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Paper info: Dynamism of supplier's position in project marketing networks


Dynamism of supplier's position in project marketing networks


Juha Haimala and
Risto T. Salminen
Lappeenranta University of Technology
Risto T. Salminen

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


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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.An entire project marketing process 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 case was analyzed with the developed Stage Dimension framework.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 intermediate level, and 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 importance of the dimensions is changing over the process.The study contributes to the research of industrial networks and project marketing. The theoretical contribution of the study is twofold: firstly it proposes a structure of the position concept in project marketing networks, and secondly it proposes the Position Stage Dimension Component (PSDC) model for the development of supplier's position during the project marketing process. In addition to the theoretical contributions there are several managerial implications for planning and implementing marketing strategies in the project context.