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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Thierry Houé and David Duchamp

Sustainable purchasing and supply management (SPSM) is a lever of sustainable development for companies and remains an interesting research issue that can be analysed from…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable purchasing and supply management (SPSM) is a lever of sustainable development for companies and remains an interesting research issue that can be analysed from various perspectives. By considering the polymorphic concept of proximity as a theoretical support, this research studies the buyer–supplier dyad and aims to answer the following question. How does the diversity of buyer–supplier dyad relationships influence the SPSM of direct and indirect purchases within a manufacturing company?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a qualitative approach founded on a matrix analysis to describe buyer–supplier relationships through the prism of the proximity concept. The field of study consists in a single case with embedded units including a manufacturing company and a sample of 13 suppliers of direct and indirect purchases.

Findings

The research reveals diverse combinations of proximities that characterise relationships between a buyer and suppliers of several purchasing categories. This diversity of relational contexts influences SPSM in different ways. The authors highlight three SPSM approaches labelled contractual, relational and embedded and describe practices carried out with suppliers as part of the different relational profiles.

Research limitations/implications

The research is developed in a single perspective. To ensure that it can be generalised, it should be applied in other contexts supported by new case studies.

Practical implications

The research provides practitioners with guidelines on building successful buyer–supplier partnerships in a sustainable view. The authors’ findings aid managerial decision-making by validating the necessity of adapting SPSM depending on buyer–supplier relational situations.

Originality/value

This paper offers an original study angle on buyer–supplier relationships based on a proximity analysis. The authors’ research confirms the variety of sustainable purchasing relationships underlined by the literature and can advance the portfolio approach to sustainable purchasing.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Daniel Schepis

This paper aims to examine how innovation intermediary activities increase relational proximity between start-ups and foreign partners to support start-up internationalization.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how innovation intermediary activities increase relational proximity between start-ups and foreign partners to support start-up internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies a case study methodology to examine an international network of innovation intermediaries in the resources sector. Interviews were conducted with 59 start-ups, corporate and intermediary managers in four countries, supplemented by secondary data. A two-stage analysis process was performed to first identify activities relating to start-up internationalization and then apply a theoretically derived coding framework based on five proximity dimensions.

Findings

The case identifies several innovation intermediary activities, which facilitate relationship development between start-ups and partners in new markets. Findings outline how activities increase relational proximity across different dimensions, while also indicating a number of interrelations between dimensions, given the complexity of international business relationships.

Originality/value

This paper establishes interdisciplinary bridges between business networks, international business and economic geography perspectives. It provides a valuable empirical foundation for relational proximity, demonstrating its application to understanding start-up internationalization and its influence by intermediary-led activities.

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
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Margarida Fontes and Cristina Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates the presence and relative importance of ties endowed with different types of proximity in firms’ knowledge networks, and the role played by non-geographical proximity in gaining access to knowledge sources, both nearby and distant.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework is proposed that distinguishes between two dimensions of proximity – geographical and relational – leading to different forms of proximity, which are further linked with modes of knowledge interaction (formal or informal). A methodology for network reconstruction is developed and applied to Portuguese molecular biology firms, permitting to identify the origin, location and nature of the ties and to position them along forms of proximity.

Findings

The results show that the incidence and mix of the different forms of proximity vary in firms’ individual networks, being possible to identify several patterns. They also uncover the relevance of relational proximity, whether or not coexisting with geographical proximity and often compensating for its absence.

Research limitations/implications

This approach needs to be complemented with further research that refines the operationalization of relational proximity, by attempting to disentangle the influence of different types of non-geographical proximity. Further research will also explore in greater detail the factors that may explain variety in the proximity mix of firms’ networks.

Practical implications

The paper offers insights into the knowledge sourcing strategies adopted by science-based firms located outside the main concentrations of knowledge in their field.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on the role of proximity in knowledge access, by developing and empirically testing a taxonomy of forms of proximity, considering the characteristics of science-based firms. It uncovers the mechanisms through which relational proximity can contribute to span spatial boundaries, highlighting the role played by entrepreneurs’ personal networks.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2017

Raveh Harush, Alon Lisak and Ella Glikson

Using social categorization perspective, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of global identity, perceived proximity, and team interdependence on relational

Abstract

Purpose

Using social categorization perspective, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of global identity, perceived proximity, and team interdependence on relational conflict in multicultural distributed teams.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were 317 MBA students in 83 multicultural distributed project teams. Structural equation modeling and bootstrap methods were used to test the study model.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the indirect effect of global identity on relational conflict, through the pathway of perceived proximity, is moderated by team interdependence. More specifically, global identity leads to higher perceived proximity and lower relational conflict levels under low, rather than high, interdependence levels.

Research limitations/implications

The particular study context (multicultural distributed MBA student project teams) may limit the extent of the generalization of the findings.

Practical implications

The findings presented here can help practitioners in global organizations to defuse relational conflicts in multicultural distributed teams by embracing a global cultural approach and relying on shared global identity in team building, personnel selection, and development. Additionally, managers should be conscientious when they use the practice of facilitating interdependence between team members and assess the need for other interventions.

Originality/value

This study advances multicultural distributed team research by highlighting the role of global identity in reducing relational conflict, identifying the mediation mechanism of perceived proximity, and the boundary conditions of team interdependence levels under which this attenuation effect prevails.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Kedong Yin, Jie Xu and Xuemei Li

The purpose of this paper is to study the essential characteristics of grey relational degree of proximity, to analyse the abstract meaning of grey relational degree of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the essential characteristics of grey relational degree of proximity, to analyse the abstract meaning of grey relational degree of similarity and fully consider the two different relational degree models.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper constructed the grey proximity relational degree by using the weighted mean distance. To analyse the motivation of the development of things, this paper constructed the grey similarity degree by using the concept of induced strength. Finally, the two correlation models are weighted by reliability weighting.

Findings

The research finding shows that the distance is the essence of the grey relational degree of proximity, and the induced strength is a good explanation of the similarities in the development of things.

Practical implications

The analyses imply that the total amount of water consumption in China has the greatest correlation with the consumption of agricultural water resources, followed by the consumption of industrial water resources, and the least correlation with the consumption of domestic water resources.

Originality/value

The paper succeeds in realizing the essential characteristics of grey relational degree of proximity and the abstract meaning of grey relational degree of similarity. Besides, the resolution of the correlation degree can be greatly improved by reliability weighting.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Ernest Emeka Izogo, Ike-Elechi Ogba and Kenneth Chukwuma Nwekpa

The purpose of this paper is to explore the linkages between the determinants of relationship marketing and the behavioural component of these determinants within a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the linkages between the determinants of relationship marketing and the behavioural component of these determinants within a non-Western retail stores setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was employed, using 19-item, seven-point Likert scaled questionnaire administered to 350 participants with 67 per cent usable response rate. Data was analysed using exploratory factor analysis, Cronbach’s α internal consistency; correlation analysis and One-Way Analysis of Variance test.

Findings

Trust-Quality services emerged as the most outstanding determinant of relationship marketing within the retail stores context followed by relational orientation, commitment and proximity. Quality services were found to have the most significant positive impact on trust whereas trust was found to have a strong positive impact on commitment. Relational orientation was found to have a strong positive impact on trust, commitment and quality services but proximity was found to be a docile factor determining commitment and relational orientation. Finally, consumers were identified as being more relationally oriented than retailers and all categories of consumers can be served with same blend of relationship marketing strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Since findings could not be generalized across other sectors and regions, guides for testing the proposed research model are put forward.

Practical implications

Relationship marketing implementation within the context of retail stores will be more successful if based on delivery of quality services. Consumers are also more likely to patronize closer than distant retail stores. As such, even if retail firms build strong trust, commitment and relational orientation with customers through quality services, consumers will still patronize stores that are closer to them more than stores in distant locations. Siting retail stores in locations with the largest pool of customers’ is therefore central to enhancing retail stores performance. All categories of customers could be served with same stream of relationship marketing strategies because designing different schemes of relationship marketing programmes for different customer categories were found to be counter-productive.

Originality/value

This paper identified 16 attributes that are important to consumers under four dimensions: Trust-Quality services, relational orientation, commitment and proximity within the retail stores context. The findings are acknowledged to be unique because they emerged from a largely under-researched collectivistic emerging market where relationship marketing formation is key.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Elisa Salvador, Ilaria Mariotti and Fabrizio Conicella

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the science park (SP) “physical” location and the innovation cluster (IC) “virtual” location, and aims at investigating: the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the science park (SP) “physical” location and the innovation cluster (IC) “virtual” location, and aims at investigating: the motivations driving firms to settle in these two agglomerations; the main problems firms, belonging to the two structures, face in their growth process; similarities and differences between a “physical” and a “virtual” location; which forms of proximity (geographical, relational, social, cognitive, organizational, and institutional) play a role within the SP and the IC.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review on proximity is followed by an investigation of the Bioindustry Park and the IC BioPmed in Piedmont region in Italy, through a structured questionnaire, sent between February and March 2002, to firms co-located in the park and/or member of the cluster.

Findings

From the analysis did emerge that the physical location in the park and the virtual location in the cluster might be complements rather than substitutes.

Research limitations/implications

Shortcomings like the limited number of companies interviewed, and the absence of a sample of companies exclusively co-located in the park, are observable. Additional research might corroborate the results, which are specifically valid for the two case studies.

Practical implications

The idea of understanding differences and similarities between the SP and the IC, and of investigating which proximity typologies play a role in a “physical” and in a “virtual” location, may be useful to design future policy strategies.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is given by the analysis of a new phenomenon: physical and virtual agglomeration typologies, characterized by several forms of proximity enhancing knowledge diffusion.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Florence Crespin-Mazet, Karine Goglio-Primard and François Scheid

Little research focuses on the conditions under which companies open up to co-develop knowledge with external actors. Spatial proximity has been proved insufficient to…

Abstract

Purpose

Little research focuses on the conditions under which companies open up to co-develop knowledge with external actors. Spatial proximity has been proved insufficient to generate successful open innovation processes: socio-economic proximity also seems required. This paper aims at better understanding how this new form of proximity can be organized and investigates the role of third parties or tertius iungens in this process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on an exploratory case of successful open innovation between a software editor and a systems integrator located in the same cluster, relying on 50 face-to-face in-depth interviews, documentation and analysis of physical artifacts.

Findings

It confirms that socio-economic and in particular coordination proximity favors open innovation processes. This proximity is facilitated by a third party acting as a sustained iungens to initiate contact between development partners and key customers, and to practically organize knowledge transfer. The paper suggests that to be effective this tertius iungens needs to occupy a central position in the local network and to exhibit the characteristics of an epistemic community.

Research limitations/implications

Due to its exploratory design, the authors' research exhibits several limitations in terms of generalization. It does not fully appreciate the specific interaction between the various dimensions of proximity and in what respect spatial proximity positively influences or reinforces the development of socioeconomic proximity. Further research is needed to analyze the relationships between these various forms of proximity and understand whether spatial proximity is required in a context where new information technologies ease up relationship and coordination mechanisms. Another limitation is linked to the character of the open innovation project analyzed which focused on an innovation of exploitation.

Practical implications

This paper suggests that territorial engineering should favor the emergence of organizations playing the role of tertius iungens in the local network. Such organizations need to have the technical expertise and image of benevolence and integrity to manage knowledge transfer.

Originality/value

Little research analyzes the role of third parties or tertius iungens in the emergence and management of open innovation processes. The literature on clusters has mostly highlighted that inter-organizational cooperation emerges from spatial proximity and can be organized by public authorities whereas most of the open innovation literature on software describes cooperation patterns that do not require any third party.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 51 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Alona Mykhaylenko, Brian V. Waehrens and Dmitrij Slepniov

The ability of an organisation’s headquarters (HQ) to bring value to and manage a globally dispersed multinational enterprise has been questioned in the existing…

Abstract

Purpose

The ability of an organisation’s headquarters (HQ) to bring value to and manage a globally dispersed multinational enterprise has been questioned in the existing literature. The purpose of this paper is to suggest that HQ-subsidiary distance is an important factor that affects such ability; this report also investigates the impact of distance on the HQ’s network management capabilities in the context of a global organisation’s evolution.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a single company was chosen to take part in a retrospective, longitudinal case study that highlighted two embedded product cases. The concept of distance was viewed as a variety of distance dimensions existing between the HQ and its subsidiaries.

Findings

The results indicated that distance impacted the effectiveness of the HQ’s network management capabilities by affecting HQ-subsidiary interaction and, consequently, shaping HQ’s knowledgeability about the subsidiaries’ operations. Moreover, the results suggested that the impact of such distance may shift from positive to negative over the course of a global organisation’s evolution.

Research limitations/implications

Although this study was explorative, some generalisability to industrial-goods companies of Scandinavian origin that have transferred activities to their owned subsidiaries may be expected. Further replication of the study using multiple case companies across various industries and countries is desirable.

Originality/value

This work extends the understanding of technological distance, sheds light on the conditions necessary for the HQ of a globally networked organisation to engage in value creation in the context of its evolution and contributes to the overall appreciation of distance as a factor that comprises multiple dimensions.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2017

Faïz Gallouj

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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