Supplier's position in project marketing networks
Haimala, Juha (2008-10-10)
Lappeenranta University of Technology
Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The present study explores relationships between project marketers and their customers in project marketing context. The purpose of the study is to increase the understanding on supplier’s position in project marketing networks. Project marketing is representing a high volume in the international business, and the industrial network approach and the project marketing research cannot fully explain a supplier’s position in project marketing networks. Increased knowledge on project networks can also contribute to industrial marketing research more generally. Data for the present study was collected firstly during the pilot case study from project buyers in the paper and the steel industry in interviews. Secondly an entire project marketing case concerning a steel industry case was used as a data source. The data included interviews, correspondence between the supplier and the buyer, and project documents. The data of the pilot case was analysed with contents analysis, and in the case a deeper analysis based on the developed Stage Dimension framework was used. Supplier’s position in project marketing networks is a hierarchical and dynamic concept including a supplier’s position on the highest level. The dimensions of the position concept are the intermediate level, and the dimensions are based on the underlying components. Supplier’s position is composed from four organization related dimensions, and two individual actor related dimensions. The composition of the supplier’s position varies during the project marketing process, and consequently the relative importance of the dimensions is changing over the process. Supplier’s position in project marketing networks is shaped by incremental and radical changes. Radical changes are initiated by critical events. The study contributes to the research of industrial networks and project marketing. The theoretical contribution of the study is threefold: firstly it proposes a structure of the position concept in project marketing networks, secondly it proposes the Position Stage Dimension Component (PSDC) model for the development of supplier’s position during the project marketing process, and thirdly the study widens the critical event concept to cover the project marketing process both on the organizational and individual level. In addition to the theoretical contributions there are several managerial implications for planning and implementing marketing strategies in the project context.
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