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Contents of IMP Journal issue 2, volume 2

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An Empirical Investigation of Interaction Processes between Buyers and Sellers of Business Services



Authors


Wendy van der Valk, Finn Wynstra and Björn Axelsson

Abstract


This paper presents the results of a theory-building study into processes of interaction between buyers
and sellers of different types of business services. We build on a recently developed usage-based classification of
business services which identifies four service types. Earlier studies indicated that interaction for different types of
services is associated with different key objectives, and differing functional involvement and organizational
capabilities. However, the interactive processes that take place between buyers and sellers were not included in
these studies.
The main objective of this article is to make a theoretical and an empirical contribution by 1) extending
the conceptualization of interaction by including process dimensions; and 2) empirically investigating what these
interactive processes look like for each of the four types of services. This empirical investigation is done by means
of an embedded case study.
The results of our case study suggest that different types of services are associated with differing
processes of interaction. Furthermore, we were able to replicate previous findings regarding the key objectives,
functional involvement and organizational capabilities. Additionally, we found that the level of perceived risk
associated with a service influences the extent to which interfaces and interaction processes are formally defined
and designed.
Keywords: Business Services, Interaction, Purchasing, Buyer-Seller Relationships


External interaction as a means of making changes in a company: The role of purchasing in a major turnaround for Ducati



Authors


Roberta Bocconcelli and Håkan Håkansson

Abstract


The interplay between internal organizational factors and external interaction is in focus in this paper. The paper
describes the turnaround of the motorbike producer Ducati, in terms of how the company systematically changes this
interplay. The paper shows how Ducatti changed its internal buying organization and developed a more interaction
friendly structure. The importance of the interplay between internal organization and external interaction has become
more important as companies have become more specialized and in this way more dependent on their external
counterparties. The paper argues that the only way that such a highly specialized company can achieve a turnaround is if
they manage to get their most important counterparts to become involved in a mutual change process.
Keywords: Organisational structure, turnaround, interaction, purchasing


Towards a Model for analysing Supplier Relationships when developing a Supply Network



Authors


Ann-Charlott Pedersen, Tim Torvatn and Elsebeth Holmen

Abstract


In this article we propose a model for analysing supplier relationships when developing a supply network. The model
takes the buying firm as the point of departure but also conceptualises how it can take the supplier’s context into
account. The first dimension of the model discerns between situations where the supplier is the most important
supplier for the specific product or service for the buying firm, and situations where the buying firm has several
important suppliers for the same product or service. The second dimension of the model discerns between situations
where the buying firm is the most important customer for the supplier, and situations where the supplier has several
(equally) important customers (of which the buying firm is one).
We use the proposed model to analyse a particular longitudinal case in the construction industry, which focuses on a
main contractor that initiates the development of a supply network. The aim of the analysis is to offer an illustration of
the different quadrants in the model and discuss effects with regard to three issues: learning, capacity and handling
costs. Following this, we examine the use of a portfolio approach in relation to supply network initiatives. Specifically
we discuss three managerial challenges; (1) managing with differences, (2) eliminating differences and (3) creating
differences. Finally, we draw conclusions and suggest some areas for further research.
Keywords: Supplier relationship, supply network, purchasing portfolio models, construction industry