O2 Other
Reciprocal Adaptations for Successful Value-Driven Exchange in B2B Markets

List of Authors: Joona Keränen, Elina Jaakkola, Harri Terho, Mekhail Mustak
Place: Sloan School of Management at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Publication year: 2018


Customer value-driven marketing
and purchasing strategies have become increasingly important in contemporary
B2B markets. A growing number of industrial suppliers seek to sell value,
business impact, or bottom-line results instead of goods and services. At the
same time, customers increasingly seek to purchase process improvements, asset
efficiency, and competiveness, indicating that both parties are ultimately
focused on achieving performance outcomes and value-in-use.

While there
is a wide agreement that value-driven exchange (VDE) is often desired and
superior, current literature indicates that mismatches between suppliers’ and
customers’ value-driven approaches occur frequently, sometimes with grave
consequences. Indeed, several studies indicate that conducting VDE is highly
challenging, as creation and realization of value-in-use depends upon various
forms of adaptions across supplier, customer, and joint resources and processes.
Yet, while recent studies have emphasized the critical role of reciprocal
adaptations to co-create value-in-use, extant literature offers only little
insights on what exactly firms should adapt, and how, to optimize VDE

prior B2B marketing and sales literatures have provided rich insights on
adaptations in business markets in general, they consider almost exclusively a product-driven and value-in-exchange
. Only recently have studies begun to explore the adaptations
required to facilitate VDEs specifically, but they focus only on
organizational-level sales processes, and do
not take into account the related buying and joint processes
, or offer a more granular perspective on how
the adaptations may unfold at individual and organizational levels.

the purpose of this study is to explore
reciprocal adaptations required for successful VDE in B2B markets
addressing the following research questions: (1) Which adaptations are needed
in the selling, buying, and joint processes to facilitate VDE? and (2) How are these
adaptations carried out at individual and organizational levels? We integrate B2B
marketing and purchasing literatures to develop theoretical insights into VDE
processes in B2B markets, and draw empirical insights from a theoretically
sampled, discovery-oriented field-study, which involves nine matched
supplier-customer dyads in different industries in B2B markets.

The findings
explicate the key adaptations required in i) the actor’s organizational,
employee, and network resources, ii) the actor’s selling/purchasing process, and
iii) the collaborative resource integration process, for the achievement and
realization of value-in-use, and how these adaptations are carried out at
individual and organizational levels. Overall, this study contributes to
several priority areas in the current B2B marketing research, where the
adaptations to reciprocal VDE processes and matching value-driven sales and
purchasing practices have remained critical, yet poorly understood issues. For sales
and purchasing managers involved in VDE, this study outlines the changes that
they need to carry out inside their own organization, in their interactions
with business partners, and with their network resources, to facilitate
achieving optimal value-in-use.


Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 22:24