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Relationships between internal suppliers and internal buyers in industrial markets: A multiple case study of an international corporation
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the thesis is to examine how relationships between internal suppliers and internal buyers that are a part of the same international corporation are managed and maintained in an industrial market. In order to fulfill the purpose, a multiple case study of Atea, a Scandinavian IT infrastructure provider, is applied. A total of 16 semi-structured interviews are conducted with Atea´s subsidiaries located in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The findings from the study show that the supplier and the buyer manage the relationships by communicating, adapting, having similar goals, bonding, cooperating and interacting. However, there are large variations between the firms, which makes the relationship management difficult. Based on the findings, firms are recommended to invest foremost to the core of the business and adapt to one another. In addition, the service quality should be enhanced as the information distribution is the biggest form of cooperation, and everyone should be involved in the relationship management. Lastly, the managers should define whether they want their firms to be seen as a sister company or as a regular supplier/buyer. This paper is limited due to the nature of the qualitative research method used. In addition, the findings represent the individuals´ opinions and beliefs and do not necessarily represent the entire firm. Due to the limitations, future studies could focus on the effect of the corporation´s headquarters on the relationship or the relationship between the same actors after a crisis has occurred. One could also investigate how the actors see each other, as sister companies or as regular suppliers and buyers, and how the relationship can be managed accordingly. Lastly, future research could include other factors that have an effect on relationships than the ones used in this study; interaction approach, trust and commitment. This study has been one of the first ones to study relationships between internal supplier and internal buyer belonging to the same corporation and operating in an industrial market characterized by external competition. The study has contributed to the qualitative research stream by approaching the phenomenon from a qualitative point of view, and also to the theoretical literature by using theoretical concepts that earlier have mostly been applied to regular supplier-buyer relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
Interorganizational relationships, internal supplier, internal buyer, industrial market, interorganizational dependency, relationship marketing, relationship management, cooperation, communication, trust, commitment, interaction approach
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45358OAI: diva2:840200
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
Marketing, Master Programme, 120 credits
2015-06-01, Linnéuniversitetet, Växjö, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-08-05 Created: 2015-07-07 Last updated: 2015-08-05Bibliographically approved

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