Macroeconomic developments, such as the business cycle, have a remarkable influence on firms and their performance. In business-to-business (B-to-B) markets characterized by a strong emphasis on long-term customer relationships, market orientation (MO) provides a particularly important safeguard for firms against fluctuating market forces. Using panel data from an economic upturn and downturn, we examine the effectiveness of different forms of MO (i.e., customer orientation, competitor orientation, interfunctional coordination, and their combinations) on firm performance in B-to-B firms. Our findings suggest that the impact of MO increases especially during a downturn, with interfunctional coordination clearly boosting firm performance and, conversely, competitor orientation becoming even detrimental. The findings further indicate that both the role of MO and its most effective forms vary across industry sectors, MO having a particularly strong impact on performance among B-to-B service firms. The findings of our study provide guidelines for executives to better manage performance across the business cycle and tailor their investments in MO more effectively, according to the firm's specific industry sector.
The challenge of managing radical innovation is partly about dealing with higher levels of uncertainty as organizations seek to extend their exploration into new technological and market spaces. Innovation management routines for dealing with this differ from those around incremental innovation — the well-established exploit/ explore dilemma. But it can be argued that there is a second challenge associated with radical innovation under conditions of discontinuity — when new elements in the environment need to be brought into the organisation's frame for search, selection and implementation. Under these conditions existing routines fail and otherwise successful incumbents experience significant difficulties. This paper explores the challenge of such radical innovation through the lens of the ways in which innovation activity is framed and contributes to the theme of this Special Issue through discussing barriers and enabling routines associated with the search, selection, and implementation processes within organisations.
This article investigates contemporary distribution processes in the industrial market. The main trend in distribution during the recent decades manifests itself in a growing number of network-type distribution chains. Based on the evolutionary trends in distribution research, we came up with the idea to investigate distribution networks processes using mathematical tools of probability theory. We consider a distribution network in a stochastic way, where a focal agent optimizes the distribution chain at each decision-making node by switching between possible partners. This allows us to apply time-homogeneous Markov chains theory to explore the partner selection process. We present an approach that allows for the estimating of implicit non-price variables of partner choice in a supply chain.
Extant research argues that innovation collaboration (IC) has strong potential to create relational rents, but few scholars have investigated what capabilities can drive and enhance IC. This paper considers relational learning (RL) as a dynamic capability that strengthens IC and its contribution to firm performance through a better understanding of a firm's past collaboration and its future potential. By focusing on the timing of collaboration, the paper explains how IC is embedded in a firm's innovation activities by investigating the extent to which external partners are involved at various stages of the innovation process. The results of the study, which are based on a quantitative survey of 155 Russian firms, confirm the positive role of RL in innovation collaboration. They also highlight that the extent of the collaboration payoff varies according to its timing. The inclusion of the IC timing perspective indicates that firms should account for both the direct and indirect effects of RL on IC, and IC on firm performance when preparing for and managing their IC efforts with external partners.