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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Malena Ingemansson Havenvid, Elsebeth Holmen, Åse Linné and Ann-Charlott Pedersen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship continuity across projects among actors in the construction industry, and to discuss why and how such…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship continuity across projects among actors in the construction industry, and to discuss why and how such continuity takes place.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on the results from four in-depth case studies illustrating different strategies for pursuing relationship continuity. The results are analysed and discussed in light of the oft-mentioned strategies suggested by Mintzberg (1987): emergent, deliberate and deliberately emergent strategies. Furthermore, the ARA-model is used to discuss why the relationship continuity strategies are pursued, and which factors might enable and constrain the relationship continuity.

Findings

The main findings are twofold. First, the authors found that the strategy applied for pursuing relationship continuity may, in one-time period, contain one type of strategy or a mix of strategy types. Second, the type of strategy may evolve over time, from one type of strategy being more pronounced in one period, to other strategies being more pronounced in later periods. The strategies applied by construction firms and their counterparts can thus contain elements of emergent, deliberate and deliberately emergent strategies, in varying degrees over time. It is also shown that the strategies of the involved actors co-evolve as a result of interaction. Also, the main reasons for pursuing continuity appear to lie in the re-use and development of important resources and activities across projects to create efficiency and the possibility to develop mutual orientation, commitment and trust over time, and thus reduce uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical studies are needed to support the findings. For managers, the main implication is that relationship continuity can arise as part of an emerging interaction pattern between firms or as part of a planned strategy, but that elements of both might be needed to sustain it.

Originality/value

The authors combine Mintzberg’s strategy concepts with the ARA-model to bring new light to the widely debated issue of discontinuity and fragmentation in the construction industry.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Malena Ingemansson Havenvid, Håkan Håkansson and Åse Linné

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between social-material interaction and the monetary aspects of business relationships in the construction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between social-material interaction and the monetary aspects of business relationships in the construction industry. The authors term the formal financial agreements necessary for such activities “deals”, and this paper seeks to open a research avenue to further investigate the multifaceted interaction processes among business actors. The construction industry is a suitable empirical setting for this purpose; its project-based character and societal position of linking business with the construction of essential community infrastructure imply that different types of money-handling activities need to be managed continuously with both short-term and long-term effects taken into account.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the deals, i.e., the interface between socio-material interaction and the money-handling processes in the construction industry, as well as studying the potential interrelatedness of deals, the authors performed a case study involving three interrelated housing projects in Uppsala, Sweden.

Findings

The study shows that deals do not only have an intricate relationship to the social-material interaction processes among construction actors, but they also become interrelated in specific ways to form “deal structures” as actors engage in different business relationships over time. This means, for instance, that a single deal can enable several other deals, and involved actors have different abilities in performing deals. Hence, most deals are part of a “broader” interaction pattern of social and material resources spanning the organizational borders of individual companies.

Originality/value

Within the industrial marketing and purchasing, the socio-material interaction among actors has been well studied, but less attention has been paid to the monetary dimension and its relationship to the socio-material interaction processes. In particular, this study provides an understanding of monetary agreements in the construction industry.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Caroline Cheng and Malena Ingemansson Havenvid

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the strategic management concept of “strategy tools” (STs) can be reinterpreted from an industrial network perspective. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the strategic management concept of “strategy tools” (STs) can be reinterpreted from an industrial network perspective. It considers how STs are used to influence the substance of relationships and how firms engage in strategic action by using such tools.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case study research involving three focal firms, the paper scrutinizes use of selected STs to examine how they are used to systematically relate to others and create benefits and affect development paths in business relationships.

Findings

STs can be viewed as an integrated part of a networking pattern of mobilizing resources, linking activities and relating actors. Seen in this manner, use of STs can be interaction-facilitating or interaction-creating.

Research limitations/implications

In an interactive approach, STs must be seen in relation to others as they are used in strategic (co-)action to engage and involve others. In this view, tools are strategic when used to affect the long-term development of important business relationships.

Practical implications

Practitioners should acknowledge that the use of a ST to handle counterparts is emerging, and valuable only in relation to specific others. Because the value of STs is unknowable until it is revealed how they can affect the substance of a specific relationship, there is no best-practice or one-size-fits-all approach.

Originality/value

This paper illuminates the phenomenon of “strategy tools” by considering it from both sides of the business exchange interface.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2018

Julia V. Bondeli, Malena Ingemansson Havenvid and Hans Solli-Sæther

This paper aims to refine conceptual treatment of the social facet in business relationships and reinforce its significance in the industrial marketing and purchasing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to refine conceptual treatment of the social facet in business relationships and reinforce its significance in the industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) research tradition by integrating the concept of social capital in its original interpretation into the actor-resource-activity (ARA) model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins by indicating some typical conceptual challenges associated with application of social capital in IMP. This is followed by a conceptual clarification that explores the origin and the essence of social capital in economic sociology. Finally, the paper proposes integrating social capital in its original interpretation into IMP’s ARA model and presents four propositions on how social capital is created in interaction between business actors.

Findings

The paper shows how bridging Bourdieu’s theory of social capital with the IMP approach may solve the identified conceptual challenges. This paper’s main contribution is a cyclical model depicting how social capital is created in business networks. It is integrated into the ARA model and designed specifically for studying the social facet of business relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is expected to aid IMP researchers in empirical contexts where the social component in business relationships is particularly prominent. As such, the novel approach presented could be used to further understand how social exchange processes are related to relationship governance, relationship initiation and development.

Originality/value

The proposed model shows how social capital is generated through the dynamic interplay in the social facets of actor, activity and resource dimensions, emphasising its creation dynamics. The model integrates insights from the classic works in economic sociology to strengthen the social side of IMP’s socioeconomic interface and is intended to be used as a tool for empirical application.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Sigurd Sagen Vildåsen and Malena Ingemansson Havenvid

Most scholars acknowledge the role of firm-stakeholder relationship for enabling corporate sustainability (CS), but existing literature tends to apply a superficial…

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Abstract

Purpose

Most scholars acknowledge the role of firm-stakeholder relationship for enabling corporate sustainability (CS), but existing literature tends to apply a superficial understanding of interaction. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge by challenging classical stakeholder theory with fundamental insights from the IMP perspective, which in turn leads to a deeper conceptualization of interactive CS.

Design/methodology/approach

A typology framework is developed through an abductive research design grounded in the concepts of actors, resources, and activities. The authors illustrate the potential of the framework through a longitudinal case study. The empirical case revolves around an initiative for recycling of plastic material in a partly beforehand established supply chain, and the study reveals three main findings.

Findings

First, recycling solutions can result in major technological challenges. For example, using recycled material can jeopardize industrial quality standards. Second, third-party stakeholders represent critical knowledge and competence that can remedy technological challenges. Finally, R&D projects are important means for developing firm-stakeholder relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The paper introduces IMP concepts to the CS debate, which can illuminate the emerging literature on tensions and paradoxes related to CS phenomena. Further research is needed on the role of non-business actors as capacity generators for social and environmental change in traditional business networks.

Practical implications

The proposed framework can be used to analyze why some stakeholders (individuals and groups) turn into contributing actors in inter-organizational relationships, while others remain latent.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates the usefulness of actor bonds, resource ties and activity links as explanatory concepts. Moreover, developed relationships in terms of collaboration and networks represent a capacity to change, which is overlooked in current CS debates.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Malena Ingemansson Havenvid, Håkan Håkansson and Åse Linné

The authors argue that the construction industry is characterised by a fragmented business context with three main features: the project-based character, the strong focus…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors argue that the construction industry is characterised by a fragmented business context with three main features: the project-based character, the strong focus on price in all parts of the supply chain along with the great importance of suppliers. This fragmentation has been identified as problematic for the industry’s ability to innovate and engage in renewal. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this further by focusing on how construction companies manage renewal in a fragmented business context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use an in-depth case study of a housing project in Sweden to discuss how firms manage renewal in a fragmented type of business environment. The authors identify the challenge of achieving renewal in an individual construction company as an issue of handling intra- and inter-organisational issues in both intra- and inter-project environments.

Findings

The case study indicates that renewal can be partly handled and managed through long-term business relationships and partly through opening up to new business relationships. Moreover, innovations and learning developed in other projects can be used in the focal project, and due to a repetitive task it is possible for the construction company to use a core network of individuals and organisations to enhance overall renewal among actors.

Research limitations/implications

The study needs to be supported by further empirical observations. The paper encourages IMP scholars to further investigate projects from an industrial network approach.

Practical implications

The study shows that the internal resources of firms can be used systematically to create continuity in a multi-project organisation, and that relationships can be used to bridge learning and innovation among actors across projects.

Originality/value

The paper addresses why firms in fragmented (project-based) businesses might struggle with achieving renewal in a novel way by outlining and investigating four organisational challenges they must handle.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Abstract

Details

No Business is an Island
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-550-4

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Malena Ingemansson Havenvid

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the link between economic thinking and public policy, two ways of promoting innovation are reviewed – competition and interaction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the link between economic thinking and public policy, two ways of promoting innovation are reviewed – competition and interaction. The competition perspective is illustrated by Schumpeterian-inspired growth economics, while the role of inter-organisational interaction is shown by the industrial network theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The construction sector is used as an example of a politically critiqued industry regarding low innovativeness and productivity, through which the two different views are outlined and compared. The main differences of these two perspectives are outlined as: the organisational unit of analysis (the firm vs the relationship and network), how knowledge is created and spread (exogenous vs endogenous to economic exchange), and the value-creation processes (internal vs external focus).

Findings

The two views are essential different and therefore should cancel each other out if implemented simultaneously. Consequently, a conscious choice as to which view should be used within a public policy for promoting innovation must be made. It is concluded that, while both types of economic thinking can be used to promote innovation in this industry, a fundamental difference could arise if construction firms continue to pursue mainly competitive strategies at the expense of addressing its interactional problems.

Practical implications

Finally, a set of questions that policymakers need to consider in relation to the three fundamental issues addressed above is discussed.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the discussion of how to increase the innovativeness in the construction industry in a novel way by comparing two distinctly different theoretical perspectives on how this is best handled.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Fonfara Krzysztof, Ratajczak-Mrozek Milena, Dymitrowski Adam and Zieliński Marek

Abstract

Details

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Alexandra Waluszewski and Ivan Snehota

Abstract

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

1 – 10 of 17