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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Michael Kleinaltenkamp, Suvi Nenonen, Sascha Raithel and Kaj Storbacka

Firms transforming from a product supplier into a solution provider need to develop entirely new organizational capabilities or re-configure existing ones. This paper aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Firms transforming from a product supplier into a solution provider need to develop entirely new organizational capabilities or re-configure existing ones. This paper aims to conceptualize solution business fitness (SBF) as a construct that captures comprehensively the capabilities necessary for a firm to operate successfully in solution business and investigates how the construct can be measured.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a conceptualization of solution-specific capabilities and SBF, the development of the SBF measurement model followed a three-step procedure: domain specification and conceptual development, qualitative pre-study and quantitative pre-study. The SBF measurement model and its relevance were studied in a large scale longitudinal study using survey data from firm representatives, as well as archival data about the turnover and profitability development of the respective solution providers.

Findings

The study empirically validates solution-business-specific capabilities as antecedents of firm performance and shows how different business logics applied by firms give capabilities different importance and impact.

Practical implications

Managerially, firms can use the developed measurement tool to assess their current SBF and define the desired target status. When improving the SBF, managers should pay special attention to the business logic of their firm, as the required capabilities are context-dependent.

Originality/value

The study is the first to conceptualize and measure SBF and to empirically investigate the moderating role of business logic on the importance of the concept and its elements.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Roderick J. Brodie, Suvi Nenonen, Linda D. Peters and Kaj Storbacka

The purpose of this paper is to refine an agenda concerning the theory–praxis gap to develop a foundation for a research tradition.

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1152

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to refine an agenda concerning the theory–praxis gap to develop a foundation for a research tradition.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper synthesizes and builds on the suggestions in commentary articles by Kohli (2017), Leeflang (2017) and Möller (2017).

Findings

The authors develop a research agenda consisting of the following issues: the need for a systemic view of business practice; the need for innovative and meaningful theoretical understanding; the need to identify conditions and approaches for collaborative theorizing; to further define and instruct the abductive approach; and to explore pragmatic realism to ensure both practical outcomes and truthful theories.

Originality/value

These five issues are a step towards developing a theory–praxis research tradition.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Suvi Nenonen, Roderick J. Brodie, Kaj Storbacka and Linda D. Peters

The aim of the paper is to address the widening theory-praxis gap in marketing. The authors propose that one viable solution to this challenge is involving practitioners…

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2227

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to address the widening theory-praxis gap in marketing. The authors propose that one viable solution to this challenge is involving practitioners in research processes as active, reflective and empowered participants. Most extant discussions addressing the inclusion of managers as partners in theorizing restrain themselves to an “if” question, arguing whether or not it is possible to create sufficiently rigorous knowledge in collaboration with practitioners. This leaves the “how” question unanswered, i.e. how should such gap-bridging research be conducted in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review of collaborative theorizing processes, the authors develop a conceptual framework highlighting the main research design decisions when theorizing with managers. The use of the framework is illustrated with four research program examples.

Findings

Most accounts of theorizing with managers use – explicitly or implicitly – abduction as the main mode of inference. In addition to this philosophical commonality, our literature review identified 12 themes that should be considered when designing collaborative research processes. The four illustrative examples indicate that theorizing with managers is an effective way of producing and socializing both academically sound and managerially relevant knowledge. On the other hand, collaborative theorizing processes are time-consuming and studies using abductive reasoning may be more challenging to publish in top-tier journals.

Originality/value

This paper makes two contributions. First, the authors go beyond the extensive academic literature which provides a plethora of explanations and ideas for potential remedies for bridging the theory-praxis gap by offering a detailed description how one particular solution, theorizing with managers, unfolds in practice. Second, the authors ground collaborative theorizing processes in the philosophy of science and put abduction forward as a common nominator for such studies.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Cristina Mele, Suvi Nenonen, Jaqueline Pels, Kaj Storbacka, Angeline Nariswari and Valtteri Kaartemo

The extant service ecosystem literature rarely addresses the dark side of actors’ agency, which hinders further development of the service-dominant (S-D) logic…

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1134

Abstract

Purpose

The extant service ecosystem literature rarely addresses the dark side of actors’ agency, which hinders further development of the service-dominant (S-D) logic, particularly with regard to understanding service ecosystem dynamics. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to delineate the dark-side facets of actors’ agency that adversely affect actor-to-actor relationships and resource integration, in the context of shaping service ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

With abductive reasoning, this study seeks to reorient results from prior literature in accordance with empirical findings. The empirical data pertain to 21 firms in Finland, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden, representing various industries, sizes, international reach, technologies, ownership forms and histories.

Findings

The dark side of agency emerges as an actor’s deliberate attempts to influence a service ecosystem to achieve self-interested benefits, despite understanding that these actions inhibit other actors from providing service and can be detrimental to other actors and the ecosystem. The findings also reveal three facets of the dark side: conflict, ambiguity and opportunism. The process of shaping service ecosystems is prone to systematic conflict, ambiguous and opportunistic behaviours occurring between the focal actors’ ecosystem and other ecosystems vying for the same set of resources.

Research limitations/implications

This study advances the S-D logic by addressing the crucial role of agency in a dialectical relationship with institutions and structures. Service-for-service exchanges can take place in asymmetric, ambiguous, opportunistic situations driven by self-interested motives.

Practical implications

Processes aimed at shaping service ecosystems can demonstrate the dark sides of actors’ agency, related to conflict, ambiguity or opportunism. Managers interested in shaping strategies should be prepared for this outcome.

Social implications

A service ecosystem perspective requires policy makers and regulators to reconsider their role in shaping processes. No “invisible hand” guides markets to equilibrium, so they should be more proactive in shaping ecosystems, rather than merely fixing market failures.

Originality/value

This research offers the first S-D logic-based investigation into the dark side of actors’ agency in shaping service ecosystems.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 December 2020

Roderick Brodie, Suvi Nenonen and Kaj Storbacka

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

David Ballantyne

To locate the underlying service logic of each of three leading texts and to examine points of variance.

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4431

Abstract

Purpose

To locate the underlying service logic of each of three leading texts and to examine points of variance.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical review and comparative analysis of the main tenets of each text.

Findings

Each text combines a service perspective and a relationship perspective to marketing management. Each author seems to favour a service perspective on some issues but at other times a relationship perspective. This apparent epistemological pluralism is resolvable and a pathway to synthesis suggested.

Practical implications

What stands out in a critical reading of these texts is the provocation offered to readers to go beyond the limits of services marketing orthodoxy. In this there are implications for pedagogical development.

Originality/value

Gives insights into the current debate on development of a more broadly based service‐dominant logic of marketing.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Suvi Nenonen and Kaj Storbacka

Abstract

Details

Smash
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-798-2

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Suvi Nenonen and Kaj Storbacka

Abstract

Details

Smash
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-798-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 June 2012

Kaj Storbacka, Pennie Frow, Suvi Nenonen and Adrian Payne

Purpose – The aim of this chapter is to investigate how a focal market actor may design or redesign business models for improved value co-creation.Findings – We posit that…

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this chapter is to investigate how a focal market actor may design or redesign business models for improved value co-creation.

Findings – We posit that value is co-created in use as actors integrate resources in practices, which makes practices a fundamental unit of value creation. Greater density of resources, relevant to a specific practice and to the goals or mission of the actor, corresponds to greater value. The role of a provider is to support other actors in their value-creation processes by providing resources that ‘fit’ into their practices.

We identify 12 categories of business model design elements that need to be defined and developed in parallel. We conclude that a focal actor needs to strive for both intra-actor and inter-actor (meso-level) configurational fit of business model elements in order to enable purposeful co-creation in specific practices.

Finally, we propose that meso-level configurations develop in a three-phase process of origination, mobilization and stabilization. A focal actor wishing to improve co-creation in a network needs to develop value propositions not only for customers but also for other actor domains. Overall, the performative power of a market actor is dependent on its network position, the relative strength of its business model and the actor's ability to author compelling meanings.

Originality – The research contributes to the discussion on value co-creation by identifying three shifts in the unit of analysis: (1) we argue that use-value is co-created as actors integrate resources in practices, rendering practices a fundamental unit of analysis, (2) as practices are outcomes of business models, we identified business model design as a key unit of analysis for the improvement of value co-creation and (3) our view on business models is network-centric and we focus on how to introduce new business model elements in a specific actor network.

Practical implications – The realization of the fact that value creation occurs in networks of interdependent actors pinpoints the need for increased transparency both between functional silos and between actors. The business model framework identifies 12 design elements, which can act as a ‘checklist’ for managers wanting to engage in co-creative business models.

Details

Special Issue – Toward a Better Understanding of the Role of Value in Markets and Marketing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-913-4

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Kaj Storbacka and Suvi Nenonen

The purpose of this paper is to examine how, taking customer relationships as the unit of analysis, the heterogeneity of customer relationship performance influences the…

Downloads
3687

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how, taking customer relationships as the unit of analysis, the heterogeneity of customer relationship performance influences the heterogeneity of firm performance, and how firms can balance the heterogeneity of customers, customer relationships, and customer portfolios by differentiated business models.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach to the topic is one of theoretical analysis and conceptual development.

Findings

Value capture is defined as the discounted present value of all future economic profit from the relationship. Three sources of value capture heterogeneity are identified: the customer, the relationship with the customer, and the interdependence between customers in a customer base. Relationship performance can be improved by investing in business model differentiation, in order to facilitate controlled adaptation to specific customer relationships and/or customer portfolios. Firms have to manage parallel business models and a central capability is the ability to create internal fit between the elements of a specific business model.

Research limitations/implications

The research presented relates to business‐to‐business customer relationships. Some of the conceptual thinking will not be applicable in consumer relationships.

Practical implications

A firm should have an optimum mix of customer relationships in its customer base, in relation to firm goals and strategy. Management needs to recognize the heterogeneity of customer relationship performance, and manage customer portfolios accordingly. In order to deal with the heterogeneity, it may be necessary to manage parallel business models. This will necessitate new capabilities, such as customer insight generation, account management, modularized production platforms, and relationship performance control.

Originality/value

For a scholarly audience the paper contributes to the discussion on how marketing improves firm performance by assuming responsibility for increasing firms' market value. For a practitioner audience it offers ideas for genuinely customer‐centric management.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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