Department of Business Development and Technology

Understanding demand and supply paradoxes and their role in business-to-business firms

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  • Ismail Gölgeci
  • Fahri Karakas, Norwich Business School
  • ,
  • Ekrem Tatoglu, Ibn Haldun University

In this paper, we explore paradoxes firms face when managing demand and supply activities and managers’ experience of coping with and transcending these paradoxes. Following an exploratory research approach and based on the analysis of interviews with executive managers, documents from, and observations of 19 business-to-business (B2B) firms, we develop empirically grounded propositions. We first find and explain three major demand and supply paradoxes, namely collaboration-competition, concord-conflict, and integration-differentiation. We then expand on the handling mechanisms B2B firms employ to respond to these paradoxes. We find that B2B firms that understand, balance, and transcend demand and supply paradoxes achieve greater synergy between demand and supply activities and leverage both demand and supply approaches as overarching guiding principles for their strategy. Our study informs B2B marketing and marketing strategy by exploring the nature and role of paradoxes that shape the relationships between demand and supply activities. In doing so, it also offers an empirical account of the discrepancy between the theory and practice of demand and supply integration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Demand and supply activities, Demand-supply interface, Paradox, Qualitative research

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