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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Carla Ramos and David Ford

Companies inevitably interact and entrench in complex organic systems of business relationships with other. These business networks are not objectively defined, instead…

Abstract

Companies inevitably interact and entrench in complex organic systems of business relationships with other. These business networks are not objectively defined, instead they are shaped by the subjective perception of actors. This inherent subjectivity is associated with the notion of network pictures, that is, a research tool that researchers or managers can use to grasp practitioner theories. In this chapter, we discuss how the importance of identifying these theories results mainly from underlying principles of sense-making theory, as well as from the idea around performativity. Drawing on these theoretical groundings, this chapter has two objectives: to explore how practitioners actually perceive their business surroundings and to assess the extent of overlapping between (IMP Group) academic theories and practitioner theories. To achieve these objectives, the researchers use a dimensional network pictures model previously developed in the literature to analyze the network pictures of 49 top-level managers across 17 companies from two very distinct contexts or networks: a product-based network and a project-based network. Among other practices, findings illustrate how practitioners tend to simplify what is going on in their complex surroundings, to personalize their relationships with those surroundings, and to think in a stereotyped way. Moreover, the juxtaposition between the captured practitioner theories and academic (IMP Group) theories show that these are not always overlapping, and are in some cases quite the opposite. This research contributes to the ongoing discussion of the importance of grasping actors’ views of the world, arguing that sense-making theory and the notion of performativity are the two main conceptual drivers justifying the urgency in making those views more visible. This research also adds to the research on the impact and suitability of IMP Group theories on managerial thinking and practice. Finally, this research reinforces the current call for further practice-based research in business network contexts.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Grzegorz Leszczyński, Tibor Mandjak, Tihamér Margitay and Marek Zieliński

This paper aims to introduce the concept of business paradigm to conceptualize and explain differences in business interaction patterns in the IMP research.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the concept of business paradigm to conceptualize and explain differences in business interaction patterns in the IMP research.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of the interaction and the concepts related to and driven from it describe the business at both a general level. At the same time, the IMP points out the uniqueness of business interactions. This paper addresses the specific lies between the general and the particular by referring to various patterns of interactions. To close that gap, this paper implies the Kuhnian philosophy of science to conceptualize the business paradigm.

Findings

The business paradigm is a socially constructed collective term. It simultaneously captures the cognitive (what business is and what rules it has) and social (business community) dimensions of the actor’s behavior and actions. It has two interdependent dimensions: cognitive and social. It determines how the actors view and do business, and it explains the variations of interactions.

Research limitations/implications

Not applicable as it is a conceptual paper.

Practical implications

Not applicable as it is a conceptual paper.

Social implications

Not applicable as it is a conceptual paper.

Originality/value

The concept of the business paradigm is a theoretical extension of the IMP actor’s theory. The dimensions of the business paradigm capture the psychological and sociological characteristics of the business actor. The business paradigm application provides an opportunity to find that business can be different because actors in various communities have various views on what business is and how it should be properly run. Adding the business paradigm concept to the IMP theory implies strengthening the theory explanation power because the interaction explains the business’s general characteristics. The business relationship explains the business’s unique features, and the business paradigm explains the various interaction patterns.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Nikolina Koporcic, Miika Nietola and John D. Nicholson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) research that has a vague positioning of the bounded rationality of an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) research that has a vague positioning of the bounded rationality of an actor. By borrowing insights from other disciplines, this study aims to develop the IMP approach further by acknowledging the importance of individuals who act and make decisions on behalf of their companies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is conceptual. By examining the IMP studies in combination with decision-making literature from behavioral economics and psychology, this paper provides a new understanding of the phenomenon in question.

Findings

This study demonstrates that individual decision-making is not as rational as has previously been thought, thus indicating the bounded rationality of the actor. After examining the most common negative emotions that influence the decision-making process, the paper presents a research agenda. It provides a series of research topics and methodological choices for future IMP research endeavors.

Research limitations/implications

As this paper is conceptual, empirical research is needed to examine the role of negative emotions in dynamic decision-making processes.

Practical implications

Managerial implications of this paper are focused on providing instructions for managers on how to deal with negative emotions in dynamic decision-making processes.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is one of the first papers that attempts to connect the IMP studies with the dynamics of decision-making by examining negative emotions in the business world.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Magnus Eklund and Alexandra Waluszewski

The purpose of this paper is twofold, first, to shed light on the different patterns in which international marketing and purchasing (IMP) and national innovation system…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold, first, to shed light on the different patterns in which international marketing and purchasing (IMP) and national innovation system (NIS) were embedded into the Swedish policy context, where the first approach must be regarded as a relative failure and the second a success, second, to compare their analytical lenses and policy implications through the study of a number of seminal texts of the two approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a Swedish case is selected since it provides an example of a policy context where both approaches have been considered and used as sources of inspiration for the design of policy measures. Second, the authors study a selection of the seminal texts of the two approaches in order to identify their basic theoretical assumptions. The emphasis here lies on how the schools view the importance of relations between companies, how they perceive the innovation process, their attitude towards the neoclassical market model and the explicit and implicit implications of their theoretical assumptions for policy.

Findings

IMP and its notion of the heterogeneity of resources can provide a much more context grounded analysis than is possible within the NIS/Lundvall framework. However, it requires deep contextual knowledge of individual companies, industries and national and international settings to understand the value of these resources. IMP is “tied to the ground” and radically critical of the atomistic abstractions characterising the neoclassical market view. NIS, on the other hand, requires contextual knowledge on a more superficial level and can co-exist with neoclassical economics.

Research limitations/implications

While the authors mainly focus on IMP and NIS, which date back to the 1980s, a later wave of concepts from the 1990s and onwards involve clusters (Porter, 1990), and triple helix (Etzkowitz and Leidesdorff, 1998). However, these latecomers share with NIS the ability to co-exist with neoclassical economics.

Practical implications

IMP requires high demands on any policy maker that would adopt it, in terms of acquiring deep contextual knowledge and giving up established views on how the economy works

Originality/value

The paper reveal that while both IMP and NIS like to present themselves as rebels radically departing from neoclassical economics and the linear model, NIS can still co-exist with neoclassical economics. Furthermore, IMP places high demands on any policy maker that would adopt it, in terms of acquiring deep contextual knowledge and giving up established views on how the economy works. NIS, on the other hand, requires contextual knowledge on a more superficial level.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Christina Öberg

IMP researchers have shown interest in how innovations result from interaction among companies, while, and in parallel, there has been an increased focus on open…

Abstract

Purpose

IMP researchers have shown interest in how innovations result from interaction among companies, while, and in parallel, there has been an increased focus on open innovation (OI) during the past decade. OI depicts how companies source, spin-out, and collaborate on innovation. This paper describes and discusses whether and how IMP and OI researchers acknowledge and build on each other’s work; and whether and how ideas provided by IMP and OI, respectively, create a fit to expand the exchange of knowledge between IMP and OI.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a citation analysis focussing on whether the OI literature refers to IMP research, and whether or not the IMP literature refers to OI research. The paper also compares OI and IMP to discover potentials for knowledge exchange between them through discussing similarities, complementarities, and contradictions.

Findings

The paper points out that while IMP researchers have started to show interest in OI, OI research does not refer to IMP. As such, OI research remains more company-centric in its discussions. IMP provides tools and models to capture the OI phenomenon specifically related to collaborative OI, while OI offers interesting thought for the capture of transaction-based innovation processes and their management.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to previous research through linking together OI and IMP research. This is important for several reasons, including the ability to enhance knowledge in each domain, critically discuss and relate various research domains and their underpinnings, and expand ideas developed in one research domain to another.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Caroline Cheng and Elsebeth Holmen

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the relationship and networking strategy tools in the IMP literature. It proposes six dimensions for characterizing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the relationship and networking strategy tools in the IMP literature. It proposes six dimensions for characterizing such tools: approach to tool development, level (and layer) of analysis, perspective of interaction, activities of network strategizing, external or internal orientation and use for “strategizing on” vs “strategizing in” relationships and networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a manual qualitative content analysis approach and an inductive approach, well suited for extracting relationship and networking strategy tools due to their implicit and dispersed nature.

Findings

The paper presents an IMP toolbox comprising a wide variety of relationship and networking strategy tools emphasizing interconnectedness, interdependence and limited managerial autonomy, as well as an analysis of how identified tools are positioned along each of the six proposed dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes a conceptual framework with a vocabulary to content analyze and discuss relationship and networking strategy tools in IMP research.

Practical implications

The IMP toolbox may be a useful point of departure for managers who feel a need for developing and using a mix of tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks.

Originality/value

The paper instills a strategy tool lens in the IMP literature and foregrounds strategizing concepts and techniques that were previously difficult to attend to for both researchers and practitioners.

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Håkan Håkansson and Lars-Erik Gadde

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of research based on the IMP approach during the four decades since the inauguration in 1976. The paper presents…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of research based on the IMP approach during the four decades since the inauguration in 1976. The paper presents a network analysis of IMP research based on one of the central IMP frameworks: the ARA model.

Design/methodology/approach

The main activity analysed is the annual IMP conference. The development over time is described by comparison of three conferences (1984, 1998 and 2012) with regard to the themes of the papers presented. In addition, some joint research projects are described. The most central resources are the research frameworks and findings presented in books and journals. To illustrate this dimension, the authors have traced all IMP publications that had been cited more than 100 times in 2013. In the actor layer, the authors investigated the development over time of the distribution of publications and conference presentations on research groups.

Findings

The paper shows how IMP has evolved into a research network around common themes of which business relationships and networks are the most significant. The activities of various research groups have become increasingly interlinked through joint research programmes, annual conferences and seminars, a website and a dedicated journal.

Originality/value

The paper provides a detailed illustration of the development of the IMP network. The description of this process is of general relevance as an example of how research ideas can develop and become established in terms of a distinct research network.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Kamisah Ismail, Che Ruhana Isa and Lokman Mia

This paper aims to report the results of a study investigating the mediating role of managerial use of management accounting system (MAS) information in the relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the results of a study investigating the mediating role of managerial use of management accounting system (MAS) information in the relationship between integrated manufacturing practices (IMPs) and organisational performance (OP). IMP comprises three manufacturing practices, namely, just in time (JIT), total quality management (TQM) and advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a mailed questionnaire, the data were gathered from senior managers working in 110 manufacturing firms listed in the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Directory. Partial least square (PLS) was used to analyse the data.

Findings

The results reveal that the relationship between IMP and OP exists via managerial use of MAS information, that is, adoption of IMP is positively associated with managerial use of MAS information, which in turn, is positively associated with the performance. In other words, managerial use of MAS information plays a significant role in linking adoption of IMP with OP.

Originality/value

The use of MAS information in integrated manufacturing environment is found to assist firms in improving performance. Prior research on the IMP–OP relationship reports mixed (inconclusive) results. The authors contend that a possible reason for such results reported in prior studies is that the studies did not investigate the relationship between OP and IMP comprising each of the three manufacturing practices and performance as proposed by Dean and Snell (1991).

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Sabine Gebert Persson, Lars-Gunnar Mattsson and Christina Öberg

Recently, increased interest has been devoted to discuss theory development in relation to business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explore…

Abstract

Purpose

Recently, increased interest has been devoted to discuss theory development in relation to business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explore these thoughts through describing and analyzing research on the internationalization of firms from an Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) perspective. The authors ask: to what extent have these studies resulted in a theory of internationalization?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual and frames research on the internationalization of firms by means of definitions, domains, relations of variables and predictions. It looks into research on internationalization based on an IMP-inspired network perspective to see to what extent research has resulted in theories of internationalization.

Findings

While there have been substantial efforts on theorizing related to IMP-based internationalization studies, the research has not yet resulted in theory.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper one phenomenon was selected that has already been addressed in IMP research, namely, the internationalization of firms. Had the authors chosen another phenomenon previously studied in IMP the findings might had turned out differently.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to understanding how ideas are developed, used and referenced in long-term research development for the specific phenomenon of internationalization. The paper contributes to the debate on theories within B2B research.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Luitzen De Boer and Poul Houman Andersen

The purpose of the paper is to contribute to further advancing of IMP as a research field by setting up and starting a theoretical conversation between system theory and the IMP.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to contribute to further advancing of IMP as a research field by setting up and starting a theoretical conversation between system theory and the IMP.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on a narrative literature study and conceptual research.

Findings

The authors find that system theory and cybernetics can be regarded as important sources of inspiration for early IMP research. The authors identify three specific theoretical “puzzles” in system theory that may serve as useful topics for discussion between system theorists and IMP researchers.

Originality/value

Only a handful of papers have touched upon the relationship between system theory and IMP before. This paper combines a narrative, historical analysis of this relationship with developing specific suggestions for using system theory as a vehicle for further advancement of IMP research.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

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