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Paper info: MANAGING METIS: USING ARISTOTLE’S NICOMACHEAN ETHICS TO UNDERSTAND THE EXPERT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BUYER

Title


MANAGING METIS: USING ARISTOTLE’S NICOMACHEAN ETHICS TO UNDERSTAND THE EXPERT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BUYER

Authors


Andrew D. Pressey, Alan Gilchrist and Linda D. Peters

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.

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Abstract


Research background and its relevance for past and/or future work: It has been argue that if an interactive view of business is taken, examining the embedded environment of any firm and its relationships with other individually significant and interdependent actors is essential to understand business activity, and one particularly significant actor is the client. Industrial buyers or clients often posses considerable market and product knowledge that provide learning opportunities for suppliers. There is, however, a gap in our understanding of how client involvement with business-to-business networks may influence learning and co-creation. Purpose of the paper: While the marketing literature has for some time recognised the existence of highly knowledgeable service buyers who possess a heightened capacity for service co-creation, it has directed limited empirical attention towards understanding these important service buyers. By employing Aristotle’s three intellectual virtues of techne (technical knowlege), episteme (analytical knowledge) and phronesis (practical common sense and knowledge), we are able to provide a conceptual framework that Methods: We conducted 45 interviews with managers in a leading global financial services company that affords us a more nuanced comprehension of knowledgeable buyers versus ‘lay-buyers’. Main contribution of the paper: The contribution of the present study is to propose a typology and lexicon with which to characterise the knowledgeable buyers of some service products. This would seem important due to an absence of services marketing scholarship to adequately explain what distinguishes this group of buyers from other less knowledgeable buyers and their input in services cocreation, and, significantly, what it means to manage buyers imbued with metis.