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Paper info: Management paradoxes in interactions between services buyer and supplier in facilities management


Management paradoxes in interactions between services buyer and supplier in facilities management


Simone Guercini
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Simone Guercini , Silvia Ranfagni and Antonio Riccardo Petrella

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 28th IMP-conference in Rome, Italy in 2012.


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Facilities management is an overall management approach for all the services that support the core business of a company. These services include building services (building maintenance, plants, etc.), people services (environment health, waste disposal, etc…), and space services (furniture, common areas, security, vigilance, green space etc.). The interaction with sellers of these services is becoming increasingly strategic for companies in order to increase performance, improve quality and flexibility, and to face the lack of specialization and of innovation. Although the IMP interaction approach seems ideal to analyze buyer-seller relations in facilities management for public companies, some specific normative rules (public administration laws) together with contextual factors (economic crisis, management competences and attitudes in public administration, etc.) canhinder and limit its application. In this paper the authors aim to examine which are the purchasing models of service in the facilities management and how emerging paradoxes can impact on the approaches to buyer-seller interactions in the business service that are defined in the theoretical contributes of the IMP Group (industrial marketing and service marketing). The investigation is based on 15 case studies of Italian Municipalities, analyzing their orientation in facilities management. The case studies are built on in-depth interviews with technical staff who, together with the mayors, perform the role of facility managers: the empirical analysis is focused on the interaction between Municipalities and the specific sellers of services supporting their core business.