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  • 1.
    Edvardsson, Bo
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
    Kowalkowski, Christian
    Hanken Sch Econ, Dept Mkt, Helsinki, Finland.;Linkoping Univ, Dept Management & Engn, Linkoping, Sweden..
    Strandvik, Tore
    Hanken Sch Econ, Dept Mkt, Helsinki, Finland..
    Voima, Paivi
    Hanken Sch Econ, Dept Mkt, Helsinki, Finland..
    Negative critical waves in business relationships: an extension of the critical incident perspective2014In: The journal of business & industrial marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, E-ISSN 2052-1189, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 284-294Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - This paper aims to extend understanding of business-to-business relationship dynamics by introducing and discussing the phenomenon of a "negative critical wave" (NCW), defined as a disturbance in a relationship that emerges and develops within or beyond individual working relationships. Design/methodology/approach - The dynamics of working relationships in two manufacturing firms in Finland and Sweden were studied by analysing the narratives of unstructured personal interviews with 16 middle managers and 14 operational executives, who recalled experiences of relevant situations over three years, with emphasis on unexpected disturbances, challenges and problems. Findings - Respondents discussed 77 NCWs, the development and effect of which proved to depend upon the original "locus", "magnitude" and "amplitude", and embedded "energy". Waves could be distinguished as: "silent compact", "silent extensive", "intense compact" or "intense extensive". Research limitations/implications - The wave metaphor for relationships dynamics, consistent with but distinct from established notions of "critical time" and "critical incidents" and the associated classification system are a useful starting point for further research into the phenomenon. Though the qualitative methodology achieved richness, the small sample and restricted scope place limits on the objectivity and generalisability of the findings. Practical implications - The NCW framework offers strategists and managers a holistic understanding of the dynamic process of criticality, synthesising the complexities of relationship dynamics and pointing to ways in which to absorb the energy of negative waves. Originality/value - More is now known about the domino effects of critical incidents in internal and external business-to-business relationships.

  • 2.
    Kowalkowski, Christian
    et al.
    Linkoping Univ, Dept Management & Engn, Linkoping, Sweden..
    Kindstrom, Daniel
    Linkoping Univ, Dept Management & Engn, Linkoping, Sweden..
    Witell, Lars
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
    Internalisation or externalisation?: Examining organisational arrangements for industrial services2011In: Managing Service Quality, ISSN 0960-4529, E-ISSN 1758-8030, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 373-391Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - Manufacturing firms primarily organise service provision internally, externally or through a hybrid arrangement. This paper aims to analyse how firm-, offering-, and market-specific factors influence the way in which a firm organises its service provision. In addition, the paper analyses the specific challenges that each organisational arrangement presents for a firm. Design/methodology/approach - The study employed a qualitative, multiple-case research design that involved seven manufacturing firms with different organisational arrangements for service provision. Findings - Contrary to certain explicit assumptions, few firms organise for service provision solely through an in-house organisation. Analysis of firms in a wide variety of industries has shown that the organisational arrangements (internal, external or hybrid configuration) are contingent on factors such as market strategy, customer relationships, product-service linkages, internal competences and market channel characteristics. Research limitations/implications - The paper is an initial attempt to understand the strategic choices that firms make in terms of inter-organisational arrangements for service provision. The research should be extended by way of a cross-sectional survey in order to test and further validate the importance of the determinants of the organisational arrangements for service provision. Originality/value - The paper contributes to the service marketing and management literature by examining factors that determine whether firms organise for service provision internally, externally or through a hybrid configuration. Prior research has not explicitly addressed this issue.

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