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    Call for Papers:

    Advancing Theory of Firm/Interfirm Behavior in Innovation, Marketing, and

    Purchasing in Industrial Service Contexts

    A Journal of Business Research Special Issue

    Paper submission deadline: November 15, 2014

    Services are the fastest growing sector in industrial economies; firms and scholars are

    replacing product-driven business logics with service-oriented ones. Service logic implies that

    the focus of business is shifting towards greater interactivity and connectivity, and emphasis on

    facilitating and engaging in value creation processes (Grönroos & Voima, 2013; Vargo & Lusch,

    2004). Sheth, Sharma, and Iyer (2009) identify six drivers for this change. First, intense and

    growing competition in most sectors, including rising economic strength and modernization in

    emerging economies, call for new service-oriented means of competition. Second, the decrease

    of inter-country barriers to trade has increased the willingness to source services and products

    from other firms. Third, business-to-business firms of different sizes have become more diverse.

    Fourth, information and communication technologies (ICT) have lead to decreased transactional

    costs and new ICT-enabled services. Fifth, customers have also become more globalized, which

    has led to more centralized purchasing and a shift from product purchasing to solution

    purchasing. Finally, as firms increasingly engage in reverse marketing (Sharma & LaPlaca,

    2005), customized services and solutions become more important.

    As Wiersema (2012) argues, innovation and marketing should not be separate islands. A

    strong innovation-marketing interface facilitates coordination between development and

    commercialization processes, and marketing can pave the way for customer-oriented service

    innovation initiatives. Such innovation addresses customer needs beyond the product, so

    marketing has to interpret customers’ overall value perceptions, and understand how customers

    make buying decisions for these extensive offerings. The increase in complexity also requires

    greater coordination efforts, and a changed mindset and culture (Wiersema, 2012). More

    interfirm collaboration is demanded for such “beyond-the-lab” innovations, and customers serve

    as a particularly important component (Kindström, Kowalkowski, & Sandberg, 2013); as Ngo

    and O’Cass (2013) demonstrate, customer participation in service innovation can have positive

    effects on future service quality. Similarly, Sheth, Sharma, and Iyer (2009) call for a stronger

    alignment of purchasing with marketing, which would facilitate service innovation and enable

    the development of tailor-made solutions. In order to be successful, purchasing should be less

    connected to production and operations; purchasing’s new role would involve being an

    outsourcing coordinator, putting together services contracted from various vendors to arrange the

    best overall solution developed in interaction between marketing and the customer.


    Taken together, aligning innovation, marketing, and purchasing is becoming increasingly

    important, as individual firms as well as interfirm value constellations in service networks strive

    to offer industrial services. Following Cyert and March (1963), organizations can be viewed as

    coalitions of stakeholders, with coalition members representing individuals and groups from

    innovation, marketing, and purchasing, as well as suppliers, customers, and other partners. The

    organizational goals must deal successfully with the potential goal conflicts inherent in such

    coalitions. Furthermore, services span a wide range of offerings—from various product-oriented

    and process-oriented services and service bundles, to hybrid product-service offerings (Ulaga &

    Reinartz, 2011) and integrated solutions (Davies, 2004), which are sold based on usage or

    functional results. Hence, different types of services have different prerequisites; depending on

    what services are developed and offered, different organizational routines might need to be in

    focus. More research is needed on the actual process of organizational decision-making in an

    industrial service context. This is particularly timely given the high failure rate of new industrial

    service initiatives (cf. Ulaga & Reinartz, 2011), which include factors such as the path

    dependence of routines, and incumbent inertia whose root causes Lieberman and Montgomery

    (1988) consider to be lock-in to a specific set of fixed assets reluctance to cannibalize existing

    (product) offerings, and organizational inflexibility.

    Due to the diversity of business and networks providing industrial services, the diversity

    of service offerings, and the traditional dichotomy between innovation, marketing, and

    purchasing, we view the studies of organizational behavior for innovation, marketing, and

    purchasing in an industrial service context to be critical topics for further investigation.

    Therefore, it is very timely to seek to publish articles, which critically engage with these

    research topics.

    The guest editors invite papers with an original perspective and advanced thinking on

    behavioral theory linked to innovation, marketing, and purchasing research in industrial service

    contexts on issues related to, but not limited to the following research topics:

    • Development of frameworks, models, and theories exploring linkages between innovation,

    marketing, and purchasing in industrial service contexts

    • Method development

    • Dynamics and process-related issues

    • Management and leadership

    • In-depth studies of decision-making processes linked to innovation, marketing, and/or


    • Interfirm collaboration, interaction, and connectivity for innovation, marketing, and/or


    • The path dependence and transferability of organizational routines for innovation, marketing,

    and/or purchasing


    • Customer roles and activities

    • Absorptive capacity and knowledge transfer

    • Financial and other performance implications and effects

    • Drivers and barriers for effective interlinked innovation, marketing and/or purchasing

    • Differences and similarities between manufacturers and pure service providers, and between

    multinationals (MNCs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

    • Comparisons of innovation, marketing, and purchasing including between and across sectors,

    service networks, countries, and cultures

    • Quantitative testing of propositions drawn from prior studies

    • Strategic function/impact

    • Sustainability

    • Conflict resolution.

    All manuscripts should apply the general author guidelines


    for the Journal of Business Research (JBR). Manuscripts should not have been previously

    published or be under consideration by other journals. Please submit your paper electronically to

    all three of the JBR Special Issue Editors: Sergio Biggemann,;

    Maria Holmlund,; Christian Kowalkowski,


    Cyert, R. M., & March, J. G. (1963), A Behavioral Theory of The Firm, Prentice Hall,

    Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

    Davies, A. (2004), Moving base into high-value integrated solutions: a value stream approach,

    Industrial and Corporate Change, 13, 727-756.

    Grönroos, C. & Voima, P. (2013), Critical service logic: making sense of value creation and cocreation,

    Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41, 133-150.

    Kindström, D., Kowalkowski, C., & Sandberg, E. (2013), Enabling service innovation: A

    dymanic capabilities approach, Journal of Business Research, 66, 1063-1073.

    Lieberman, M. B. & Montgomery, D. B. (1988), First-mover advantages, Strategic Management

    Journal, 9, 41-58.

    Ngo, L. V., & O’Cass, A. (2013), Innovation and business success: The mediating role of

    customer participation, Journal of Business Research, 66, 1134-1142.

    Sharma, A., & LaPlaca, P. (2005). Marketing in the emerging era of build-to-order

    manufacturing. Industrial Marketing Management, 34, 476-486.

    Sheth, J.N., Sharma, A., & Iyer, G.R. (2009), Why integrating purchasing with marketing is both

    inevitable and beneficial, Industrial Marketing Management, 38, 865-871.


    Ulaga, W. and Reinartz, W. (2011), Hybrid offerings: How manufacturing firms combine goods

    and services successfully, Journal of Marketing, 75, 5-23.

    Vargo, S.L. and Lusch, R.F. (2004), Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing, Journal of

    Marketing, 68, 1-17.

    Wiersema, F. (2012), The B2B Agenda: The Current State of B2B Marketing and a Look Ahead,

    Institute for the Study of Business Markets, PA.
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