ارزش ایجاد شده توسط "مودلینگ" در بخش B2B
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23842||2012||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5091 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, Issue 6, June 2012, Pages 781–787
Using empirical data from an online survey of 93 managers in the Swedish business-to-business sector, this study analyzes customers' perceptions of the value of upgraded product offerings. With a Lindblomian perspective, this research identifies factors that affect value judgments. Findings indicate that communication of the value of upgraded product offerings and usage situations are positively associated with the customer-perceived operative value drivers. However, it is only the value perceptions from usage situations that significantly impact the perceived value drivers. A conclusion drawn is that Lindblom’s theories on “muddling” are instrumental in explaining why it is difficult for a customer to accurately assess the value of a new solution, and why usage situations positively affect the operative value drivers in a buyer-seller relationship. Thus, “muddling” creates value in such relationships.
The procurement of upgraded production equipment forces decision makers to face several challenges, some of which may be known in advance and allow modifications of the new technology prior to installation. However, other challenges become evident only after the installation of new technology. These “bugs” in the system are difficult to foresee, and as Toyota's recent problems indicate, no brand or product category is safe from unpredictable outcomes of modifications to the design and integration of new components. In this paper, the upgraded product offerings are defined as offerings of products which have the same core functions as earlier versions, but with modifications in design and components making them slightly different from earlier versions (e.g., Skarp and Gadde, 2008 and Matthyssens et al., 2009). The challenges associated with marketing upgraded product offerings are particularly apparent in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, where new technology can trigger organizational change and affect communication (e.g., Orlikowski, 1992 and Zackariasson and Wilson, 2004). Thus, a new technology might spark chain reactions that affect procedures and working practices far beyond the core functions of the technology. This study draws on the notion that such effects influence customers' perceptions of the upgraded offerings' value (Skarp and Gadde, 2008). Such effects draw attention to a central B2B marketing problem because, at the same time as competition forces suppliers to upgrade their product offerings, a misfit between the upgraded components and a customer company’s production systems adversely affects customer satisfaction. Therefore, this article examines how upgraded product offerings affect customer-perceived value in the B2B sector. This topic is interesting because upgraded production equipment may include “bugs” that create problems in customers' production systems. Specifically, this paper addresses the customer companies’ assessment of the value that has been created for them by a supplier given the trade-offs between all relevant benefits and sacrifices in a specific-use situation (Flint et al., 1997, Skarp and Gadde, 2008 and Ulaga and Chacour, 2001). This view of value judgments draws on Hirschman and Lindblom's (1962) suggestion that snags, difficulties, and tensions are inevitable, so companies must learn how to exploit them to advance their problem-solving process. Indeed, since some problems tend to be interlocked with interdependent solutions (Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963), the communication between a supplier and a customer becomes a critical factor affecting customers’ value judgments. Furthermore, as Lindblom (1968) notes, some problems need to be invented before an appropriate solution can be found; landing a man on the moon was not a problem until the decision was taken to do so. A Lindblomian perspective may thus facilitate our understanding of the factors that affect a customer's judgments of the value of a supplier's upgraded product offerings. Prior studies of customers' value assessments offer important insights about the relationship between price and value (Anderson et al., 1993, Anderson et al., 2000 and Hultén et al., 2009), the impact of relationships on value assessments, the potential for competence creation (Golfetto and Gibbert, 2006, Grönroos, 1997, Gwinner et al., 1998, Ulaga and Eggert, 2005 and Ulaga and Eggert, 2006), and the means by which corporate reputation adds to perceptions of value of highly intangible services (Hansen et al., 2008). Recognizing contextual influences on business relationships, this study responds to calls for further investigations of value drivers in customers' relationships with their key suppliers. Other sources of inspiration include Skarp and Gadde, 2008 and Matthyssens et al., 2009, who highlight the need for studies of the customer-perceived value of upgraded product offerings. This article specifically focuses on customers' perception of the operative value of upgraded product offerings in the context of the Swedish B2B sector. Thus, the operative value refers to customers' perception of the benefits obtained from using a supplier's products and services. Conceptually, a Lindblomian perspective contributes to current knowledge about customer-perceived value by creating a framework for explaining the factors that affect value perceptions and the adjustments that buyers and sellers make. Furthermore, this article contributes by testing the relationships between upgraded offerings and customers' perceptions of the operative value they obtain from working with key suppliers. Therefore, managers and scholars seeking knowledge about factors that influence value assessments in the B2B sector should find this paper interesting. The subsequent literature section outlines the relevance of the Lindblomian perspective for an analysis of the factors that affect customer-perceived value in buyer–seller relationships. Next, the explanation of the applied research method precedes the description of the analytical approach and empirical findings. This article concludes with a discussion of the results and proposals for further research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The analysis of the descriptive data in Table 2 and the test of H1 indicate findings in accordance with the suggestions offered by Hill, 1990, Skarp and Gadde, 2008 and Anderson and Narus, 1998. For example, the scores that describe informants' perceptions of upgraded products' value in usage situations demonstrate that factors such as commoditization and standardization affect perceptions. The descriptive data results also illustrate that despite modifications by the key suppliers, customers considered their upgraded offerings insufficiently adjusted to meet their companies' general needs or fit with their production systems. However, the use of the upgraded equipment contributes significantly to the value drivers for customer companies' relationships with key suppliers. According to Lindblom (1959), some circumstances limit the analyses that decision makers can undertake, especially when the complexities they face prevent a ranking of conflicting alternatives. Because production systems include interlinked subsystems, managers cannot always pinpoint specific value enhancers in upgraded products. In short, the interrelatedness of systems reduces customer perceptions of the value of upgraded products in usage situations. However, along with these factors that decrease perceived value, actual usage has a positive impact on relationship-oriented value drivers. This finding is consistent with Hirschman and Lindblom's (1962) suggestion that as an invention or technological advance matures and becomes fully articulated, new possibilities for adjustments appear. Usage situations, during which upgraded offerings mature, thus enable both parties to identify and articulate the relevant benefits. The analysis of the descriptive data in Table 3 and the test of H2 build further on these insights and reveal findings consistent with proposals by Skarp and Gadde (2008). Customers may develop moderate or even negative views of the value of upgraded product offerings; the informants in this study clearly were not convinced of the value of the new functions and features. However, the relatively moderate scores for the customer-perceived value of new functions and features in Table 3 do not necessarily provide proof of failure. Rather, the test of H2 demonstrates that key suppliers' communication about upgraded product offerings has a positive association with informants' view of operative value drivers in these relationships. This variable makes no significant individual contribution to respondents' perceptions of such value drivers though. The explanation of this partial success may reflect two circumstances which draw on proposals by both Hirschman and Lindblom, 1962 and Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963. First, the scores in Table 3 pertaining to customer-perceived value in connection with suppliers' communication of the value of upgraded offerings reflect a rational problem solver who wants to obtain the most benefits but can pursue those benefits only after identifying what is available (Hirschman and Lindblom, 1962). Such problem-solving behavior may adversely affect customer companies' value perceptions, because their choices include relatively few suppliers, so the firms choose among offerings with the knowledge that they must make their own equipment fit the supplier's offerings. Another adverse impact might result from a failure to consider other alternatives that appear prohibitively costly (e.g., Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963). Second, customers' experiences from working with key suppliers may create an expectation of imbalances between performance specifications and the capabilities of the suppliers' upgraded offerings (e.g., Hirschman and Lindblom, 1962). That is, customers expect a certain degree of misfit from the beginning, and therefore, key suppliers earn relatively low scores on activities to raise customers' awareness about the value of the upgraded product offerings. The informant companies' readiness to search for potential trouble spots thus may explain the partial support for H2.