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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Linda D. Peters, Andrew D. Pressey, Alan J.P. Gilchrist and Wesley J. Johnston

Recent research places an increased emphasis on the inclusion of the customer in value creation, learning and innovation processes; yet, there remains a gap in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research places an increased emphasis on the inclusion of the customer in value creation, learning and innovation processes; yet, there remains a gap in the understanding of just how such customer involvement may work. This paper aims to address this gap by examining two aspects of customer involvement – their knowledgeability and their agency. In addition, three boundaries (semantic, syntactic and pragmatic) across which relationship development occurs and which may facilitate and/or inhibit value co-creation, collaborative learning and innovation processes have been explored.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies have been used. Two were large-scale construction projects in the UK, and one was a global professional accounting firm in the USA.

Findings

Customers may become frustrated if not allowed to exercise their agency. However, their involvement can create tensions for suppliers who may have to become more tolerant of divergent goals. In respect of knowledgeability, it was found that constraint satisfaction is important in allowing customers to reconcile their personal knowledge schema with the collective schema. However, it was also noted that customer knowledgeability brings with it challenges for suppliers, who must find ways to add value for such customers.

Research limitations/implications

A number of further questions relating to the agency and knowledgeability of customers and their inclusion in value co-creation, collaborative learning and innovation processes have been posed. The need for guidance in identifying and minimising the barriers to crossing semantic, syntactic and pragmatic boundaries between customers and suppliers has also been highlighted.

Originality/value

This study makes an important contribution to research in the field, in that how the inclusion of the customer in business networks alters current assumptions and practices is investigated.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Roderick J. Brodie and Linda D. Peters

For service research to develop as an applied social science there is the need to refresh the process of theorizing so it focuses not only on increasing new academic…

Abstract

Purpose

For service research to develop as an applied social science there is the need to refresh the process of theorizing so it focuses not only on increasing new academic knowledge but also on knowledge that is managerially relevant. This paper aims to provide guidelines to achieve this.

Design/methodology/approach

A theorizing process that integrates general theoretic perspectives and contextual research to develop midrange theory is developed. The process is based on the philosophical foundations of pragmatism and abductive reasoning, which has the origins in the 1950s when the management sciences were being established.

Findings

A recent research stream that develops midrange theory about customer and actor engagement is used to illustrate the theorizing process.

Practical implications

Practicing managers, customers and other stakeholders in a service system use theory, so there is a need to focus on how theory is used in specific service contexts and how this research leads to academic knowledge that is managerially relevant. Thus, as applied social science, service research needs to explicitly focus on bridging the theory–praxis gap with midrange theory by incorporating a general theoretic perspective and contextual research.

Originality/value

The contribution comes from providing a broader framework to guide the theorizing process that integrates general theoretic perspectives and applied research to develop midrange theory. While general theories operate at the most abstract level of conceptualization, midrange theories are context-specific and applied theory (theories-in-use) is embedded in empirical research.

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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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1151

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: 21 May 2020

Linda D. Peters, Suvi Nenonen, Francesco Polese, Pennie Frow and Adrian Payne

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework based on the identification and examination of the mechanisms (termed “viability mechanisms”) under which market-shaping…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework based on the identification and examination of the mechanisms (termed “viability mechanisms”) under which market-shaping activities yield the emergence of a viable market: one able to adapt to the changing environment over time while remaining stable enough for actors to benefit from it.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses extant literature to build a conceptual framework identifying viability mechanisms for market shaping and a case illustration examining how a viable market for Finnish timber high-rise buildings was created. The case exemplifies how the identified viability mechanisms are practically manifested through proactive market shaping.

Findings

The proposed conceptual framework incorporates four viability mechanisms identified in the extant literature: presence of dissipative structures, consonance among system elements, resonance among system elements and reinforcing and balancing feedback loops. It illustrates how these mechanisms are manifested in a contemporary case setting resulting in a viable market.

Practical implications

First, firms and other market-shaping organizations should look for, or themselves foster, viability mechanisms within their market-shaping strategies. Second, as failure rates in innovation are extremely high, managers should seek to identify or influence viability mechanisms to avoid premature commercialization of innovations.

Originality/value

This study identifies how these viability mechanisms permit markets to emerge and survive over time. Further, it illuminates the workings of the non-linear relationship between actor-level market-shaping actions and system-level market changes. As such, it provides a “missing link” to the scholarly and managerial discourse on market-shaping strategies. Unlike much extant market-shaping literature, this study draws substantively on the systems literature.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Judy Zolkiewski, Victoria Story, Jamie Burton, Paul Chan, Andre Gomes, Philippa Hunter-Jones, Lisa O’Malley, Linda D. Peters, Chris Raddats and William Robinson

The purpose of this paper is to critique the adequacy of efforts to capture the complexities of customer experience in a business-to-business (B2B) context using…

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6631

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critique the adequacy of efforts to capture the complexities of customer experience in a business-to-business (B2B) context using input–output measures. The paper introduces a strategic customer experience management framework to capture the complexity of B2B service interactions and discusses the value of outcomes-based measurement.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical paper that reviews extant literature related to B2B customer experience and asks fresh questions regarding B2B customer experience at a more strategic network level.

Findings

The paper offers a reconceptualisation of B2B customer experience, proposes a strategic customer experience management framework and outlines a future research agenda.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual and seeks to raise questions surrounding the under-examined area of B2B customer experience. As a consequence, it has inevitable limitations resulting from the lack of empirical evidence to support the reconceptualisation.

Practical implications

Existing measures of customer experience are problematic when applied in a B2B (services) context. Rather than adopting input- and output-based measures, widely used in a business-to-consumer (B2C) context, a B2B context requires a more strategic approach to capturing and managing customer experience. Focussing on strategically important issues should generate opportunities for value co-creation and are more likely to involve outcomes-based measures.

Social implications

Improving the understanding of customer experience in a B2B context should allow organisations to design better services and consequently enhance the experiences of their employees, their customers and other connected actors.

Originality/value

This paper critiques the current approach to measuring customer experience in a B2B context, drawing on contemporary ideas of value-in-use, outcomes-based measures and “Big Data” to offer potential solutions to the measurement problems identified.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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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2224

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: 3 August 2010

Linda D. Peters, Wesley J. Johnston, Andrew D. Pressey and Terry Kendrick

Firms collaborate for many reasons; however, sharing resources would seem a primary motive. This paper seeks to argue that in many instances firms collaborate to become…

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2663

Abstract

Purpose

Firms collaborate for many reasons; however, sharing resources would seem a primary motive. This paper seeks to argue that in many instances firms collaborate to become part of a knowledge network – to learn about their industry and collectively use their knowledge to serve their own customers more effectively in a competitive environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper; however, the authors illustrate the work with examples from the automotive industry.

Findings

The authors conclude that it is necessary to expand traditional approaches to understanding networks to include the nature and purpose of the interactions between the firms, as well as the structural features of the network and the development of shared meaning and consensus among the network participants.

Research limitations/implications

The authors demonstrate the need to take a broader view of learning and collaboration in networks.

Practical implications

The automotive and other industries are beginning to witness firms collaborating with competitors and other firms that can add value through collective learning. What seems certain is that for many industries the basis of future competition will be collaborative learning communities versus collaborative learning communities rather than OEM versus OEM in competing for resources and market share.

Originality/value

The paper examines how and why firms interact and how this influences what learning is shared, and how such learning is utilised by the firms involved. The paper explores the concept of collective learning, and discusses how the nature and purpose of the interactions between network partners facilitate key learning capabilities.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Linda D. Peters and Andrew D. Pressey

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1014

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 25 June 2012

Linda D. Peters

Purpose – This chapter proposes three main objectives in relation to understanding customer involvement in business networks. First, to identify important aspects of the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter proposes three main objectives in relation to understanding customer involvement in business networks. First, to identify important aspects of the network structure and environment and how the actions of the customer and other network participants create and maintain these. Second, to identify and explore the mechanisms and processes of resource integration in the network. Third, to identify the capabilities and competencies that customers bring to the network, and to understand how these are enhanced and developed.

Methodology/approach – Conceptual.

Research implications – We recognize that aspects of the resources themselves are important and that the characteristics of the resource and the way in which partners align them were key components of resource analysis.

Practical implications – We note that the interaction of different operant and operand resource combinations opens new doors to customer knowledgeability and involvement, where power over either authoritative or allocative resources in itself will not guarantee value creation.

Social implications – We support the call for the development of more sociologically enriched and complex models of interagent resource exchange. In particular, we would advise the need for a better understanding of how different network structures and environments are created and maintained through domination, legitimation, and signification processes.

Originality/value of chapter – This chapter addresses the gap in our understanding of how customer involvement in business-to-business networks may influence learning, value cocreation, and innovation. This chapter makes an important contribution to research in the field in that it investigates how the inclusion of the customer in business networks alters current assumptions and practices.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Linda D Peters and Andrew D Pressey

– This paper aims to explore the necessary mechanisms for coordination in complex industrial networks which are temporary in nature, known as temporary organisations (TOs).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the necessary mechanisms for coordination in complex industrial networks which are temporary in nature, known as temporary organisations (TOs).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on two in-depth case studies conducted in the UK construction industry.

Findings

The paper outlines the necessary mechanisms for coordination in TOs – referred to as “scaffolding practices” – which ensure consistency (stability in terms of thinking and action), consensus (agreement) and co-constitutiveness (personal pledges and commitments).

Research limitations/implications

The study provides practical implications for situations where actors create temporary organisational specific logics. This “logic” helps explain how actors are able to undertake tasks of finite duration where members lack familiarity and have competing loyalties.

Originality/value

The paper is novel in that it represents the first extant attempt to examine “temporary industrial organizations” where individuals from different (often competing) organisations collaborate on a task for a defined period and suggests how coordination may be achieved.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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