My research is about imperfections in how companies interact with each other. The aim is to identify errors and problems in how actors interact with their counterparts and how they manifest their agreements in business contracts. Three structural pillars underpin this research:
My current research is related to corporate responses to contemporary challenges. For example, climate change mitigation represents a significant challenge for our society, one in which businesses will need to play a more active role. Research findings highlight significant discrepancies between the way that CO2 markets are designed and the way that they are actually operated. See recent paper "Market-based Responses to Climate Change" published in Organization Studies (with Gareth Veal). Moreover, my current research concerns corporate deal-making of financial institutions. Many business deals between financial intitutions occur via collaborations, partnerships and alliances in which recurrent transactions take place. For example, deals among banks have emerged through trading swaps, credit default obligations, futures and forwards, over-the-counter options, and the reliance on credit lines and prime brokerage facilities. Current research delivers new insights on 1) the connectivity between financial institutions, and 2) the sources of systemic risk by offering accurate knowledge on the nature of exchange between financial institutions and modelling economic exchanges not ordinarily encountered in a transparent way.
The need to secure contracts with other firms may lead many companies to dysfunctional arrangements and contractual decisions which limit their ability to differentiate and innovate in the future. This empirical observation prompted me to investigate a range of flexible inter-firm arrangements manifested in umbrella agreements (framework contracts). Companies recognize the importance of umbrella agreements with other firms because they optimize the required level of reliance and flexibility. For more details of this work, see 'From Contract to Umbrella Agreement' published in the Cambridge Law Journal (with Michael Furmston, at the University of Bristol and Singapore Management University). See also ‘Negotiating Umbrella Agreements’ published in the Negotiation Journal. Empirical findings about the role of Umbrella Agreements in managing business relationships appear in the Journal of Business Research (with David Ford, at Euromed School of Management, Marseille France).
Furthermore, see commentary on Hugh Collins' (LSE) article 'Legal Aspects of Network Architecture of Supply Chains'. Both commentary and article appear in a recent volume on "Networks: Legal Issues of Multilateral Cooperation", edited by G. Teubner and M. Amstutz, Hart Publications (2009).
Efficiency and effectiveness are central terms in assessing business performance, yet the challenge for companies is to balance efficiency with effectiveness. Empirical research in this area indicates that companies often fail to achieve differentiation and innovation in their surrounding business networks, through dealing with efficiency and neglecting effectiveness. Because of low growth problems many companies focus on issues of competitive advantage through value appropriation rather than on issues of creating new growth opportunities in their networks. They are solely addressing their operational efficiency and neglecting effectiveness in their business networks. My research on companies' performance in business networks emphasizes the importance of linking efficiency and effectiveness. For details of my work in this area, see the recent article on Efficiency versus Effectiveness published in the Journal of Business Research.
Special Issue in Industrial Marketing Management
I prepared a Special Issue (together with Pete Naudé and Stephan Henneberg at Manchester Business School) on ‘Cognition and Management in Networks’ published in Industrial Marketing Management (2010).
A challenge facing organizations is that of amalgamating strategic possibilities which do not exist in a transparent and concentrated form, but rather as dispersed individual cognitive views held by managers embedded in networks of exchange relationships. Based on empirical research in business networks involving manufacturers of consumer goods, pharmaceutical companies, producers of semiconductors and telecommunication and utility service providers, we suggest that managers which develop insight in business networks are able to mobilize other actors and create a competitive advantage for their organization that is crucial for innovation and growth (see the article on 'Developing Network Insight' published in the Industrial Marketing Management as well as the recent article 'Changing Network Pictures: Evidence from Mergers and Acquisitions' published in the Industrial Marketing Management.
I welcome PhD applications from prospective students interested in the following areas:
-Contracts in Business Relationships
-Negotiation & Corporate Deal-making
-Assessing Business Performance
-Linking Marketing and Finance
-Key Account Management
-Brand Management/ Category Management
Research on Negotiations, Contracts and Performance cuts across the inter-disciplinary boundaries of Management (Business-to-business Marketing), Economics (Behavioral Economics) and Law (Contract Law). The work is policy-relevant and places emphasis on obtaining contemporary manifestations of business agreements, such as written contracts, standard terms and conditions, umbrella agreements or framework contracts. This includes also participant observation and collaborative projects within the consumer goods industry (grocery retailers and fast-moving consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Bayer, Kellogg, R. J. Reynolds, JTI, Body Shop, Nestle, Elisabeth Shaw, Roche, Metro). Manufacturers in consumer goods markets are faced with a relatively small number of significant customers with which they must negotiate about numerous issues surrounding complex offerings. Each of these negotiations does not take place in isolation. Each is part of a complex and continuing relationship between the companies and each affects and is affected by the other negotiations of the companies.
Conducting research in the area of Negotiations & Business Contracts, I am involved in the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group which has carried out a large number of wide ranging international studies into the management of complex business networks. The group’s ‘interaction approach’ is based on the importance for both researchers and managers of understanding complex business networks and the interaction between active buyers and sellers in continuing business relationships. Please see papers published in academic journals, Organization Studies, Cambridge Law Journal, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management,Negotiation Journal,Journal of Customer Behaviour, Journal of Business Market Management, Thexis, Die Betriebswirtschaft - Business Administration Review (BARev)-, Journal of Marketing Management, European Journal of Marketing,Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.
BSc Econ (Athens), LLM (Bristol), PhD (Lancaster)
ESRC Grant (2005); KTP Grant-Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd and the University of Bath-(2006); ISBM Fund -Institute for the Study of Business Markets- (2006); Global Innovative Marketing (2006); Pump Priming Grant (2007). KTP Grant-Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Energy Efficiency Company and Lancaster University (in cooperation with Lancaster Environment Centre (J. Faulconbridge) with the objective to investigate carbon trading, offsetting and verifying (2010). Co-investigator in the Catalyst project (2011-1014); funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRSC), and brings together academics and communities to jointly imagine and build the next generation of innovative technologies for social change.
MBA Negotiation & Deal Making Programme
MKTG 404 Brand Management (MSc in Advanced Marketing Management)
MNGT 517 Business & Consumer Buying Behaviour (MSc in Management & Marketing)
Before joining the academic world, I was at Kellogg responsible for Brand Management for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I also held positions at R. J. R. International/ JT International, GfK-Trade Research and Procter & Gamble in Germany.
Appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Bocconi, Italy (2009), University of Lugano, Switzerland (2010), University of Duesseldorf, Germany (2010), Singapore Management University (2010).
Member of Editorial Boards for:
-Industrial Marketing Management
-Journal of Business and Market Management
Member of Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group (IMP- Group)
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article
Activity: External academic engagement › Invited talk
Press clipping: Research
Press clipping: Teaching