describe how buyers and sellers conduct exchange. Relational engagement is conceptualized as a higher-order construct…

Abstract

Purpose

Relational engagement is offered as a framework to describe how buyers and sellers conduct exchange. Relational engagement is conceptualized as a higher-order construct comprising three dimensions: legal bonds, knowledge exchange and co-production. This paper aims to examine the efficacy of the construct by testing its influence on buyer–perceived seller brand equity.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of 401 US-based industrial buyers was conducted. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Empirical analysis supports the proposed conceptualization of relational engagement, as well as its influence on seller brand equity through influencing buyer-perceived relationship effectiveness.

Practical implications

Relational engagement offers a template to sellers for engaging organizational buyers. A relational engagement strategy has favorable implications for seller brand equity.

Originality/value

Relational engagement offers a comprehensive strategic perspective on inter-organizational exchange, moving beyond tactical approaches. The framework reflects the continuum of exchange, incorporating transactional-dominant and relationship-dominant forms of inter-organizational marketing practices.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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