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Supplier-customer engagement for collaborative innovation using video conferencing: a study of SMEs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Industrial Marketing Management
Volume80
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)43-57
Publication statusPublished
Early online date15/03/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Co-creation of innovation, as transcending perspective of marketing, is of growing interest in recent years. Developing new products through collaboration is recognised as beneficial to suppliers as well as customers. Businesses face challenges as to how to build and develop close and long-lasting collaborative relationships for innovation success. Owners/managers need to know about which platform to use appropriate for different engagement aspects in the relationship development. The advancement in virtual technology may offer new platforms in enabling customer engagement apart from traditional platforms. This study explores how suppliers and customers are engaged in videoconferencing in their engagement processes in collaborative innovation. Based on an empirical study of in-depth interviews with seventeen owners/managers in biotech SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise), from a supplier's perspective it reveals that the engagement is processual and has two dimensions for the successful collaborative relationships. Videoconferencing is a platform for engagement when distance is a barrier, it's used in both dimensions of the engagement, and to facilitate cognition and support affect which help form and cement trusting relationships. The authors explain the process of videoconferencing engagement by a ladder of engagement model through social networking theory in building and applying social capital.