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Paper info: Ambiguity in choice of entry modes in project marketing: a case study


Ambiguity in choice of entry modes in project marketing: a case study


Bernard Cova, Florence Crespin-Mazet and
Robert Salle
EM Lyon
Robert Salle

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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Projects, such as construction projects, are complex transactions which require suppliers togroup their competencies into a consortium of firms in order to formulate an offer meetingcustomer's specifications. This gives rise for the project suppliers to a wide range of optionsby which to enter the project pyramid ranging from prime contractor to subcontractors roles.As such, the project entry mode can be directly related to the bidding strategy. But, at thesame time, the selection of the mode of entry on a specific project goes beyond this singlebidding strategy. This decision is encapsulated into more long-term marketing priorities suchas the development of inter-organisational relationships and the buiding up of a position in aspecific market.This paper follows the chronological study of a cement plant project (CP4) in Vietnam for acustomer called CVT. The focus is on the intercction between two potential actors of theproject supply consortium: a French engineering firm (Petech) willing to act as primecontractor and a posssible supplier for the electrical lot which is a French industrial company(Grinlec). The paper highlights the three conflicting logics that are at play between the actorsof the consortium: (1)the project perspective, (2)the relational perspective between actors and(3)the market perspective. The paper highlights the fact that, for a given actor of the supplyside, the choice of project entry mode in the consortium is the result of its own combinationof these three logics.