The Praxis of Studying Interorganizational Practices in B2B Marketing and Purchasing – A Critical Literature Review

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Abstract

Practice has developed into a key concept in management research, including B2B marketing and purchasing studies. However, the adoption of the term in B2B marketing and purchasing is characterized by some difficulties. Research on B2B practices is growing, but seems marked by fragmentation, inconsistency, and lack of precision among others. Without conceptual consistency and integrity, B2B practice studies are at risk of becoming derailed, compromising the developments of future theory and practice within B2B. In this critical review paper, we therefore seek to create an overview of B2B practice research as perceived through a practice lens. Based on a review of 116 identified practice papers from key B2B journals, we map the topic areas where the practice concept has been applied for investigations, and we also investigate how well the applied practice conceptualization in these papers align with a recognized practice theory conceptualization. We find that the majority of B2B studies align poorly with the three elements of practice: managerial action, habitual behavior, and action-structure duality. Since many of the alignment issues in the review are caused by methodological problems, we propose a series of methodological tools that can provide a more accurate understanding of B2B practices in future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume85
Pages (from-to)7-20
Number of pages14
ISSN0019-8501
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • B2B marketing and purchasing
  • CUSTOMER-ORIENTATION
  • FIRMS
  • IMPACT
  • INTEGRATION
  • Interorganizational
  • KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
  • MODERATING ROLE
  • Managerial action
  • PERFORMANCE
  • Practice
  • Review paper
  • SOCIAL-PRACTICE
  • SUPPLY CHAIN PRACTICES
  • VALUE CO-CREATION

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