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Article

Anna Dubois, Lars-Erik Gadde and Lars-Gunnar Mattsson

The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyse the evolution of the supplier base of a buying firm and the reasons behind these changes.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyse the evolution of the supplier base of a buying firm and the reasons behind these changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a case study of the changes over 52 years in a sub-set of the supplier base of a firm manufacturing fork-lifts.

Findings

The study shows that some relationships feature substantial longevity. However, the duration of one-third of the total relationships is shorter than five years. There was considerable variation over time in the dynamics of the supplier base in terms of entries and exits of suppliers. Owing to this variation, research findings and conclusions in short-term studies are heavily dependent on the specific conditions at the time of the study. Finally, no less than one-fourth of the terminated supplier relationships were reactivated later.

Research limitations/implications

The study was designed in a time when purchasing was considered entirely from the perspective of the buying firm. Further studies, therefore, must increasingly emphasise the role of suppliers and the interaction in the buyer–supplier relationships, as well as the embeddedness in networks.

Originality/value

The findings of the study are unique in two ways. First, they are based on systematic observations over more than 50 years. Second, the study involves the purchases of 11 components representing different technical and economic features. The (few) previous studies are based on much shorter time periods and involves fewer suppliers/components. Moreover, the findings regarding re-activation of terminated relationships represent unique contributions.

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

Lars-Gunnar Mattsson and Per Andersson

Contemporary public service innovations to an important degree are initiated and enabled by digitalization. Digitalization stimulates entry of new firms (start-ups) based…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary public service innovations to an important degree are initiated and enabled by digitalization. Digitalization stimulates entry of new firms (start-ups) based on innovative implementation of digital technology for public services. The interwoven digitalization and innovation processes involve interaction and interdependencies between private business actors and public service providing actors. In this paper, the authors take the perspective of a start-up business actor that tries to develop and implement a viable business model in the very dynamic context of digital transformation of public education. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the instability of a startup firm’s business model during public service innovation can be explained. The research question is: “How can business modeling by a start-up firm be explained by tensions between its business model and public service provision models?”

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an abductive logic, the authors choose a single-case study of a start-up firm’s development in 2010-2018 and its interaction with public actors. Information about the firm acquired in the first phase of the study showed that it frequently changed its business model. A general analytical framework was developed to aid in efforts to answer the research question.

Findings

The case showed that a business model could be seen as a temporary outcome of a business modeling process, and that also concurrently public actors change their public actors’ service provisioning models. Public-private interaction reveals tensions that drive business modeling.

Originality/value

The study contributes to empirical knowledge about private-public interaction in the dynamic and complex context in which digital transformation in society drives public service innovations. The conceptual contribution rests more generally in the analytical framework and how it frames public actor’s “service provision modeling” as a driver of business modeling.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Sara Melén Hånell, Emilia Rovira Nordman and Lars-Gunnar Mattsson

This study addresses the research question: How does the experiential knowledge, superstitious knowledge and the wisdom of CEOs influence the internationalization…

Abstract

Purpose

This study addresses the research question: How does the experiential knowledge, superstitious knowledge and the wisdom of CEOs influence the internationalization behaviour of SMEs?

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory qualitative study is used. Longitudinal case studies of two Swedish life science companies are analysed.

Findings

An individual's prior experiential knowledge influence the newly started SME's market commitments and internationalization behaviour. Such prior experiences can enable early and rapid resource commitments in the newly started SMEs. Relying upon such prior experiential knowledge in deciding upon the company's market commitments however heightens the risk of superstitious learning. The findings illustrate how wisdom can work as an antidote to superstitious learning. Wisdom lures even experienced CEOs away from believing they know more than they actually know.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to extend the Uppsala model by incorporating the role of individual-level experiential knowledge. The study also adds value to the literature on small firm internationalization by providing propositions for how the prior knowledge of individual key decision makers influences SMEs' internationalization behaviour. The propositions provide new input to the ongoing discussion in the literature and help to guide future research.

Originality/value

Given the fact that the Uppsala model is centred upon a firm-level view on experiential knowledge, our theoretical understanding is still limited regarding how individual-level experiential knowledge influences the internationalization behaviour of SMEs. This study addresses calls for research on how individuals' prior knowledge influences small-firm internationalization.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article

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

Keywords

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Article

Lars‐Gunnar Mattsson and Jan Johanson

In 1982 two books published in Sweden suggested a network perspective on markets and marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explain the emergence in Sweden of the…

Abstract

Purpose

In 1982 two books published in Sweden suggested a network perspective on markets and marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explain the emergence in Sweden of the network perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Provides an examination of research in industrial marketing and related fields during the 1970s and the roles of the societal and academic contexts for the research.

Findings

Close relations between academic research and business was particularly crucial since it provided access to industry on all organisational levels and business relevance of the research. Three areas of research seem to have been especially important in the development: supplier‐customer interaction, strategy and organisation of the firm and the interconnectedness between markets. The emergence of the network perspective is seen as a result of a conceptual compromise between a group engaged in dyadic business relationship research and another group that had a wider systems interdependence view on markets. The paper shows that the development can be regarded as a discovery process.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the development in Sweden during the 1970s and leading to the publication of two books that suggested a network perspective. A result of the paper is that the development during the period is only the first phase in the discovery of market networks. This suggests that analysis of the later development may be fruitful.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates the roots of the network perspective on markets and marketing and contributes to the understanding of the development of new paradigms in general.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Book part

Per Andersson and Lars-Gunnar Mattsson

Management, over time, takes a series of specific strategic actions. As strategic actions we define actions aimed at influencing how the actor is related to other actors…

Abstract

Management, over time, takes a series of specific strategic actions. As strategic actions we define actions aimed at influencing how the actor is related to other actors. We propose that when a strategic action is committed affects the outcome of the action. An important reason for this is that strategic actions over time can be regarded as interdependent sequences of actions. Timing and sequences may be more or less – or is not at all – preplanned by an actor. In a network perspective a focal actor is dependent on other actors that commit strategic actions. This creates interdependencies that vary over time, which a focal actor influences in a proactive, interactive and/or reactive way. The timing of strategic actions is a general, quite complex and elusive phenomenon to be handled in practice and theory. Despite its importance, very little research has been published.

Details

Relationship Between Exporters and Their Foreign Sales and Marketing Intermediaries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-397-6

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Article

Lars‐Gunnar Mattsson and Asta Salmi

This paper aims to discuss the important and changing role of personal networks for transformation in Russia, and the related challenges for management. Formal…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the important and changing role of personal networks for transformation in Russia, and the related challenges for management. Formal institutions supporting the transformation to a market economy have been weak and Russian managers still tend to rely on personal networks. While these networks are important in all economies, they play a different role in full‐fledged market economies than in planned economies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual and is based on literature on the nature of markets, the Soviet planned economy, and the transformation process in Russia. A business network approach is used to understand markets and focus on the dynamics of overlapping business and personal networks.

Findings

Overlapping between business networks involving non‐Russian networks and between personal and business networks are important drivers of transformation. The challenges for management in Russia are both organizational and strategic, and transformation implies substantial changes in the network structures.

Research limitations/implications

The authors recommend further empirical analysis of the role that the overlapping of business and personal networks plays in transformation, as well as its managerial implications.

Practical implications

This paper shows why firms must build business relationships during transformation that are integrated in nature and in which personal relations support the technical, logistical, financial, and knowledge exchange dimensions.

Originality/value

This paper challenges the dominating view of transformation, which says that market exchange is transactional, impersonal, and competition‐driven. The paper analyzes transformation in Russia as a network overlapping process in which the role of personal relations changes.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Abstract

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Book part

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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Article

Lars‐Gunnar Mattsson

Globalization of markets is a phenomenon that has received much attention and been extensively debated both at general societal/institutional/cultural levels and at market…

Abstract

Globalization of markets is a phenomenon that has received much attention and been extensively debated both at general societal/institutional/cultural levels and at market and business levels. In any globalization process, distribution of goods and services between and within local industrial and consumer markets is of great importance. Globalization of markets and reorganization of distribution are mutually dependent processes that involve changes in market structures. Contemporary examples of this are the emergence of global supply chains, internationalization of wholesale, retail and transportation firms and the development of sales via the Internet. The nature of the interdependence between globalization of markets and the reorganization of distribution is discussed, applying a network view of markets with reference to the cultural dimensions. Supply chain management issues are intimately related to these general development trends. The article concludes with some observations on the need, in practice and in research, to consider supply chain management in its dynamic context.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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