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Theme 1

Call for papers to Workshop 1

IMP research – Managing in an interactive business world

Manchester 21-23rd of April 2015,

IMP research findings regarding the presence of close inter-business relationships, the network form of business markets and the centrality of the interaction processes have rather far-reaching implications for management. Past research in the IMP tradition has observed and examined some of these and a number of propositions have been formulated regarding a number of different areas of management, managerial issues and various business contexts. Firstly, the past research dealt with how the observed characteristics of business networks affect various management areas and investigated implications not only for marketing management but for a variety of management areas; the more important ones have been purchasing and supply chain management, logistics and distribution, technological development and innovation, accounting and international business. Secondly, past research also show consequences for a large variety of management issues. It has formulated implications both for strategy management, organizational issues and operations in various areas from sales to R&D. Thirdly, studies in the IMP research stream has dealt with a large variety of business contexts, ranging from large heavy industrial companies, over different type of medium-seized product and service companies to various bodies in business landscape such as special governmental and regional supporting units.

In all the three fields the IMP research has produced a wealth of significant insights mostly of the ‘positive’ type, based on empirical evidence from observing circumstances and their consequences in various management situations. The normative indications, however, have rarely been at centre of the interest. Indeed, the IMP research has sometimes been criticized for limited concern with “translating the findings” into normative managerial implication.

With regard to the implications for management we expect various types of contributions. We welcome in particular contributions of two types: The first is empirical studies adding to the above picture (not only cases) that outline and illustrate specific implications for a particular management area (e.g. purchasing, R&D, sales, new-venture development, marketing), special type of issues (e.g. investment decisions, management incentives, capability development, mergers and acquisitions), and a particular business context (e.g. business services, international companies, SMEs, hi-tech industries). The second type of contributions we aim at is studies and essays that bring together and integrate findings and results from various studies and elaborate a more holistic picture of how the key features of business networks affect any managerial area.