Title: Multidyadic relationships: a multi-stage perspective

Authors: Cláudia P. Ribau; António C. Moreira; Mário Raposo

Addresses: University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal ' DEGEIT, GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal ' NECE – Research Center in Business Sciences, Department of Management and Economics, University of Beira Interior, Estrada do Sineiro, 6200-209 Covilhã, Portugal

Abstract: This paper analyses to what extent the relationship among firms in downstream B2B activities in the supply chain stimulates the relationship in upstream B2B activities. This paper follows a qualitative methodology based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews in seven firms from the plastics industry, in three different countries that led to the preparation of seven case studies. Results and findings suggest that the business relationship with suppliers both encourages and results from a business relationship with direct and indirect downstream customers in B2B markets, driving the development of new products and the international presence of firms. Related to multi-stage B2B theory and NPD activities, the paper suggests that there is a feedback effect between the focal firm (plastics manufacturing firms), upstream suppliers and downstream customers, i.e., the relationship between the focal firm and the customers leverages the relationship between the focal firm and the suppliers. This symbiosis leads to a more technically innovative final product, which encourages more relational contact with the customer, giving rise to a more dynamic form of internationalisation. Moreover, relational links involving a multi-stage perspective in the supply chain are important to ensure a more effective bi-directional relationship among the different stages of the supply chain.

Keywords: multi-stage marketing; networks; supply chain; product innovation; international presence; plastics industry.

DOI: 10.1504/GBER.2019.102553

Global Business and Economics Review, 2019 Vol.21 No.6, pp.732 - 755

Received: 29 Sep 2017
Accepted: 06 Aug 2018

Published online: 30 Sep 2019 *

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