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Paper info: Integrated Partnership Development: Japanese and Korean Perspectives


Integrated Partnership Development: Japanese and Korean Perspectives


Peter Trim and Yang-Im Lee

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Purpose of the paper and literature addressed
The literature reviewed was in the area of vertically integrated marketing, mutuality and inter-firm relationship building. The linkage between these areas of knowledge and the identifiable sub-areas of knowledge such as customer service policy, the process of innovation and relationship marketing, had not been adequately addressed from the perspective of how a cultural value system influences the strategic marketing process associated with partnership development. This paper explores what factors need to be taken into consideration when formulating and implementing a partnership arrangement in the context of a vertical marketing system. In order to arrive at a deeper understanding of the subject matter, a comparative study involving Japanese and South Korean electronics companies based in the UK was undertaken.
Research method
A literature review was undertaken and four propositions developed. The in-depth, personal interview method was used in order to obtain data from a limited number of senior managers in two market leader companies and this allowed the propositions to be validated. The case study approach used enabled the authors to make an in-depth comparative study.
Research findings
The research findings suggest that managers in both Japanese and South Korean electronics companies based in the UK are committed to building long-term, trustworthy relationships with staff in partner organizations. Although similarities exist, differences were discovered in how integrated strategic marketing frameworks evolve and give rise to vertical marketing systems. By drawing on these insights, marketers in overseas companies will be better able to reflect on how cultural value systems influence the organizational learning process, and how customer service policy underpins buyer-supplier relationships in Japanese and South Korean companies.
Main contribution
The paper explains how managers from a collectivist culture embrace the strategic marketing concept. It also makes explicit how managers can use knowledge relating to cultural variations to enhance relationship building, which results in a sustainable partnership arrangement being achieved.
Customer Service, Culture, Marketing, Partnership, Relationship Marketing, Strategy