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Adaptation in triadic business relationship settings: A study in corporate travel management

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Use this URL to link or cite this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/442
Title: Adaptation in triadic business relationship settings: A study in corporate travel management
Author: Holma, Anne
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Belongs to series: Economics and Society - 207
ISSN: 0424-7256
ISBN: 978-952-232-058-2
Abstract: ANNE HOLMA
ADAPTATION IN TRIADIC BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP SETTINGS – A STUDY IN CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
Business-to-business relationships form complicated networks that function in an increasingly dynamic business environment. This study addresses the complexity of business relationships, both when it comes to the core phenomenon under investigation, adaptation, and the structural context of the research, a triadic relationship setting.
In business research, adaptation is generally regarded as a dyadic phenomenon, even though it is well recognised that dyads do not exist isolated from the wider network. The triadic approach to business relationships is especially relevant in cases where an intermediary is involved, and where all three actors are directly connected with each other. However, only a few business studies apply the triadic approach. In this study, the three dyadic relationships in triadic relationship settings are investigated in the context of the other two dyads to which each is connected. The focus is on the triads as such, and on the connections between its actors.
Theoretically, the study takes its stand in relationship marketing. The study integrates theories and concepts from two approaches, the industrial network approach by the Industrial marketing and purchasing group, and the Service marketing and management approach by the Nordic School. Sociological theories are used to understand the triadic relationship setting. The empirical context of the study is corporate travel management. The study is a retrospective case study, where the data is collected by in-depth interviews with key informants from an industrial enterprise and its travel agency and service supplier partners.
The main theoretical contribution of the study concerns opening a new research area in relationship marketing by investigating adaptation in business relationships with a new perspective, and in a new context. This study provides a comprehensive framework to analyse adaptation in triadic business relationship settings. The analysis framework was created with the help of a systematic combining approach, which is based on abductive logic and continuous iteration between the theory and the case study results. The framework describes how adaptations initiate, and how they progress. The framework also takes into account how adaptations spread in triadic relationship settings, i.e. how adaptations attain all three actors of the triad. Furthermore, the framework helps to investigate the outcomes of the adaptations for individual firms, for dyadic relationships, and for the triads. The study also provides concepts and classification that can be used when evaluating adaptation and relationship development in both dyadic and triadic relationships.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/442
URN:ISBN:978-952-232-058-2
Date: 2009-10-19
Copyright information: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
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