The nature, role and impact of connected relations: a comparison of European and Chinese suppliers' perspectives

Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 2006, 21 (1), pp. 3 - 13
Issue Date:
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Purpose The objective is to review theories of the impact of network relations and present empirical evidence on their nature and impacts. Among the questions addressed are: Who initiates network relations? Which ones are important and why? and What is the nature of the affects in important relationships? Design/methodology/approach Analysis is based on the IMP2 omnibus survey of international B2B business relations, specifically Swedish, German and Chinese firms. Findings While there are some differences between countries, contrary to conventional wisdom, no evidence can be found that Chinese firms differ from European firms on the above questions. Research limitations/implications China is rapidly evolving a market-based economy and its firms increasingly interact with foreign customers and suppliers. It is to be expected in particular that Chinese responses to the questions regarding network relations will evolve. An implication is that studies of this sort should be periodically repeated over the next decade. Practical implications The results imply that Chinese and European firms characterize their relationships with important customers using largely the same factors and that the perceived importance of these factors largely is the same. Originality/value The survey reflects the conceptual structure of the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group. The IMP2 database is one of the largest omnibus, cross-national surveys that collects information of B2B relationships
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