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Contents of IMP Journal issue 1, volume 6

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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MARKETING AND PURCHASING FOR VALUE INNOVATION IN BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MARKETS



Authors


Roberta Bocconcelli, Annalisa Tunisini

Abstract


The work focuses on the relevance of the relationship between marketing and purchasing for value innovation in companies acting in business-to-business markets. The paper develops an analysis of the business marketing and purchasing literature on the topic of the relationship between marketing and purchasing. It emerges how scarce attention has been addresses to this relationship within a general limited analysis of the intra-organizational issues in marketing and purchasing literature. The paper aims at clarifying some questions concerning the relationship between marketing and purchasing in business markets and providing an interpretative framework of such a relationship in business companies: four macro typologies of the intra-organizational relationship between marketing and purchasing are proposed.


Living the innovation space without pre-existing relationships



Authors


Chiara Bernardi, Marta Boffi and Ivan Snehota

Abstract


Based on empirical evidences, this study aims to investigate the innovation phenomena adopting a network approach. The case study regards the development of an innovation for the retail businesses that emerged in a network formed by actors without pre-existing relationships. The lack of pre-existing business relationships has important consequences on the configuration of the innovation space, defined as the web of actors interacting on the innovation. Instability and uncontrollability characterize the innovation space, and the glue of the network appear to be the actual and future benefits perceived by actors involved are. The study builds on the analysis of the relevant literature on innovation, network and relationships and on an empirical study of the development of a particular innovation that shows the dynamic of the web of actors and of the innovation concept. We conclude discussing how actors live in the innovation space without pre-existing relationships.


REORGANIZING BUSINESS NETWORKS AND INNOVATION: TWO CASES OF ITALIAN TEXTILE PRODUCERS



Authors


Simone Guercini & Andrea Runfola

Abstract


This paper deals with innovation in business networks. Innovation is considered as a process emerging from the ever evolving interactions between firms and other actors, primarily customers and suppliers. The main aim of the paper is to analyze the interplay between innovation and the reorganization of the business network. Empirically, the paper presents the data collected during a ten-year longitudinal case study of two Italian textile producers. The main findings of the cases analyzed suggest two potential effects arising from the interplay between innovation and business networks: “integration” and “substitution”. The various implications for business networks stemming from the two effects are described and discussed.


Interaction in Dynamic Networks: Role-playing and its Implications for Innovation



Authors


Marlene Johansson

Abstract


The purpose of this article is to explore how firms play different roles within t heir upstream and downstream interactions and to discuss the implications firms role-playing has for innovation. A case study re veal how firms in the converging IT and telecommunication industries are challenged to manage increasingly temporal and co-opetitive interac tions within their long-term relationships. The paper contributes by shedding lights on how firms balance between long-term relationships and short-term interac tions, to cooperate and compete simultaneously where a partner in one interaction can be a competitor in another, and how firms’ relational role-playing (with the dimensions of role-flexibility, role-ambiguity and role-tension) can have implications for innovation. A conceptual model is proposed that links long-term relations, shor t-term interaction and actors’ role-playing and its implications for innovation in networks. An innovation network model is further proposed to depict interactions in dynamic innovation network and as a tool of how to manage different and contradicting roles in upstream
and downstream relationships.



Network effects of upstream acquisitions of innovative firms



Authors


Christina Öberg

Abstract


This paper explores the network effects that occur when innovative firms are acquired upstream. Network effects here refer to changes in and of the innovative firm’s relationships with external parties such as customers, suppliers, and venture firms. The paper is based on case study research from six innovative firms that were acquired by other companies. It links network effects to changes on the level of the innovative firm. Effects on the acquired party include improved finances and credibility, along with decreased innovativeness. Network effects entail increased distance in relationships with external parties. New relationships resulted from the financial strength, credibility, and corporate brands of the acquirer. Upstream acquisitions may result in the dissolution of pre-acquisition relationships due to competition between the acquirer and customers of the acquired party. The network effects of upstream acquisitions form a complex, interrelated pattern of drivers and consequences. While increased financial resources may lead to new business relationships, dissolved or increased distance in relationships negatively impacts innovativeness, in turn increasing the likelihood of additional dissolutions and decreasing the innovative firm’s ability to attract new business partners. The study reveals that many of those effects seen on the level of the acquired party are reinforced by the reaction of external parties. Two loops of effects appear: one positive, which describes how credibility and improved finances lead to new relationships and additionally improved finances. The other is negative, and refers to the firm’s decreased innovativeness, distanced or dissolved relationships, loss of staff, transformation into a competitor in the eyes of former customers, and increased formalisation, along with the acquirer’s lack of interest in the firm’s future. For innovative firms, the impact of effects are more severe if the innovation is in its early phases of development, while the degree of integration does not seem to have a significant impact on the severity of the effects. This paper contributes to business network studies through its focus on the network effects of acquisitions, through pointing to how various effects interrelate with and strengthen one another in positive and negative loops, and through indicating how external parties reinforce those effects previously described in the literature on acquisitions of innovative firms.


Exploring the conditions for marketing an innovative and unique customized solution: Mexus case study



Authors


E. Baraldi, G.L. Gregori, A. Perna

Abstract


This paper explores the conditions for embedding a new fully customized technology in the usage context in terms of the necessary adaptations (e.g., to other customers’ needs) as well as the trade-offs necessary to spread the solution on the market. To achieve this purpose the paper employs a single case study design and analyzes the embedding of a bespoke innovative solution (called Mexus) in the market through the interactions between the developing firm (Loccioni), the major customer that was first to order it (Continental) and a major supplier (National Instruments), as well as other players such as a competitor (Innov8) and other customers. Our theoretical tools are the ARA (activities, resources, and actors) model and the 4R (four-resources) model, which we apply to identify both the specific adaptations between resources and the trade-offs faced by the involved actors. Our findings suggest firstly that embedding technology in networks requires not only that the involved actors gain something from an innovation, but also that they accept sacrifices and face trade-offs in relation to it; and secondly that both gains and trade-offs emerge from the resource interfaces that must be created in order to adapt resources to each other as a way to sustain the development and further marketing of new technical solutions.