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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Hannu Makkonen, Sini Nordberg-Davies and Rami Olkkonen

The article aims to further understanding of purchasing practices in post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationships, and it provides a holistic approach and…

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to further understanding of purchasing practices in post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationships, and it provides a holistic approach and onceptualizations with which to balance the perspectives of purchasing as an intra-firm operational function and as a strategic activity embedded in relationship and network management.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an inductive-oriented case study. The data comprised 61 thematic interviews conducted at 17 buyer companies (electricity distribution companies), 11 service supplier companies and six third-party organizations. The case features a setting in which a growing number of electricity distribution companies have outsourced operational functions regarding network construction, maintenance and fault repair and purchased these services from service suppliers representing a developing service market.

Findings

The study explicates the role of purchasing as an element with the most impact on post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationship outcomes and development. The performance of the buyer–supplier relationship either accelerates or inhibits the new service supplier’s entry to the field and motivates or demotivates the electricity distribution companies to outsource their activities. This mechanism links to the respective development of supplier markets and buyer industry transformation.

Originality/value

The focal study provides a holistic approach and conceptualizations with which to balance the perspectives of purchasing as an intra-firm operational function and as a strategic activity embedded in relationship and network management. In particular, the study provides conceptual development on purchasing practices in post-outsourcing relationships and concrete managerial implications for dealing with such circumstances. The focal study includes case notes that facilitate using the study for teaching purposes.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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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 buyer–seller 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 buyer–seller 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 buyer–seller relationship digitalization process. The study explicates the interrelated elements of digital infrastructure, digital communication and degree of digitalization of the buyer–seller 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 buyer–seller relationship.

Originality/value

The originality of the present research is in the way it depicts how a buyer–seller 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 buyer–seller relationship).

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Leena Aarikka-Stenroos and Hannu Sakari Makkonen

The aim of this paper is to provide understanding on how the buyer can mobilize experience-based information scattered around the business network, by means of customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide understanding on how the buyer can mobilize experience-based information scattered around the business network, by means of customer references, word-of-mouth and reputation, and how this facilitates the buying process.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative study scrutinizes eight cases comprising buyers of knowledge intensive services and technology innovations. The paper draws on the literature on buying and purchasing, customer references, word-of-mouth and reputational information.

Findings

The findings identify the different roles of references, word-of-mouth, collegial advice networks, and reputation, and suggest that experience-based information provides information on offerings, suppliers and the problem solving situation in complex buying per se.

Research limitations/implications

The article's contribution is to provide a framework depicting the employment of experience-based information in complex buying, which ensues through focal and continuous buying processes. Insights from this research are broadly applicable to the contexts of knowledge intensive, innovation and solutions business. Further qualitative research should aim to form constructs and define their interrelations to be tested in subsequent quantitative research.

Originality/value

This study generates new understanding on how buyers gather and use experience-based information to solve complex problems in buying. It contributes by merging references, word-of-mouth, collegial social networks, and reputation as sources of experience-based information, identifying information embedded in those means, and exploring how the information and means are used throughout the complex buying situation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Hannu Sakari Makkonen and Wesley J. Johnston

The current knowledge concerning how organizations adopt innovations is considerably less than the sum of its parts. The aim of this paper is to review the innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The current knowledge concerning how organizations adopt innovations is considerably less than the sum of its parts. The aim of this paper is to review the innovation adoption and diffusion approach and connect it with the main related theoretical fields within business-to-business marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a conceptual discussion, the aim being to develop an integrative conceptual framework.

Findings

The adoption and diffusion approach gives little indication of the effects on adoption of the established relationships and the wider relational setting comprising the direct and indirect influences between the network actors. It is rather the innovation and the related communication that are in focus. As a result, the innovation and its adoption and diffusion are considered unique phenomena, the actors are assigned the static roles of opinion leaders and change agents, social system can be defined, and there is no competition. The current theoretical approaches within the business-to-business marketing could provide support in building a more realistic view of adoption and diffusion in industrial context.

Originality/value

The contribution of the proposed conceptual model lies in its capacity to take into account organizational behavior in the form of individual-level actions that underpin the adoption process and relate this intra-firm behavior to its wider network context, thereby facilitating the production of a system-level account and a holistic understanding of the phenomenon of adoption.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

Hannu Makkonen and Hanna Komulainen

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on perceived value for the participating actors during the new service development (NSD) process. The authors are particularly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on perceived value for the participating actors during the new service development (NSD) process. The authors are particularly interested in how participant value emerges in a multi-actor NSD process and how it can be conceptualized.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research design comprised three extensive living lab experiments in a real end-user environment over a three years period.

Findings

The study is illustrative by its nature and advances two main arguments through conceptual analysis and empirical illustration: NSD can be seen as the identification of actual and emerging needs and technologies and their matching; and the matching process builds on the interaction between the participants and is characterized by their individual motives to leverage the NSD process for value-in-context.

Practical implications

A careful investigation of the different stakeholders' expectations of the NSD process provides a basis on which to create lucrative value propositions instead of approaching potential stakeholders with technology- or product-centric arguments.

Originality/value

The paper opens avenues for further research to develop the current conceptualizations of NSD in launching the new service emergence perspective.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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