Doktorarbeit: Die Entwicklung von Kundenbeziehungen in der Nachfolge mittelständischer Familienunternehmen

Die Entwicklung von Kundenbeziehungen in der Nachfolge mittelständischer Familienunternehmen

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Schriftenreihe innovative betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis, volume 244

Hamburg , 256 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-4283-9 (print) |ISBN 978-3-339-04283-5 (eBook)

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In family enterprises relationships with business partners are often positively affected by close personal, partially private contacts. In the course of corporate succession the established cooperation structures and confidential connections disband partially after the senior retires. Since realignment to the successor is associated with time, cost, effort and social adaptability, it is to be questioned, how far the business transfer to the successor influences the development of the relationship towards the customer. In this context this paper enters into the question to what extend transaction costs and trust foster brand loyality.

After introducing definitions and presenting an ideal course of customer transfer, these thesis paper approaches this problem based on the microeconomic transaction cost theory. Starting point is that the pattern of transaction cost falling due to fixed costs degression and learning curve effects, which might be interrupted during the corporate succession. Following to these basic assumptions the development of transaction cost is investigated. First the effects of a perpetuation of the business connection are analysed. Secondly the transaction cost development is analysed in case the customer leaves the established business relation due to the succession and chooses a competitor. The third scenario looks into the development of the transaction costs if a second supplier (in-supplier) exists.

Because the embodiment of the transaction dimensions influences the cost and design of the interaction in the customer-successor dyad besides the action alternative, the impacts of specific assets, uncertainty and transaction atmosphere are analysed.

Later, the strict rational transaction cost model is extended by a trust dimension. Through this the question is, how far trust as a social determinant supports a stabilization and intensifies the inter-organisational cooperation. In this context the trust dimension is analysed if it leads to a reduction of transaction cost through lesser monitoring and means of control.

Directly following to these conclusions a qualitative interrogation tends to confirm the theoretic conclusions empirically. Therefore six chief purchasing officers from major enterprises and six successors out of medium-sized engine and plant construction companies were interviewed. These groups were asked to comment on the impact of specific investments, uncertainty and trust as well as the role of the first mover advantage. Furthermore other relevant exit and entry barriers are considered. The main focus of the interviews is not only the evaluation of monetarily quantifiable transaction costs, but also non-monetary variables, such as reliability, integrity or capacity for innovation and sustainability in addition to trust.

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