ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to the ISBM-Corporate website.

ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to 

ISBM Pulse: Channels and distribution

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social comparison

Social Comparison in Retailer–Supplier Relationships: Referent Discrepancy Effects (Lee and Griffith 2019)

While maintaining relationships between different parties proves imperative across business contexts, the task often becomes challenging in the business-to-business (B2B) domain. Perceptions of fairness in retailer-supplier relationships are a key issue in B2B relationships. Due to multiple suppliers often having active relationships with the same retailer, these perceptions can lead to conflicts. Recent research by Lee and Griffith (2019) studied the social comparisons that occurs, and focus on distributive fairness, reference discrepancies, and tie strength.

The Digital Transformation of Buyer/Supplier Dynamics

Our own Stefan Wuyts – Director of the ISBM and Full Professor of Marketing – was recently interviewed by PYMNTS.com on digitalization. The interview covers online platforms, buying groups, and the future (if any) of tradeshows. Whatever the future holds – the B2B buying process will be very different in the future. 

Penn State’s Center of Supply Chain Research COVID-19 Resources

One of the research institutes at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State is the Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR). The CSCR website offers a wealth of COVID-19 resources focused on supply chain management, including weekly presentations and recordings, as well as a curated collection of websites, research, and recordings.

Marketing in Uncertain Times – a Town Hall Expert Panel Discussion (Joanne Smith, Sandy Jap, and Erich Joachimsthaler)

ISBM’s introductory episode of the Marketing in Uncertain Times series was an insightful look at the power of pricing , channels, and B2B Business Strategy during a time of crisis and disruption. ISBM partner and instructor, Ralph Cummins of EMM Group moderated this panel discussion addressing these areas of concern with candid responses of practical advice and foresight. Highlights of this Town Hall include pricing power, ‘Survivalist Entrepreneurship’, and the focus on existing customers.

Ferris wheel

Marketing Channel Management by Multinational Corporations in Foreign Markets (Grewal et al.)

Multinational corporations require ongoing management of marketing channels, leading to challenges rooted in complex relationships between HQ-subsidiaries, subsidiaries-local channel partners, and third-party mediators at each host country level. For effective channel management, HQ should align subsidiary goals with HQ’s strategic motives and leverage subsidiary networks. This could be achieved by informal decision-making processes with subsidiaries to boost performance, or by moving employees across subsidiary networks.

extended hand

Applications of Agency Theory in B2B Marketing: Review and Future Directions

Agency theory has proved to be useful as a theoretical and empirical lens for examining a wide range of issues in business to business markets. This chapter attempts to explore the current and potential (future) applications of agency theory in business markets. First, the chapter explains the major constructs embedded in agency theory, the assumptions underlying the theoretical structure, and the classes of problems to which this structure is inherently well suited. Next, the key characteristics of business to business marketing are discussed, as well as the demands that these characteristics impose on incumbent theories which seek to shed light on business markets. Following, the the range of issues in business markets to which agency theory might be productively applied is outlined, along with modifications/extensions required to accommodate unique features of these markets. Finally, emerging areas of interest are reviewed, identifying promising areas for future research.

a hand signing a business contract

Progress and Prospects for Governance Value Analysis in Marketing: When Porter meets Williamson

This chapter provides an analysis of how the Governance Value Analysis (GVA) framework offers a better understanding of how the design and management of cooperative inter-firm relationships (with suppliers, channel partners, and customers) is integrally tied to strategic marketing decisions. The fundamental links between a firms’ positioning choice and its inimitable resource profile with the attributes and governance design choices in the relationship, and their links to both value creating and claiming, are elaborated on. Implications for future research and applications in a wide variety of strategic marketing decisions including branding, design of pricing contracts, product-form choice (vertical positioning), and bundling are discussed.