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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2018

Hannu Makkonen, Sini Nordberg-Davies and Rami Olkkonen

The article aims to further understanding of purchasing practices in post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationships, and it provides a holistic approach and…

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to further understanding of purchasing practices in post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationships, and it provides a holistic approach and onceptualizations with which to balance the perspectives of purchasing as an intra-firm operational function and as a strategic activity embedded in relationship and network management.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an inductive-oriented case study. The data comprised 61 thematic interviews conducted at 17 buyer companies (electricity distribution companies), 11 service supplier companies and six third-party organizations. The case features a setting in which a growing number of electricity distribution companies have outsourced operational functions regarding network construction, maintenance and fault repair and purchased these services from service suppliers representing a developing service market.

Findings

The study explicates the role of purchasing as an element with the most impact on post-outsourcing buyer–supplier relationship outcomes and development. The performance of the buyer–supplier relationship either accelerates or inhibits the new service supplier’s entry to the field and motivates or demotivates the electricity distribution companies to outsource their activities. This mechanism links to the respective development of supplier markets and buyer industry transformation.

Originality/value

The focal study provides a holistic approach and conceptualizations with which to balance the perspectives of purchasing as an intra-firm operational function and as a strategic activity embedded in relationship and network management. In particular, the study provides conceptual development on purchasing practices in post-outsourcing relationships and concrete managerial implications for dealing with such circumstances. The focal study includes case notes that facilitate using the study for teaching purposes.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Samppa Suoniemi, Alex Zablah, Harri Terho, Rami Olkkonen, Detmar Straub and Hannu Makkonen

The current research aims to answer the following question: To what extent and under what conditions does hiring consultants to implement a customer relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

The current research aims to answer the following question: To what extent and under what conditions does hiring consultants to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system produce performance gains for companies? To answer this question, this research delves into the critical interdependent roles of CRM consultant resources (CR) and user involvement (UI) in overcoming CRM’s technological and organizational implementation challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative field study methodology was used to empirically test the research hypotheses. Cross-sectional data (N = 126) were collected from large client companies using CRM technology. Partial least squares-structural equation modeling was used to estimate the significance levels of the structural model.

Findings

The findings indicate that the extent to which CRM consultants improve CRM system quality (SQ) and, ultimately, firm performance, largely depends on UI, which acts as the key facilitating mechanism to cope with application complexity (APP) and requirements uncertainty (REQ).

Originality/value

This research probes into the largely unexplored interactions between CRM CR, UI, APP and REQ. Using these parameters, this model successfully predicts CRM SQ and firm performance.

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: 1 March 2000

Rami Olkkonen, Henrikki Tikkanen and Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi

Despite the fact that commercial sponsorship nowadays is a common phenomenon with salient effects on different aspects of developed societies at large (e.g. sports, the…

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5270

Abstract

Despite the fact that commercial sponsorship nowadays is a common phenomenon with salient effects on different aspects of developed societies at large (e.g. sports, the arts, the public sector, the media), academic research interest in this closely marketing‐related field seems to be rather low. Although there have been significant changes in marketing thinking during the 1990s, current research on sponsorship seems to be “stuck” in the more traditional, marketing‐mix management – and mass communicative effects‐based discourse. This paper aims at presenting a theoretical overview of how current sponsorship research could be developed further by applying the basic ideas and concepts provided by the interaction/network approach to the study of sponsorship‐related phenomena. Adopting an interaction/network perspective means that, instead of measuring the mass‐communicative effects on various audiences, the focus is on understanding the development of sponsorship relationships and networks, as well as on interpersonal communication processes going on between the sponsorship parties.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Rami Olkkonen and Pekka Tuominen

To describe, analyse, and understand relationship fading between a business sponsor and a sponsored museum in the context of cultural sponsorships.

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3551

Abstract

Purpose

To describe, analyse, and understand relationship fading between a business sponsor and a sponsored museum in the context of cultural sponsorships.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical study uses a longitudinal and a dyadic approach to analyse the temporal development of a three‐year cultural‐sponsorship relationship.

Findings

This study tackles the phenomenon of relationship fading in cultural sponsorships. The triggers of relationship fading are first elaborated into structural and situational triggers. These triggers are further categorised into structural predisposing triggers, situational precipitating triggers, situational attenuating, and structural attenuating triggers.

Research limitations/implications

Most of the triggers of relationship fading are passive and indirect. Consequently, the triggers of fading affect the development of the relationship by gradually reducing the sponsor's motivations to invest and develop the cultural‐sponsorship relationship.

Practical implications

Successful management of cultural sponsorship requires the interacting actors to be aware of the structural and situational triggers of fading that can lead to the fading and potential ultimate ending of such a relationship. Using culture‐oriented marketing professionals with good communication skills between the business and the arts community is vital in managing cultural sponsorships and in avoiding fading in cultural‐sponsorship relationships.

Originality/value

A central feature of the fresh theoretical framework on relationship fading is the link between relatively permanent structures and the situational processes. A dyadic and longitudinal approach is adopted to reveal the past, present, and future dynamics of fading in the cultural‐sponsorship relationship.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2001

Rami Olkkonen

Offers a discussion on the interorganizational network approach as an interesting, alternative avenue for the development of sponsorship research. An example of how to…

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8725

Abstract

Offers a discussion on the interorganizational network approach as an interesting, alternative avenue for the development of sponsorship research. An example of how to describe and analyze a sport sponsorship arrangement case, using the interorganizational network approach as a theoretical frame of reference, is presented. Researching sports sponsorship from a network perspective extends the interorganizational network thinking from a traditional industrial/marketing channel context to the context of sponsorship formed by actors from the fields of sports, media and business. The phenomenon of networking is quite visible in the case of NMP‐FIS sponsorship arrangement. NMP has entered into relationships with various types of organizations in order to more effectively gain benefits from its sponsorship investment. Actors of the NMP’s focal snowboard sponsorship net possess different kinds of resources linked to public relations management, sports management and distribution of television rights. Different network actors bring to the arrangement not only their own resources and capabilities, but also their own networks of value adding relationships. Consequently, when planning international sponsorships companies need to assess not only the sponsored event/organization (its resources) but also its corresponding network (ability to link activities and tie resources with those of other actors), i.e. the “network identity” of the sponsored. The case presented clearly demonstrates the appropriateness of the network approach to sponsorship and other service‐oriented situations different from the “traditional” production situations. Further research could continue to add examples from other kinds of sponsorship relationships and networks, for example, from different kinds of sports and arts sponsorship arrangements. Furthermore, longitudinal perspectives are needed in order to gain understanding of the development processes of sponsorship relationships and networks.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

Rami Olkkonen and Pekka Tuominen

The purpose of this study is to describe, analyze, and understand the fading configurations in inter‐organizational relationships in the context of cultural sponsorship.

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1279

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe, analyze, and understand the fading configurations in inter‐organizational relationships in the context of cultural sponsorship.

Design/methodology/approach

A dyadic case study investigates a long‐term cultural‐sponsorship relationship between a business sponsor and a sponsored museum.

Findings

The triggers of relationship fading are broadly elaborated into structural and situational triggers. These triggers are further categorized into negative and positive structural triggers and into negative and positive situational triggers. Negative triggers accelerate the fading of cultural‐sponsorship relationships, whereas positive triggers hinder such fading.

Research limitations/implications

The perceptions of the business sponsor and the sponsored museum are combined into a configuration matrix of relationship fading in cultural‐sponsorships relationships. The configuration matrix can be used to analyze the composition and the dynamics of perceptions during relationship fading. The configuration matrix offers a powerful and flexible tool that allows conflicting views in the cultural‐sponsorship relationship to be revealed and described.

Practical implications

The analytical framework facilitates managerial identification of potential structural and situational triggers of fading in cultural‐sponsorship relationships. To manage such relationships effectively, the interacting actors have to take into account the probable fading of cultural‐sponsorships relationships, and the reasons for this.

Originality/value

The triggers of relationship fading can emanate from both the structural context in which this time‐bound cultural‐sponsorship relationship is embedded and the situational process itself. Consequently, the triggers of fading can be both structural with relatively high permanence and situational with single critical events and incidents occurring in the relationship.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Rami Olkkonen, Henrikki Tikkanen and Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi

Owing to the strong position of traditional marketing communications (especially advertising) research and consumer marketing related theories in the general field of…

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16691

Abstract

Owing to the strong position of traditional marketing communications (especially advertising) research and consumer marketing related theories in the general field of marketing, the prevailing concepts of communication can be labeled as “mass communicative” in current marketing discourse as a whole. However, along with the rise of various “relational approaches” in marketing, the focus of marketing research seems to shift from products and firms as a central unit of analysis to people, organizations and the social processes that bind actors together in ongoing relationships. In these interactive relationship/network contexts, the nature of communication is hardly mass communicative. This article aims at presenting a theoretical framework on the role of communication in business relationships and networks. The interaction/network approach to marketing means moving from the current perspective of marketing’s mass‐communicative effects and consequent communicative behaviors of organizations to the “lower level” of interpersonal communication processes occurring within business relationships and networks.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Arto Lindblom, Rami Olkkonen and Lasse Mitronen

This paper aims to investigate the cognitive styles of contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs with respect to marketing decision making. The study addresses two…

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1098

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the cognitive styles of contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs with respect to marketing decision making. The study addresses two research questions: How can the cognitive styles of these retail entrepreneurs be classified? If there are differences in the cognitive styles of retail entrepreneurs, how are these differences reflected in their business performance?

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review and conceptual analysis, a questionnaire on cognitive styles is developed on the basis of Jung's “typology theory” and the Myers‐Briggs Type Indicator. A quantitative internet survey study is then conducted among 226 retailers contracted to the K‐alliance of Finland. The results are then subjected to statistical analysis.

Findings

The study reveals that the cognitive style of most of the studied K‐retailers is in accordance with the style of salaried managers, rather than that of “entrepreneurs”. The study also finds no clear relationship between the cognitive styles of the respondents and their business performance.

Research limitations/implications

The possible existence of explanatory factors other than cognitive styles was not considered in the study. Further research is required on other variables that might have a direct or indirect effect on the business performance of retailers.

Practical implications

The study has implications for the governance and management systems of contractually integrated retailing organisations; in particular the study suggests that such management systems might inhibit entrepreneurial cognitive styles.

Originality/value

The paper offers new perspectives on entrepreneurship in the context of contractually integrated retailing organisations.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Arto Lindblom and Rami Olkkonen

To assess the weight and extent of control possessed by manufacturers over category management (CM) tactics in contemporary distribution channels for fast‐moving consumer…

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2789

Abstract

Purpose

To assess the weight and extent of control possessed by manufacturers over category management (CM) tactics in contemporary distribution channels for fast‐moving consumer goods; and to analyse the origins of this control.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey study conducted among Finnish manufacturers of fast‐moving consumer goods. A total of 420 questionnaires were sent out. Of these, 84 questionnaires were returned, of which 83 were satisfactorily completed for use in the analysis.

Findings

The study reveals that manufacturers believe that retailers are clearly in charge of CM tactics. However, large manufacturers seem to possess a relatively strong weight of control in CM decision making, whereas small manufacturers possess little weight of control. The origins of manufacturers' control are mostly non‐coercive in nature.

Research limitations/implications

This study has approached CM from the perspective of manufacturing organisations. The phenomenon could also be approached from the retailers' or a dyadic perspective. It would be fruitful to conduct comparative studies in other national settings. Conceptual and qualitative empirical studies are needed to obtain a clearer understanding of the phenomenon.

Practical implications

The study suggests that manufacturers who wish to gain some control over CM tactics should base their interaction with retailers on expertise and issues related to referent power bases.

Originality/value

This paper offers new perspectives on CM by examining the concept of power within manufacturer‐retailer relationships.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2008

Jukka Ojasalo, Satu Nätti and Rami Olkkonen

The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge of brand building in software SMEs.

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5539

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge of brand building in software SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical method used is a multi‐case study. Data were collected from 20 companies in the software industry through in‐depth interviews. The data were analyzed using systematic coding and categorization of qualitative evidence.

Findings

The study identified five special characteristics of brand building in software SMEs, relating to goals and perceived benefits of brand building; resources in brand building; external and internal cooperation in brand building; means and communication in brand building; and the process of product brand building and its connection to software product development.

Research limitations/implications

The scientific contribution of this empirical study relates to two aspects of brand management: branding in software business and branding in SMEs. A vast amount of literature exists on “brands”, “software business” and “SMEs”, but there is very little on “branding in software business” or “branding in SMEs”. Unarguably, there are two significant knowledge gaps in the literature, and they relate to branding in software and SME industries. Both theoretical and managerial knowledge is needed. This study corresponds to this need by increasing the knowledge of brand building in software SMEs with an empirical study. The present study is characterized by the general limitations of a case study. The results lack statistical reliability, they apply primarily in the case companies examined, and no direct generalizations should be made without further quantitative study.

Practical implications

Directors of SMEs often think that branding is just for big companies, but small companies with limited resources can brand their products and services as well. However, the means of branding are often different. The present study encourages SMEs to systematically think of the potential advantages of branding for their business, and develop creative, targeted, and affordable approaches for brand building.

Originality/value

The present empirical study makes an original contribution to the literature by increasing the knowledge of branding in the context of both SMEs and software business.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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