Research Mission and Overview

The mission of the Institute is to play a leadership role in advancing the theory and practice of business-to-business (industrial) marketing, and to advance business marketing as a specialized field within the broader marketing discipline. To this end, the Institute supports publishable academic research by providing: •    expense funding •    access to cooperating firms (as research partners/sites) The Institute favors research that can either be directly applied to business marketing strategies and practices, or that can lead to a better understanding of key business-to-business marketing phenomena. The Institute is currently focused on three main domains that have emerged from the B2B Agenda:

  1. The B2B Marketing-Innovation Link,
  2. B2B Buying Behavior and
  3. B2B Analytics.

The Institute also supports the development of pedagogic material that can directly improve the teaching and practice of business-to-business marketing. In addition the Institute sponsors a biennial academic conference, a biennial PhD camp, periodic special interest workshops, a series of PhD seminars (IPSS—ISBM PhD Seminar Series) available to B2B PhD students globally, and publishes a Research Newsletter three times a year. To access the full range of material available to academics on the website, please login, using your academic username and password. If you are an academic and do not have a username and password, please register here.

Research Funding

The ISBM supports both faculty members and doctoral (PhD) students in funding their B2B Research.  Two ways to request funding are: Research Proposal Funding – The expectation is that most principal investigators will be full-time faculty. The ISBM accepts proposals at any time during the year from faculty members. Doctoral Awards Competition – PhD students may enter this annual competition in order to fund their research.  This competition has an entry deadline of September 15th each year.  Consideration is rarely given to proposals from PhD students at other times of the year. Preliminary proposals should be attachments of one to three pages in length, double-spaced. Include with the proposal the vitae of all of the researchers on the project. If funding is approved, the researcher will be notified of the amounts of funds the ISBM will provide and all researchers on the project will need to enter into and agreement with The Pennsylvania State University (ISBM) to receive funding.

Research Proposal Funding

The mission of the ISBM is to:

  • help advance the theory and practice of business marketing, and to
  • disseminate key research findings within both the academic and practice communities.

To support these goals, we have developed a Research Proposal Support Funding Policy. The ISBM does not provide unrestricted grants, but does provide expense reimbursements. Those expenses can include direct research assistant costs, travel to do or present findings of research, data collection costs, and the like. The ISBM generally does not provide faculty salary supplements. Grants in the $3,000 to $10,000 range are most common.

Submitting A Research Proposal

Researchers should contact the ISBM before preparing a proposal for submission.Our Research Director can provide information about the availability of funds and if the topic falls within the ISBM research guidelines.

Initial proposals should be brief. In fact, most should be submitted as “preliminary proposals” first. Preliminary proposals should be attachments of one to three pages in length, double-spaced. Include with the proposal the vitae of all of the researchers on the project.

Each proposal should address the following topics:

  1. Discuss the importance of your research to the business marketing practice. What short- or long-term contributions to practice will your research make?
  2. Discuss the theoretical/academic importance of your research and what is your likely contribution. What is your theory, your model, your set of propositions, and how do they relate to previously published work?
  3. Discuss your research methodology. What is your survey procedure, your sample selection, your analysis, your experimental design, your validation, etc.?
  4. Indicate your need for ISBM support. Please be specific here, separating your direct financial needs from your need for access to ISBM-related firms and/or data. Provide a budget for your requested support.

Following receipt of the above we will do one of the following:

  1. Award a grant directly,
  2. Work with you (through the research director or program director) to more finely tune your proposal to the mission of the ISBM (review ISBM’s research priorities), or
  3. Indicate that the research is not fundable by the ISBM.

Submission Guidelines

    • The expectation is that most principal investigators will be full-time faculty. The ISBM accepts proposals at any time during the year from faculty members.
    • PhD students may apply for funding through the annual ISBM Business Marketing Doctoral Support Award Competition, which has an entry deadline of September 15 each year.
    • If funding is approved, the researcher will be notified of the amount of funds the ISBM will provide.  All researchers on the project will need to enter into an agreement with The Pennsylvania State University (ISBM) to receive funding.
    • The Research Grant Agreement specifies:
      • The dates of project commencement, the interim report, and the final working paper
      • The amount of funding to be provided at each of the three stages
      • The acknowledgment required on publications from the research
      • Procedures for amendment or termination
      • Applicable rules relating to the research
      • Requirements for the working paper and final payment


Additional Information

For more information, please contact the ISBM Research Directors:

Dr. Gary L. Lilien (
Research Director
Distinguished Research Professor of Management Science

Dr. J. Andrew Petersen (
Associate Research Director
Associate Professor of Marketing

Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM)
Smeal College of Business
The Pennsylvania State University
484 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802-3603
Phone:  814-863-2782

Doctoral Awards Competition

2018 Competition Information

Penn State’s Institute for the Study of Business Markets announces its twenty-eighth annual Business Marketing Doctoral Support Award Competition.

Up to three candidates in accredited doctoral programs will receive dissertation support awards. Dissertations in any area of business-to-business (industrial) marketing or in any of the methodological areas that support advances in business marketing will be considered. See our “Research Priorities” for more information. Particular consideration will be given to proposals that address the areas of (1) Marketing’s Role in B2B Innovation, (2) B2B Buying Behavior and (3) B2B Customer Analytics.

In addition to applications from PhD students in marketing, we encourage applications from students in economics, management science, organizational psychology, statistics, anthropology and other disciplines whose developments help advance our understanding of the operation of the business marketplace.

The award consists of:

  • Up to $5,000 in financial assistance to be used for travel, conference attendance, data collection, and other expenses of conducting and presenting the results of the research.
  • Assistance, as needed, in gaining the cooperation of both ISBM member firms and non-member firms for data, interviews, etc.

Submission Information

PhD candidates interested in the competition should submit an abstract of their research not to exceed five double-spaced pages, along with a current vita and a vita of their dissertation advisor. The abstract should address the potential importance of their work to business marketing practice, its theoretical contributions, the research methodology, and the amount and kind of support requested. The abstract must be submitted no later than September 15, 2018. 

Electronic submissions must follow the following rules:

  • Preferred file format is Adobe Acrobat (.pdf).
  • Name all files submitted as attachments:
    • Filename for Proposal: DC18-Yourlastname.pdf
    • Filename for your Vita: DC18-Yourlastname-CV.pdf
    • Filename for your Advisor: DC18-Yourlastname-ADV-CV.pdf
    • If co-advisors, name them ADV1, etc.
  • Any other documents submitted electronically should be named in the same manner:
  • DC18-Yourlastname-description.pdf

Any e-mails relating to the competition should have the following in the subject line: “ISBM 2018 Doctoral Competition”. Submissions should be sent as email attachments in pdf format to

Proposals will be judged by an academic panel, consisting of representatives of the Institute and qualified faculty members from other universities. The panel will not provide feedback to the entrants at this stage. Finalists will be notified by October 10, 2018.

Final proposals not to exceed 15 double-spaced pages are due on November 15, 2018. Winners will be announced by February 15, 2019. All finalists will receive feedback from the academic review panel.

Any pages of the abstract and/or proposal (not including reference pages) exceeding the page limits listed above will not be considered in the review process. Request samples of abstracts or proposals by sending an email to

Academics interested in requesting research funding other than the competition should see research proposal funding for information.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the ISBM Research Directors:

Dr. Gary L. Lilien (
Research Director
Distinguished Research Professor of Management Science

Dr. J. Andrew Petersen (
Associate Research Director
Associate Professor of Marketing

Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM)
Smeal College of Business
The Pennsylvania State University
484 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802-3603
Phone:  814-863-2782

Research Newsletter

Welcome to the Institute for the Study of Business Markets Research Newsletter. Our newsletter publications contained here are aimed at helping communicate with and connecting academic and PhD students around the world who are interested in the B2B domain. The Institute is the publisher, but we hope that readers will actively contribute and become engaged in providing content and moving along discussions. The structure will vary from issue to issue, but most issues will have a a focal article centering on one piece of B2B research, selected for its broad interest and applicability. Each newsletter will have features on Institute programs, reported by a key individual. In This Issue . . .

Comments, Ideas, or Requests

We would love to hear from you. If you have a topic you would like to submit, comments on an article, or request, please email your correspondence to:

Contact Information

Newsletter Editor, Lori Nicolini Email:

Topics from Previous Newsletters

Title Description
Research Newsletter Vol 11 Iss 2  July 2018 PDF ISBM's B2B Academic Conference and PhD Camp for Research in B2B Markets; Feature:  Choosing and Managing B2B Marketing Metrics (Andrew Petersen); From the Membership: Next Member Meeting - Customer Engagement as a Differential in B2B Growth and Profitability (Lynn Yanyo); IPSS Update:  Fall 18 Lineup; 2018 Dissertation Support Award Competition Announcement
Research Newsletter Vol 11 Iss 1 January 2018 PDF From the Membership:  The Thriving Marketer (Lynn Yanyo); From the Membership:  Next Members Meeting (Lynn Yanyo); ISBM Fellow Feature:  B2B Firm's Shift from Outside to Inside Sales Structures (Rob Palmatier); Invitation to EMAC 2018 and B2B Sig; ISBM PhD Camp; and Academic Conference 2018; Call for Nominations:  2018 ISBM David T. Wilson Sheth Foundation Award for Long Term Impact in B2B Marketing
Research Newsletter Vol 10 Iss 2 August 2017 PDF Feature:  The Thriving Marketer - Creating Relational Capital & Optimism A Call to Academics to Engage in a Virtual Meeting (Suzanne Lavin); IPSS Fall Lineup; IPSS 10th Anniversary (Hari Sridhar); 2016 Doctoral Support Competition Winners Announced; Institute Personal Notes
Research Newsletter Vol 10 Iss 1 January 2017 PDF Feature: Building Lasting Partnerships (Sandy Jap); Feature: Marketing in Recessions (Raji Srinivasan); From the Membership: Big Talk - Brand - 2016 Fall Members Meeting (Suzanne Lavin); Reflections on the 2016 Institute for the Study of Business Markets B2B Academic Conference (Gary Lilien); Highlights from the 2016 PhD Student Camp for Research (Lisa Scheer & Abbie Griffin); IPSS Update: Spring 2017 Lineup (Hari Sridhar); BMM-EMAC Conference Announcement
Research Newsletter Vol 10, Iss 2 August 2017 The Thriving Marketer: Creating Relational Capital & Optimism; IPSS Fall 2017 Lineup; IPSS 10th Anniversary; 2016 Doctoral Support Competition Winners; Institute Personal Notes.
Research Newsletter Vol 9 Iss 2 July 2016 PDF Feature: The Chief Marketing Officer Matters! Even in B2B Firms...(Frank Germann), From the Membership: Big Talk: The Stakeholder Value Chain 2016 Spring Member’s Meeting (Suzanne Lavin), Venkatesan and Kumar win Inaugural ISBM-David T. Wilson-Sheth Foundation Award for Long Term Impact in B2B Marketing, IPSS Update: Fall Lineup, B2B PhD Camp for Research and Academic Conference...Still Time to Register, B2B Academic Conference Session Preview
Research Newsletter Vol 9 Iss 1 March 2016 PDF ISBM-CAP Project - Making Free Business-to-Business Manufacturing Apps Pay off: The Case of Kennametal's NOVO; From the Membership: Big Talk - The Stakeholder Value Chain; PhD Research Camp Announcement 2016; Academic Conference Announcement 2016; IPSS Update - Fall 2016 Lineup; 2015 Dissertation Support Winner Award Competition Winners Announced; Last Call - Nominations for ISBM-David T. Wilson-Sheth Foundation Award
Research Newsletter Vol 8 Iss 4 November 2015 PDF Feature: The B2B Innovation Imperative comments from new ISBM Fellow George Day; Feature: Once Upon a Time...Storytelling for Business Marketers comments from new ISBM Fellow Mohan Sawhney; From the Membership: The Innovative Marketer; IPSS Update: Spring Lineup; B2B Pulse; Dates for Biennial B2B PhD Camp and Academic Conference
Research Newsletter Vol 8 Iss 3 August 2015 PDF Survey Finds a Strong, Loyal Membership That's Hungry for Change; ISBM in Transition; From the Membership: New Markets, New Marketing, New Marketer; 2015 Doctoral Awards Competition Call for Submissions; IPSS Fall Lineup.
Research Newsletter Vol 8 Iss 2 May 2015 PDF Memorial to David T. Wilson; Welcoming ISBM's New Executive Director Suzanne Lavin; Analysis, Analytics, and Answers B2B; B2B Data Analytics...Creating Research-Practice Synergies; IPSS Fall 2015 Lineup; 2014 Doctoral Support Award Winners
Research Newsletter Vol 8 Iss 1 January 2015 PDF In this issue, January 2015; Commercialization of Innovation - The Critical Role of Sales Force (Michael Ahearne); B2B Leadership Board Update: B2B Marketing: Now is the Time (Fred Wiersema); From the Membership: Frameworks Tools and Cases: Building Better Linkages between Marketing, Sales, and Innovation to Drive Profitable Growth (Ralph Oliva); IPSS Update, Spring 2015 Course Lineup (Raj Grewal)
Research Newsletter Vol 7 Iss 2 August 2014 PDF ISBM-B2B Customer Analytics Program; From the Membership: Building Stronger Linkages: Marketing, Sales, and Innovation; IPSS Fall 2014 Lineup; B2B Leadership Board Update: Thoughts on Disseminating Research Insights; 2014 ISBM Doctoral Support Award Competition: Call for Submissions; Highlights from the ISBM Ph.D. Student Research Camp; Reflections on the 2014 ISBM B2B Academic Conference
Research Newsletter Vol 7 Iss 1 May 2014 PDF 1. B2B Leadership Board Update: B2B Buying Behavior, Emerging Themes for Research and Practice, 2. Customer Analytics: The Third Pillar, 3. 2013 ISBM Doctoral Support Competition Winners Announced, 4. IPSS Update: Spring Lineup, 5. From the Membership: The B2B Customer Experience, The Last and Only Real Differentiator?, 6. San Francisco State University to Host 2014 ISBM B2B Academic Conference, Register Now, 7. ISBM Ph.D Student Camp for Research in B2B Markets - July 2014
Research Newsletter Vol 6 Iss 3 December 2013 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published December 2013. B2B Leadership Board Update (Buying Decisions, Behaviors, and Patterns in Business Markets: A Call to Action), From the Membership (Points of Focus: Lessons and Insights from 30 Years of ISBM Research, Practice, and Progress), PhD Student Camp for Research in B2B, San Francisco State University to Host 2014 ISBM B2B Academic Conference, IPSS 2014 Spring Lineup.
Research Newsletter Vol 6 Iss 2 July 2013 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published July 2013. B2B Marketing in China: Challenges and Strategies, B2B Leadership Board Update (ISBM's Research Priority: Marketing's Role in B2B Innovation), From the Membership (ISBM's 30th Anniversary), Celebrating 30 Years-An ISBM Timeline, IPSS Fall 2013 Lineup, EFMD Case Competition in B2B Markets, 2013 Doctoral Support Award Competion.
Research Newsletter Vol 6 Iss 1 February 2013 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published February 2013. Made in India vs. India Inside: Two Paths to Global Impact, 2012 Doctoral Support Winners, B2B Leadership Board Update (The Spotlight on Innovation and Marketing's Role), IPSS Update, From the Membership (From Data to Insight to Action: Mobilizing Customer and Market Insight to Drive Profitable Growth in B2B).
Research Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 3 November 2012 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published November 2012. B2B Leadership Board Update (Innovation to Drive Customer Growth), Contemplating Trust, Confidence, and Loyalty in B2B Relationships, Highlights of the ISBM September 2012 Members Meeting, IPSS Spring 2013 Lineup.
Research Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 2 August 2012 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published August 2012. B2B Leadership Board Update, Analyzing and Forecasting Global Business Markets, PhD Camp and Academic Conference Preview, IPSS Update, ISBM's 2012 Business Marketing Doctoral Support Award Competition.
Research Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 1 April 2012 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published April 2012. The Innovation Imperative, B2B Leadership Board Update: Shaping the B2B Agenda, Insights from the 18th ISBM Winter Meeting, Doctoral Support Awards Competition Winners, University of Chicago to Host B2B Academic Conference, Handbook in Print, IPSS Update, PhD Students Camp for Research in B2B Markets to be held August 2012.
Research Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 3 December 2011 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published December 2011. B2B Leadership Board: Shaping What's Next in B2B's Future, Relevant Marketing Knowledge: Moving From Findings to Application in B2B Firms, Rethinking and Reinventing Innovation: Sometimes It's "In the Box" Thinking That's Most Important, Ph.D. Student Camp for Research in B-to-B Markets to be held August 2012, University of Chicago to Host 2012 ISBM B-to-B Academic Conference.
Research Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 2 September 2011 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published September 2011. Handbook of Business to Business Marketing in Production, Upcoming Members' Meeting - Reinventing Innovation: Driving Growth Beyond the Core Product in Business Markets, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Summer Series Fall 2011, 2011 Doctoral Support Competition.
Research Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 1 March 2011 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published March 2011. SEI-ISBM Educational Resource Portal Launch, B2B Handbook Announcement, 2010 Doctoral Support Winners, Highlights from the 17th ISBM Winter Meeting: Marketing for Organic Growth in the New B-to-B Global Economy, MSI 50 Years: "Ideas" Challenge in Celebration of MSI's 50th Anniversary.
Research Newsletter Vol 3 Iss 3 December 2010 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published December 2010. Kohli and Zoltners Inducted as Newest ISBM Fellows; Becoming Market Oriented; A Case for More Research in the Sales Force Space; Marketing, Sales and Organic Growth; 2010 ISBM B-to-B Academic Conference Trifecta: Reflections; IPSS update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series.
Research Newsletter Vol 3 Iss 2 July 2010 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published July 2010. B2B PhD Camp, Conference Highlight 2010 Summer Schedule; Planning Business-to-Business Research for the Review Process; Announcing Next ISBM Members Meeting; 2010 ISBM Dissertation Aware Competition Deadline; IPSS Update: ISBM PhD Seminar Series.
Research Newsletter Vol 2 Iss 3 November 2009 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published November 2009. New ISBM Fellows Inducted at Annual ISBM Members' Meeting, Marketing Without Intelligence, Salespeople as Relationship Managers, Insights and Ideas from the ISBM Summer Members Meeting, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series, B-to-B Ph.D. Student Research Camp 2010, Harvard to Host 2010 ISBM B-to-B Academic Conference.
Research Newsletter Vol 2 Iss 2 July 2009 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published July 2009. No Apology for B2B Lab Research, Frameworks for Thinking Through the New Media and B-to-B, 2009 ISBM Doctoral Award Competition, B-to-B Ph.D. Research Camp AND Biennial Academic Conference at Harvard Business School, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series.
Research Newsletter Vol 2 Iss 1 February 2009 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published February 2009. ISBM Data Resources Program Survey, Some Suggestions for Doing Social Network Research in B-to-B Marketing, 2008 ISBM Dissertation Award Winners, B-to-B Marketing in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Mplanet, Ph.D. Student Camp 2009, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series, Academic Job Market.
Research Newsletter Vol 1 Iss 4 November 2008 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published November 2008. PhD Student Camp 2009, ISBM Research: A 25th Anniversary Perspective, ISBM Data Resources Program, University of Houston to Host Educational Resources Program, Reflections on the 2008 ISBM Academic Conference, IPSS Update: ISBM PhD Seminar Series.
Research Newsletter Vol 1 Iss 3 July 2008 PDF ISBM academic newsletter published July 2008. ISBM Academic Conference, DRP Update, Status Update on the ISBM Educational Resources Program, ISBM Dissertation Support Competition 2008, ISBM 25th Anniversary Members' Meeting, Journal of Marketing Editor Q&A, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series.
Research Newsletter Vol 1 Iss 2 May 2008 PDF ISBM Research newsletter published May 2008. BtoB Questions for JM Editor Kohli, IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series, 2008 Academic Conference Schedule, ISBM Trends Study: It All Starts with Deeper Customer Understanding.
Research Newsletter Vol 1 Iss 1 February 2008 PDF ISBM academic research newsletter published February 2008. IPSS Update: ISBM Ph.D. Seminar Series, ISBM Data Resources Program, ISBM Educational Resources Program, ISBM Dissertation Support Award and 2007 Winners, ISBM B-to-B Ph.D. Student Research Camp 2007 and Upcoming in 2009, From the Membership, 2008 Academic Conference, Cross-Sectional Versus Longitudinal Survey Research.

ISBM PhD Seminar Series (IPSS)


The objective of the ISBM PhD Seminar Series (IPSS) is to provide a range of short, PhD level seminars in Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing. These seminars, delivered electronically by some of the world’s leading scholars, provide access to leading developments and methods necessary to doctoral students worldwide who are considering research careers in B2B Marketing. IPSS offers electronic participation in substantive and methodological courses essential for PhD students with research interests in business markets. Substantive topics include theory development in business markets, sales management, marketing channel management, and new product development and marketing, among others. Methodological topics include qualitative research methods, social network analysis, and structural equation modeling, among others. Courses are repeated in a 2 – 3 year cycle.

Course Offerings for Spring 2019

Customer Engagement Marketing

Colleen M. Harmeling, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Florida State University 

This seminar will focus on academic research related to customer engagement marketing—a firm’s deliberate effort to motivate, empower, and measure customer contributions to marketing functions.  The objective of this seminar is to provide a foundation for doctoral students interested in examining customer engagement marketing from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

Complete Course Details and Registration

Structural Equation Modeling for B2B Research

Hans Baumgartner, Professor of Marketing & Department Head, The Pennsylvania State University

The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with a solid foundation for using structural equation modeling in B-to-B research. Topics covered in the seminar include confirmatory factor analysis, measurement models for modeling sources or random and systematic error, structural equation modeling of integrated measurement and latent variable conceptualizations of B-to-B problems, and multi-sample structural equation models with mean structures.

Complete Course Details and Registration

IPSS Admission Procedure, Participation and Requirements

Admission Procedure

Students must first apply to the IPSS program(s) to determine eligibility, and provide the information requested below.

Applicant must provide:
  • Submit application for each course interested in taking (register online).
  • Statement of purpose indicating interest in B2B Marketing.
  • One recommendation letter from a faculty member or advisor
  • Relevant transcripts
  • Any relevant research papers if available (for more advanced students)
  • Former IPSS students need only submit applications, and indicate which course and year of previous participation
  • Supporting application materials should be emailed to Lori Nicolini

Course Delivery and Participation

Each course consists of six to ten sessions of 90-120 minutes each, meeting weekly or biweekly. Class time will be determined by the instructor in consultation with the Instructional Delivery Committee. The course will be taught via  Zoom. Students must have a computer with a broadband internet connection an a way to connect to a telephone conference bridge or computer audio (a headset connection to your computer is the preferred).  During each session, each student must log in to the online meeting and be connected for the duration of the of class (excused absences must be pre-approved by instructor and should be limited).


There is a per course fee of $750.  The fees are due only after admission decisions have been made and not at the time of registration; a separate invoice will be sent upon acceptance to the course.

Academic Requirements and Integrity

Students registered for seminars will receive grades of A, B, C, or F depending on their performance. A grade of C or better entitles the student to a course completion certificate. Students who do no receive a C or above will not be enrolled in future courses. Also, students who do not complete a course or drop without an exception granted from the Academic Director will be given an “incomplete” and will not be admitted to future courses. 

For More Information

Academic Director:  J. Andrew Petersen
Administrative Director:  Lori Nicolini

B2B Handbook

ISBM Handbook of Business to Business Marketing

About the Handbook

The ISBM Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing, edited by Professors Gary Lilien and Raj Grewal, is the definitive work on what we have discovered about B2B marketing that can be used both to inform practice and to determine the most critical research issues that the field currently faces. Each chapter (Titles and Abstracts below) is written by an expert or experts in the domain and provides (1) perspectives of the problem area both from an academic and a managerial perspective (state of theory and state of practice) (2) a concise state-of-the-art review summarizing what we know about the area, (c) managerial implications and (4) a research agenda for the domain. The Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing is available from Edward Elgar Publishing and Amazon. As the authors retain the copyright to their chapters, only they have the right to use or distribute their chapter. If you would like a copy of a specific chapter, please contact the author or authors directly through their emails included below.


Part 1:  Introduction and Overview

Part 2:  Perspectives in B2B Research

Part 3:  B2B Marketing Mix and Strategy

Part 4:  Interfirm Relationships in B2B Markets

Part 5:  Personal Selling and Sales Management

Part 6:  Technology and B2B Marketing

Part 7:  Methodological Issues

Contact Information

Editor, Gary Lilien Editor, Rajdeep GrewalEmail:

ISBM Fellows

The “ISBM Fellows” program provides even more opportunities to ask top researchers specific questions about their business marketing problems and opportunities. As thought leaders in specific business marketing topics, all ISBM Distinguished Research Fellows—scholars at leading universities—have strong track records consulting to businesses around the globe, in addition to their extensive teaching and publishing activities. They know and respect real-world business management and leading-edge solutions, and they are dedicated to applying their knowledge to actual marketing problems and opportunities. ISBM Fellows are available for brief and focused no-cost consultations arranged through the ISBM.

Title Description
Ahearne, Michael University of Houston: Salespeople and Sales Organization Performance
Anderson, James C. Northwestern University: Value-Based Marketing, Discernment
Cooper, Robert G. McMaster University: New Offering Processes, Stage Gate
Day, George S. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: Competitive Strategies, New Product Development, Marketing Management, Strategic Planning
Fahey, Liam Babson College: Competitive Strategy
Grewal, Rajdeep University of North Carolina: Strategic Marketing, Inter-firm Relationships
Griffin, Abbie University of Utah: Voice of the Customer
Jap, Sandy D. Emory University: Partnering, Relationship Management, Distribution Channels and Routes-to-Market Strategy, Industrial Sourcing, Procurement
Jaworski, Bernie Claremont Graduate University: Leadership, Strategy, and Client Management
Johnston, Wesley J. Georgia State University: Key Account Management/Salesforce Management, Customer Relation Management
Kohli, Ajay K. Georgia Tech: Market Orientation, Sales Orientation
Kumar, V Georgia State University: New Product Management, Marketing Models, Database Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Intelligence, Marketing Strategy.
Lilien, Gary L. Penn State: Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning
Narayandas, Das Harvard Business School: B-to-B Marketing Strategy/Loyalty
Narus, James Wake Forest University: Channel Strategy
Sawhney, Mohan Kellogg School of Management: Business Innovation, Technology Marketing, New Media, Digital Marketing, Engagement Marketing
Scheer, Lisa K. University of Missouri: Relationships, Trust, Loyalty, Strategy
Schultz, Don E. Northwestern University: Integrated Marketing Communications
Sheth, Jagdish Emory University: Segmentation Marketing/Strategy
Spekman, Robert E. University of Virginia: Alliances
Srinivasan, Raji University of Texas at Austin: Marketing Metrics, Organizational Innovation, New Product Development
Srivastava, Rajendra K. Singapore Management University: B-to-B Branding, Marketing Return on Investment
Tellis, Gerard J. University of Southern California: Innovation, Advertising, New Products, Market Entry
Thomas, Robert J. Georgetown University: Segmentation Marketing, New Product Development
Weitz, Barton University of Florida: Sales Management
Wiersema, Fred Business Strategist: Customer Intimacy, Leadership
Zoltners, Andris A. Northwestern University: Sales Force Strategy and Management


Institute Customer Analytics Program

The Institute’s B2B Customer Analytics Program (ISBM-CAP) is designed to foster research, education and interchange and to take a leadership role in the nascent and rapidly evolving domain of B2B Customer Analytics. B2B Customer Analytics differs from B2C Customer analytics in several important ways:

  • First, the “customer” is a network of individuals, a buying center.
  • Second, aside from procuring products and services for its internal use, that buying center often seeks to satisfy demand derived from doing business with their firm’s customers (who may be consumers or other organizations).
  • Third, the roles of need identification, information search, supplier screening, purchase and use may be distributed amongst buying center members.

These and other differences (such as longer purchase cycles, greater reliance on economic drivers of purchase decisions, lack of easy access to purchase data for competitive offerings and others) lead to unique challenges and opportunities in the B2B Customer Analytics domain. ISBM-CAP will make researchers aware of B2B Customer Analytics challenges by:

  • Creating a research agenda and call for proposals on B2B customer analytics research and practice-related issues.
  • Generate research themes through a series of manager-interviews to enable a productive discussion among academics and practitioners.
  • Hold a formative mini-conference around the emergent research themes to engage practitioners and academics with the goal of generating a research agenda.
  • Invite conference attendees to craft a research agenda for work on B2B Customer Analytics.
  • Generate “B2B Customer Analytics Research Priorities” (and update regularly) a research priorities handbook highlighting key challenges managers face in adopting and successfully deploying analytics projects.
  • Investigate opportunities for synergy with MSI, Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (UW), and other centers in executing the surveys.
  • Design and execute surveys.

ISBM-CAP will help educate managers on B2B Customer Analytics by:

  • Supporting a Masters in Analytics Certificate/Toolkit Program Offered through the Penn State Marketing Department
  • Providing B2B content and support to this initiative for a 4-8 course certificate program, aimed at managers with 2-3 years of experience who feel the need to tool up on analytics issues which is a skillset in high demand in the marketplace.Providing targeted training to B2B marketing executives who need to understand and deploy B2B Customer Analytics within their organizations
  • Conducting perspective-based seminars for executives (mainly Institute members with 15+ years of experience who feel the need to orient their company to compete on analytics) to provide a skills and capability orientation; issues such as i) what is B2B Customer Analytics?, ii) types and scope of B2B Customer Analytics usage, iii) current trends and industry leaders in B2B Customer Analytics, and iv) highlight which B2B Customer Analytics tools plays a crucial role in impacting managerial decision-making could be covered.

ISBM-CAP will engage the B2B Customer Analytics practice by:

  • Hosting one or more teleconferences or other connections to identify an area of joint interest to one or more academic researchers and to the client organization
  • Organizing one-day site visits to identify client organization data sources; current business applications of those data sources; areas for potential joint work (mutual NDA’s will address proprietary data issues.)
  • Developing a POW (Plan of Work) by having the client organization provide the ISBM-CAP team with a sample of each relevant type of data, a data dictionary and related support to understand the nature and potential of possible projects; the ISBM-CAP team will then develop a POW that will identify one or more projects, including appropriate researchers at Penn State or at other universities, timing, costs, requirements of client organization (contacts and anticipated time needed) and anticipated outcomes; the client organization is expected to provide a grant to the Institute to cover the costs of research support, administration and out of pocket expenses.
  • Delivering a POW to the client organization that will have business benefit as well as academic output; academic output can be best practice case studies, developed for pedagogic purposes; documented data bases, made available for academic research (perhaps through arrangement with the Wharton Center for Customer Analytics); and academic research.

Wilson-Sheth Award

ISBM David T. Wilson-Sheth Foundation Award for Long Term Impact in B2B Marketing

Call for Nominations

Nominations are due no later than March 31, 2018 for the ISBM-David T. Wilson-Sheth Foundation Award for Long Term Impact in B2B Marketing.  This award is made biennially to a paper published in a refereed journal that has made a significant long run impact on the theory and practice of B2B Marketing.

The award is named in honor of the late Penn State Professor David T. Wilson, a leading B2B scholar and founding Managing Director of the ISBM (Institute for the Study of Business Markets).

The winner will receive a cash award of $2000 along with a plaque of recognition and will be honored at a special session of the ISBM Academic Conference at the Sloan School, MIT, August 8-9, 2018.


To be eligible, a paper should have been published between 2003 and 2013.

The paper should be primarily or exclusively on an issue or issues specific to B2B marketing, that is, the building of mutual value-generating relationships (including goods and services) between organizations (which include businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations) and the many individuals within them.   Thus manufacturer-retailer, pharmaceutical firm-doctor, firm-information intermediary, firm-government, and agribusiness-farmer relationships fall within the B2B domain as defined here.

Measures of Impact

The winning paper should have made significant impact, both in academia and in practice.   As measures of impact, nominators should consider the following criteria, and possibly others.

  • citations,
  • press coverage,
  • magnitude of subsequent work that builds on the paper,
  • applications in practice
  • applications in litigation,
  • use in PhD reading lists and seminars,
  • use in undergrad, MBA or Executive teaching.

High impact papers normally have one or more of the following characteristics:  (1) show the field something that it did not know before, (2) show a new way of thinking about a problem or issue and/or (3) open up a new field of inquiry.


Nominations are invited from any individuals and self-nominations are permitted.  The nominations should include a pdf of the nominated paper as well as a nominating letter, not to exceed 500 words, that addresses the impact criteria above.

Nominations should be directed to Gary L. Lilien, ISBM Research Director () who will serve as chair of the award committee.  Other committee members are Andrew Petersen Penn State and ISBM Associate Research Director and Tomas Hult, Michigan State, and Sheth Foundation Board President.

The winner will be announced May 15, 2018.

Research Priorities

ISBM’s B2B Agenda has identified three areas that will be the ISBM’s highest research priority programs for the foreseeable future–(1) Marketing’s Role in B2B Innovation (2) B2B Buying Behavior and (3) B2B Customer Analytics–described below

1. Marketing’s Role in B2B Innovation

Program Director:  Raji Srinivasan  This theme, the most highly cited issue in the B2B Agenda, includes three focused sub-areas:

  1. Taking B2B innovation beyond the product and beyond the lab: With the growing recognition that innovation can fruitfully take more forms than that involving traditional NPD processes, what nontraditional processes are needed or are most effective in B2B markets?
  2. Ideation in B2B: tapping customers and non-experts for fresh ideas: How can research determine how to better understand B2B customer needs and better involve customers in the innovation process.
  3. The interface of innovation with marketing and sales: How can research determine the most appropriate role for the salesforce in the innovation and new product development process in B2B organizations?

2. B2B Buying Behavior

Program Director:  Raj Grewal While buying patterns are evolving greatly, our knowledge and models have not kept up with changing market conditions, new buying practices (e.g., in emerging global markets), influencing factors such as new technologies/social media and cross-industry differences. We need new insights and an up-to-date taxonomy as a foundation for future research and practice development.   Our key priorities include:

  1. Evolution of the Buying Process:  To what extent is extant knowledge on buying centers and buyer behaviors still valid? How does the emergence of B2B electronic commerce and global purchasing practices impact that typology or are new typologies needed?
  2. Geographic/Cultural Differences in the Buying Process: How do theories of buying centers and buyer behaviors differ across countries and what factors drive these differences?
  3. Sales Force Management and Behavior: Changes in B2B buying require that B2B selling strategies adapt. The emergence of solution selling and global key account management practices require more adaptive sales teams. How should one study these new types of sales teams?
  4. The Customer Experience: B2B customers increasingly search for information and seek solutions online for their firms in a fashion similar to the way they shop for themselves. How does one conceptualize and assess the changing nature of customer experience in business market and how does the customer experience change with buying situations and buying roles?

3. B2B Customer Analytics

Program Director:  Hari Sridhar   Intersecting with the above two themes and others is the issue of B2B customer analytics.  As data on customer needs, information search, influence networks or patterns and transactions proliferates those data provide an opportunity and a challenge.   The opportunity is to integrate transaction data, CRM data, sentiment analysis, web log data and others) provide opportunities to improve customer acquisition, retention, upsell and cross-sell opportunities in business markets.  While we are interested in supporting work in B2B Customer analytics more broadly, our highest priorities surround:

  1. Use of Customer Analytics to identify and qualify opportunities for new B2B offerings.
  2. Use of Customer Analytics to better understand B2B buying behavior and the implications for better customer targeting, marketing resource allocation, pricing and customer life cycle management.

In addition, we are interested in work that integrates direct customer data with data from channel partners as well as data that explicitly recognizes multiple buying influences and buyer-seller networks. The ISBM will continue to support work in its traditional areas of research focus, spanning a broad spectrum of B2B problems.

Traditional Research Priorities

The ISBM has supported a broad spectrum of research in the past, and will continue to entertain proposals on any issue that is relevant to business marketing theory and practice. The overarching and continuing theme of the ISBM research program is: What research can we do to better create, measure, and deliver customer value in business markets?

Specific ISBM research program areas and issues of emphasis are:

Product Policy

  • How can we evaluate the market for revolutionary, new vs. more incremental or evolutionary, products?
  • How do the benefits and costs of investing in each of these types of products differ?
  • How can we best measure new product development (NPD) success?
  • What organizational and cultural forces lead to NPD success?
  • What do we mean by new product success or failure?
  • What are the best means for producers and buyers to interact in the NPD process?
  • What are the best tools to forecast new product sales?
  • How can the Internet best be used to facilitate and improve new product development?

Marketing Strategies and Operations

  • What strategies do or should firms use when adding and deleting production capacity?
  • What norms exist for spending levels for marketing mix elements? Are these “optimal” or are they mere folklore? If folklore, how can they be improved?
  • What does it mean for the firm to be market oriented?
  • What are best marketing mix policies (pricing, bundling, product-line management, sales force structure and operations, sales force motivation and compensation, etc.)?
  • How can we measure the productivity of the elements of the marketing mix, both individually and jointly?

Buying Strategies and Operations

  • How have changes in the buyer/seller relationship changed buyer practices and value creation? (Teamwork? JITII? Opening buyer operations to sellers?)
  • What causes the formation of buying centers? How can we predict likely buying center choice?
  • How do buying center decisions depend on price, product, and situation factors?
  • What are best purchasing practices?
  • What role do brands (or ingredient brands) play in business markets?
  • How have electronic media affected buying processes and behaviors?
  • What effect do value-chain structures have on the nature of purchasing processes?
  • What is the buying behavior of global accounts?
  • How can multiple preferences in the buying center best be modeled?

Customer Value

  • What are the best ways to conceptualize and understand customer value?
  • How do you get beyond the buyer to identify the values of the right people in the buyer’s firm?
  • What approaches and measurement methods exist, can be adapted, or can be developed to assess customer value in business markets?
  • How can the value of the core product or service and its augmenting services, programs, and systems be separately assessed?
  • How do and how should buyers assess the value of alternative suppliers’ market offerings?
  • How are value, quality, and customer satisfaction conceptually and empirically related?
  • How can we measure the value of collaborative relationships with customers?

Business Relationships

  • What makes a long-term relationship stick together or break up? Why?
  • What are the costs and benefits of long-term relationships for the buyer? For the seller?
  • In what industries, countries, or economic environments are long-term relationships more prevalent? Why?
  • What is the impact of the Internet on the nature of business relationships?

Market Channels

  • What are the best ways to develop, compensate, and measure channel effectiveness?
  • How should we measure the effectiveness of value-creating networks and related activities?
  • What is the role of partnering in overcoming shortfalls in other relationship forms?
  • What is the experience of managers in measuring value in relationships?

Exchange Design and Analysis

  • How should marketplaces be designed to best meet the objectives of buyers? of sellers? of intermediaries?
  • What gaps exist between the theory and practice of business marketing negotiations?
  • How can decision support systems be used to support exchange mechanisms?
  • How can we understand the negotiation process better so that outcomes can be improved from the buyer’s or seller’s perspective, or both?
  • When is bidding/price discovery mechanism inferior/superior to a negotiation process?
  • How can we understand and model the likely behavior of competition?
  • How can we model and manage competition?

Market Communications

  • How can firms measure the value of their communications programs?
  • What is the appropriate level of spending and allocation of those funds in the communications mix?
  • What is the best way to develop and manage a program of integrated marketing communications?
  • What roles do brands and branding strategies play in business markets?
  • How does brand awareness affect brand preference across business markets?
  • What is the role of the trade show and how should trade show effectiveness be measured?
  • How should firms develop and measure corporate and brand image, both domestically and globally?
  • How do the new tools of eBusiness impact the nature of the market communications process and the role of brands and branding?

Business Marketing Information Systems and Electronic Markets

  • What are the best practices in managing and getting value out of marketing information system (MKIS) investments?
  • How do the various online business models (e.g., reverse pricing, auctions, automated bidding) influence B-to-B customer behavior (e.g., loyalty, price sensitivity)?
  • How will the next exchange mechanisms of the digital economy alter the distribution structures?
  • What new concepts, theories, and measures can be used to explain and predict customer response to eBusiness initiatives?
  • What factors (best practices) determine success of eBusiness initiatives in B-to-B firms?
  • What is the role and impact of personalization and customization in online B-to-B markets?
  • What organizational mechanisms are appropriate for designing high performance eBusiness?
  • What methods and models can help us determine the value of IT systems on marketing functions and processes?
  • What are the drivers of successful online relationships with customers at various stages of the sales cycle?
  • What are the determinants of successful supplier relationships in network-centric markets?

Business Market Research

  • How should firms best match research methods with marketing problems?
  • What are best practices for business marketing research, especially when there are a small number of (important) customers- i.e., what methods perform better in business marketing settings?
  • What methods are appropriate for doing market research not only with customers, but with other stakeholders and value chain members?
  • How can market research be used in areas such as: customer value creation, market segmentation and measurement of customer loyalty, brand equity and customer satisfaction?
  • What market research methods can be used with large amounts of missing customer data?
  • How can market research, combined with marketing models, be used to improve the return on a firm’s marketing mix investments?
  • How can the capabilities of the Internet be incorporated into market research practice?

Marketing Engineering

  • When, why and how do decision models help improve marketing decision-making?
  • What factors (personal, organizational, educational, and system-specific) affect the individual and organizational adoption and use of such systems?
  • What forms of decision models are most effective? In what types of firms? In what types of environments?
  • How can decision models be best adapted to different forms of data interchange? (Traditional transaction capture? Electronic commerce? Internet/intranet environments?)

Other Research Topics

Other topics that we would encourage research on include (but are not limited to):

  • Global business marketing issues
  • The role of design in the business marketing mix
  • Direct business marketing
  • The use of business marketing research
  • Modeling and managing the value chain
  • Implementation of marketing/organizational change
  • Metrics
  • Organizational design for marketing initiatives
  • Change management