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Theme 3

Call for papers to Workshop 3

IMP research Theories and methods in an interactive business world

Lugano, 6-8th of October, 2015,

One implication from the first IMP study in 1982 was to challenge some basic assumptions in theoretical frameworks prevailing at that time. Over the years a number of novel analytical concepts and models have been proposed in IMP studies building on empirical observations of the existence and function of business relationships, the existence of connectedness between relationships leading to the network effects and, a central role of interaction processes in inter-organizational business relationships.

While the past IMP research has been characterized by emphases on empirical studies it turned out to be fruitful in developing and proposing novel conceptual frameworks often as alternative theoretical explanations on several central phenomena in business. There have also been an interesting variation in different theoretical conclusions regarding the same phenomenon and there are some interesting controversies among IMP-scholars. It appears timely to review and relate more systematically the more significant conceptual developments.

Postulating centrality of relationships, network forms and interaction processes raises also some interesting methodological issues that regard how these can be approached, observed and analysed. Theoretical constructs identified and developed have consequences for research methodology. The past IMP research has led, for instance, to use within marketing and purchasing case studies to a much larger extent compared to studies based on other theoretical approaches but also to use of multiple methods in approaching the phenomena central in the IMP theorizing.

We therefore invite papers taking up both conceptual/theoretical and methodological issues. We expect two types of papers: the first would be studies examining and integrating the conceptual developments on various issues and possibly relate more systematically various more partial theory concepts; another type of papers we expect is papers that probe the relationship between research methodology approaches and theoretical issues.