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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Sylvie M. Lacoste and Janet Dekker

The purpose of this paper is to understand which change process the supplying organization should define for its customer-facing organization in order to successfully increase…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand which change process the supplying organization should define for its customer-facing organization in order to successfully increase customer orientation and to be on the short list of their customers’ key suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Action research was used to carry out this research. Researchers were involved in the change management process of a medium-sized company that wanted to re-design their customer selection and interaction processes: one researcher was a top manager of the participating company, whereas the other researcher worked alongside the organization in a collaborative effort to introduce and roll out sales force training seminars.

Findings

Researchers’ main finding shows how the company’s top-management willingness to apply a “soft” approach to change leverages a concept called “emotional connectedness”.

Originality/value

The authors bridge a gap between the literature on change management and the “emotional connectedness” concept related to social psychology. The authors add to existing theories on change management a new perspective based on interpersonal relationships.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Sylvie M. Lacoste

The paper aims to investigate how business-to-business key accounts deal with the consequent tension between cooperation and competition, and how they can resolve that relational…

1443

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate how business-to-business key accounts deal with the consequent tension between cooperation and competition, and how they can resolve that relational paradox, using framework contracts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper argues that the role played by framework contracts can be ambivalent: as a tool to define cooperation with suppliers while simultaneously organising competition within suppliers, but by formalising such ambivalence, it does help to ease the tensions that may arise. To clarify such a conceptual and counter-intuitive ambivalence, the paper uses a case study that shows how framework contracts are used to solve the inherent tensions between cooperation with “preferred suppliers” and their price competition with invited “challengers”, in a competitive bidding situation.

Findings

This study is a first step in an investigation of the role of framework contracts in a customer-supplier relationship, aiming to explain their use as they highlight the “coopetitive” nature of the relationship, turning it into something tangible and psychologically acceptable.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the complexity of vertical “coopetition” and the research method adopted, the findings may not be generally applicable.

Practical implications

This research offers an enlarged perspective for suppliers as well as customers to think over their own relationships (in an industrial setting).

Originality/value

Little research has been conducted to date on vertical coopetition and the role and effects of framework contracts in the context of such complex customer-supplier relationships. This case study offers insights for practising managers and academics into the effective use of framework contracts.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Andrew Lindridge

97

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Article
Publication date: 21 March 2022

Sylvie Lacoste, Fouad Ben Abdelaziz and Meriem Youssef

This paper is about customer relationships from the perspective of small suppliers. More precisely, this paper aims to examine the relational implications through a product…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is about customer relationships from the perspective of small suppliers. More precisely, this paper aims to examine the relational implications through a product portfolio model with the main participants of the buying center (buyer/business manager).

Design/methodology/approach

The study first uses an in-depth qualitative data analysis to explore how elements of small suppliers’ relationship with such large customer’s main actors are affected by the nature of the product (categorized between strategic, bottleneck and non-critical items). From the results, an empirical model is drawn of small suppliers’ relational strategies in a product-centered and buyer/business manager relationship typology. To analyze the results of the empirical model, a quantitative analysis is performed, using the fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis approach.

Findings

This study contributes to deepen the supplier–customer relationship analysis, from a product-centered and customer dyadic perspective (buyer and customer business manager). The findings highlight three different small suppliers’ relationship strategy with a different level of involvement of the different participants of the buying center.

Originality/value

Few studies so far analyze vertical asymmetric relationships from a triadic perspective composed of the small supplier, the buyer and the business manager – hence, this study contributes to unveiling some of the relationship complexity within a triad of actors and how small suppliers can navigate through this complexity according to their product or service positioning.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Sylvie Lacoste and Keith Blois

This paper aims to incorporate material derived from four case study analyses of industrial business-to-business relationships. Although there is a substantial amount of…

2159

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to incorporate material derived from four case study analyses of industrial business-to-business relationships. Although there is a substantial amount of literature on the concept of power, there is little academic research studying the “perception” of power – especially that of key customers’ suppliers – relative to that of the buying company. This paper develops a framework, which provides a different set of perceptions regarding the nature of supplier-key customer relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The case studies involve four firms that have been long-term suppliers to a number of global industrial companies and who have set up key account programs to work with them. Three suppliers are in the corrugated cardboard industry (two large and one medium-sized company) and one supplier (a medium-sized company) is in the coding equipment industry.

Findings

The study develops a power framework, which can be used in the analysis of buyer/supplier power and points out the risk that can arise when one or more of the parties involved operates on the basis of perceptions that are incorrect.

Originality/value

The results suggest that the actors’ power perceptions are important constructs, which have so far been neglected in the academic literature, and stress the role of “subjectivity” in the actors’ analysis of power.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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