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Asymmetrically realized absorptive capacity and relationship durability
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University. (PRIME Research)
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University. (PRIME Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9964-7717
2012 (English)In: Management Decision, ISSN 0025-1747, E-ISSN 1758-6070, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 43-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Absorbing knowledge from partner firms is a key feature of marketing relationships. Recent publications have called for more dynamic and cognitive approaches in marketing relationship research. Also, established definitions of absorptive capacities have been questioned. This article aims to address propositions that take these overlooked and questioned elements into consideration, which can help explain conducts and dependencies, and affect relationship durability.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors put forward four propositions by combining literature on interfirm relationships and managerial cognition with evolutionary ideas from marketing and management literature.

Findings: The authors embrace a redefinition of potential absorptive capacity (the disposed capacity to absorb knowledge) and realized absorptive capacity (the absorption of knowledge actually performed). This distinction can, to some extent, be explained by the degree of cognitive attention given to the marketing relationship. Moreover, asymmetrically realized absorptive capacityvis-à-vis a partner substantially influences the dynamics of partners' conduct and dependency, which may vary the risk that the relationship will end.

Practical implications: The propositions illustrate how a motivated partner that gives more attention to the relationship is more likely to absorb more knowledge than its counterpart, which can threaten the durability of a relationship. Thus, managers need to be able to understand possible long-term consequences of the partner's conduct in order to avoid losses of joint strategic resources and relational benefits.

Originality/value: By advocating an evolutionary approach, an impetus for more dynamism in marketing relationship research is presented. This study also shows the importance of including the longitudinal dimension in analysis if one wants to understand change in – and durability of – marketing relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 50, no 1, p. 43-57
Keywords [en]
Customer relationship management; Knowledge management; Partners
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15889DOI: 10.1108/00251741211194868ISI: 000303029000004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84856194874OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15889DiVA, id: diva2:422737
Available from: 2011-06-13 Created: 2011-06-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On business relationships as Darwinian systems: an exploration into how Darwinian systems thinking can supportbusiness relationship research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On business relationships as Darwinian systems: an exploration into how Darwinian systems thinking can supportbusiness relationship research
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The demarcation between different traditions in contemporary research on business relationships reflects theoretical and methodological difficulties in the conceptualization of the nature of business relationships and how such relationships evolve. To tackle these problems, this thesis explores the fruitfulness of regarding business relationships as Darwinian systems, which accentuates kinship between Darwinism and systems thinking, and elaborates a treatment of business relationship transmutation as an iterative dynamic process that does not take the existence of business relationships – or the sequence of developmental stages – for granted.

The thesis draws on findings in four essays as well as a stand-alone extended summary. These five parts complete the thesis. The discussion advances the idea that the tenets of systems thinking and of Generalized Darwinism are aligned and can provide a novel explanatory paradigm, although it takes marketing rigor to specify an emergent framework that conceptualizes the nature and evolution of business relationships. The concluding part elaborates the steps required for a more comprehensive Darwinian system theory of business relationships.

A main contribution of the thesis is the exploration of an emergent theoretical composite – new to marketing – that integrates systems thinking, Generalized Darwinism and established business relationship conjectures. The thesis asserts the importance of configurational fit; the interaction between variation-creation and selective preservation to form a full Darwinian story; and the meaning of a logical distinction between manifested characteristics and the underlying instructions directing the former. Furthermore, the firm–relationship–market system hierarchy outlined highlights the business relationship as an emergent organizational form at a level above that of the individual firm, stressing the importance of its dual nature and as an evolving system alike, thus endorsing research to tackle the central theoretical and methodological difficulties of business relationships’ nature and evolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2013. p. 140
Series
Örebro Studies in Business - Dissertations ; 6
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-28634 (URN)978-91-7668-927-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-31, Hörsal T (teknikhuset), Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
marketing, business relationships, systems thinking, philosophy of science, generalized darwinism, evolution
Available from: 2013-04-09 Created: 2013-04-09 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Andersén, JimKask, Johan

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