بررسی اعتبار مشارکت B2B : افزایش مطالعه اعتبار از درک شرکت های واحد تا ادراک مشارکت بین شرکتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3526||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 5, July 2010, Pages 761–768
Reputation is a concept that has been widely studied in terms of the perceptions of characteristics of single firms. We argue that there is merit in extending the study of reputation to the perception of characteristics of inter-firm partnerships. Cases of business-to-business partnerships are used to explore the notion of partnership reputation and its associated characteristics. Insights from the study of corporate reputation are used to develop a conceptual model and propositions that specify some of the characteristics and outcomes of partnership reputation. We propose that partnership reputation includes perceptions of mutual understanding, flexibility of interaction and synergy. The benefits of partnership reputation are then explored in terms of the positive behaviours such a reputation may engender with stakeholders. The paper concludes by discussing limitations and outlining directions for future research.
Corporate reputation (CR) is a key factor in the success of organisations (Fombrun & Van Riel, 2004 and Fryxell & Wing, 1994). The beneficial outcomes of a good CR include higher levels of stakeholder commitment and advocacy (Waddock, 2002). As well as understanding the outcomes of a good reputation, it is critical for organisations to understand the key characteristics of reputation (Bromley, 2002). In this context reputation is often studied in terms of how single firms are perceived by their stakeholders. The reputations of partnerships have, by comparison, received little attention from theorists and researchers (Bennett & Gabriel, 2001). This is surprising, given that the reputation of partnerships often yields successful outcomes in many domains of human existence from sport, the arts and culture, through to business and commerce. The perceived value of partnerships is perhaps most succinctly described by Kurt Lewin (1951) who argued, with the use of field theory, that the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. This can be demonstrated with contemporary partnerships that still resonate today, such as the song composition and musical genius of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the comedic talent of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, or the sporting excellence of tennis doubles partners Pam Shriver and Martina Navratilova. It can be argued these cases demonstrate that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Reputations of partnerships matter to audiences, supporters, customers and other stakeholders as well as to each individual in the partnership. In the case of John Lennon and Paul McCartney it was their reputation as a committed and creative song writing partnership that attracted Sir George Martin, the producer of many of the Beatles albums, to work with the group. Successful partnerships are not, however, without conflict or negative emotions. The relationship between John Lennon and Paul McCartney was often volatile in nature, but it was this functional conflict and volatility which is credited with fostering the creativity behind their musical composition and performance. To operate like this, however, both partners need to trust and understand the other party and be flexible to the situations that present themselves. While Lennon and McCartney went on to follow solo careers and develop reputations as artists in their own right, the reputation of the partnership lingers. It is the source of much debate and contention and also the driver of significant support and subsequent financial value. This paper will argue that the reputation of partnerships has resonance for business, as well as in other aspects of life. The more business-focused partnership between Bill Hewlett and David Packard started as a friendship that turned into a commercial venture, ultimately producing an American company with an iconic international reputation. There are many similar examples of successful businesses that are founded and then grown on the reputation of their founding partners. Larry Page and Sergey Brin as founders of Google, Bill Gates and Paul Allen (founders of the Microsoft Corporation) and Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield who founded the Ben & Jerry's ice cream company. What these partnerships have in common is that success is not just dependent upon individual capability. Successful outcomes from close collaboration arise because of synergistic skills and complimentary outlooks between potential interacting parties. These partnerships have reputations, and in some cases create a radial tacit advantage over competitors by broadcasting a jointly fostered sense of identity and culture with employees and a sense of community and loyalty that attracts other stakeholders. If the reputations of such partnerships are important to those within a dyadic exchange (Bennett & Gabriel, 2001 and Arend, 2009), we argue that there is merit in assessing the impact of partnership reputation more widely in a network setting. B2B partnerships are often the subject of significant investments of time, expertise and financial outlay (Jap, 1999 and Kale et al., 2002). When it comes to the analysis of B2B interactions there are examples of the value of partnership reputation. Like in the earlier inter-personal examples, these reputations at best can be seen as synergistic, such as in the case of the Boeing Corporation and its partnership with Rolls Royce Aerospace plc. Together they are seen as pioneers in greener air travel with the new Trent 700 range of multi-fuel (kerosene/bio-fuel mix) efficient and quiet jet engines, used as part of the 787 Dreamliner product family of commercial aircraft. It is the reputation of this partnership for complimentarity and subsequent innovation which is key to the marketing of airlines such as Virgin Atlantic when making credible claims about their commitment to identify and exploit ways to offer greener air travel. The reputation that Boeing and Rolls Royce have for their engineering excellence, joint understanding and flexibility gives the partnership reputational attributes that makes these green claims believable. Moreover, this partnership reputation signals to other stakeholders that the relationship has particular characteristics that may or may not be appealing to a variety of stakeholders. The wider resonance of the reputation, perceived by stakeholders outside of the partnership, may also influence interactions in a wider network (Wathne & Heide, 2004). We are particularly interested in conceptualising partnership reputation and its resulting impact on the behaviours of stakeholders outside of the focal partnership (McIntyre et al., 2004 and Lavie, 2006). This requires us to conceptualise partnership reputation as perceived from outside the partnership and to assess what benefits partnership reputation may accrue for the partnership itself as well as for each partner within it. In doing this, we consider both the benefits that partnership reputation may bring in B2B relationships and the spillover effect on relationships with other stakeholders. The paper will theoretically explore the concept of partnership reputation in four parts. First, we review the CR literature and introduce the concept of partnership reputation. Second, we draw on examples of B2B partnerships with well-known reputations, and together with literature from the fields of relationship marketing and social psychology explore three key characteristics of partnership reputation. Third, we present a conceptual framework and propositions that link partnership reputation to subsequent consequences. Finally, the framework is discussed and directions for future research are outlined.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper responds to Hiel, 2008, Duck & Ickes, 2000 and Hall, 1991 who suggest that valuable insights can be gained by extending the traditional view of reputation that is focused on understanding the perception of the characteristics of a single firm to the investigation of perception of the characteristics of partnerships. Partnership reputation is conceptualised here in terms of three characteristics that are seen to be particularly relevant in building B2B relationships — mutual understanding, flexibility of interaction, and synergy in a partnership. The benefits of partnership reputation are first discussed with regard to B2B interactions with other suppliers. Proposed benefits include cooperation, trust, functional conflict and benevolence from existing and potential suppliers, while partnership reputation may also be a vehicle to drive positive expectations and behaviour throughout the supply chain. The identification of partnership reputation as a potential asset in this regard is an answer to theorists such as Granovetter, 1973, Kumar et al., 1995 and Wilson & Vlosky, 1998 who call for an exploration of how weak ties can be developed into strong bonds in a B2B interaction. In line with theorists such as Davies et al., 2003 and Fombrun, 1996 the paper then moves on to explore how partnership reputation may bring benefits in the form of positive behaviours from stakeholders other than suppliers. Benefits such as employee commitment, community support and interest from investors are identified. In total four propositions are presented that suggest that partnership reputation can have benefits for the focal partnership and each of the partners within it. One key limitation of this study is the relatively narrow focus in terms of identifying only three characteristics of B2B reputation. Another limitation is that the propositions in the paper have yet to be tested empirically. These limitations, however, provide significant opportunities for extension and exploration of this work. The next step for the partnership reputation construct will be to empirically assess its suggested conceptualisation in terms of each of the concepts identified as well as the validity of the propositions. Such work may include identifying new and different aspects of partnerships, identifying new and different outcomes of partnership reputation and conducting empirical work that could link different elements of partnership reputation to beneficial outcomes for the partnership and each partner within it.