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Journal cover: Journal of Services Marketing

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Online from: 1987

Subject Area: Marketing

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Managing networks of interorganizational linkages and sustainable firm performance in business-to-business service contexts


Document Information:
Title:Managing networks of interorganizational linkages and sustainable firm performance in business-to-business service contexts
Author(s):Andreas B. Eisingerich, (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London, London, UK), Simon J. Bell, (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Citation:Andreas B. Eisingerich, Simon J. Bell, (2008) "Managing networks of interorganizational linkages and sustainable firm performance in business-to-business service contexts", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 22 Iss: 7, pp.494 - 504
Keywords:Business performance, Business-to-business marketing, Networking, Services, Services marketing
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/08876040810909631 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors would like to thank Dr Colin McLeod for his advice and support on this project.
Abstract:

Purpose – Current marketing theory and practice have recognized that exchanges between buyers and sellers are frequently embedded in social relationships. Despite the vast body of research on interorganizational exchange, there has been little effort to address the role of larger social networks in which business-to-business services firms operate. This paper seeks to present a model of how social network theory can help in understanding why some services firms manage to reinvent themselves and continue to succeed in a business-to-business environment, while others are slow to change and decline.

Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on 81 in-depth interviews conducted with general managers/chief executive officers operating in information technology, and biotechnology business-to-business services contexts, we consider the relative importance of both network strength and network openness in driving business performance.

Findings – The authors identify both network strength between firms and openness towards new actors as underpinning competitive advantage in business-to-business services.

Research limitations/implications – Data were collected for service firms operating in two different industries in two regions. The paper underscores the importance of examining the network properties that connect exchange partners when discussing firm performance in business-to-business service contexts.

Originality/value – The paper makes a series of important contributions to the small, but growing literature on services networks and has direct implications for managers.



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