Title: Inertia in business relationships: the case of a designer furniture manufacturer

Authors: Anu Norrgrann, Karita Luokkanen-Rabetino

Addresses: Department of Marketing, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, 65101 Vaasa, Finland. ' Department of Marketing, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, 65101 Vaasa, Finland

Abstract: This article discusses how inertia manifests itself in business relationships. It examines how path dependencies shape the development of a firm|s resources and accumulate inertia within them, which can affect how the firm relates to other actors in its network. The article draws on different theoretical perspectives that have dealt with the notion of inertia and provides a holistic understanding of this concept, its antecedents and forms of expression. The study uses a longitudinal single-case study of a company where a dominant business relationship has accumulated inertia and affected the firm|s engagement in other relationships and development efforts as an empirical illustration. The analysis examines how change forces challenge the existing paths and reveal both positive and negative inertia effects. The article provides a discussion of the different types of inertia and its expressions on different levels and functions.

Keywords: inertia; path dependence; business relationships; longitudinal case study; designer furniture; furniture manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2011.037857

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.44 - 62

Published online: 22 Oct 2014 *

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