Buyer-Seller Interaction Patterns During Ongoing Service Exchange
By Wendy van der Valk
Promotor: Prof. dr. Finn Wynstra
This dissertation focuses on the ongoing interactions that take place between buyers and sellers of business services after the contract has been signed. This ongoing interaction is important since services are produced and consumed simultaneously; therefore, both buyer and seller have to make an effort to ensure that the ongoing service exchange is successful. The Interaction Model originally developed by the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group for studying buyer-supplier interactions in marketing and purchasing of industrial goods, is adopted and adapted to business services. As such, a classification is brought forward that differentiates between various business services and the required customer-supplier interface and interaction patterns on the basis of how the service is used in the buying company’s business process. The classification distinguishes four types of services: component, semi-manufactured, instrumental and consumption services. The usability and validity of this classification is investigated in two subsequent series of theory-building case studies at various buying companies. As such, distinctive effective patterns of interaction were developed for the different types of services. Subsequently, theory testing research is conducted to investigate whether these effective patterns represent necessary conditions for successful ongoing service exchange. Furthermore, the usefulness of the classification for providers of business services is explored, and a link between ongoing interaction and initial purchasing is established.
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