Doktorarbeit: Dynamic Preference Formation Within Organizational Buying Centers

Dynamic Preference Formation Within Organizational Buying Centers

Behavioral Insights into Reconciliation Processes

- in englischer Sprache -

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MERKUR – Schriften zum Innovativen Marketing-Management, volume 95

Hamburg , 278 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-8690-1 (print) |ISBN 978-3-339-08690-7 (eBook)

About this book englishenglish

Industrial buying decisions are often made by several members of an organization. Multipersonal buying decisions are therefore a constituent characteristic of industrial marketing and are of great importance in managing industrial purchases. All members of an organization who are involved in the buying process can be summarized under the concept of the buying center. Members of a buying center naturally exhibit different individual preferences which have to be harmonized within a reconciliation process. Otherwise, undertaking a joint purchase decision is virtually impossible. However, selling firms are usually only confronted with the final buying decision of an organizational buying center, but can hardly generate knowledge about member preferences. Therefore, the underlying reconciliation process that is needed for harmonizing individual heterogeneous preferences into a joint preference is considered as being a black box for the management. Although the field of organizational buying behavior has been a dynamic research stream during the 1970s and 1980s, there are still many open questions regarding the process of how multiple preferences are aggregated towards a joint preference. Against this background, the author explores behavioral interaction processes that underlie organizational buying decisions. Empirical data is generated by means of a quasi-experimental field study that is carried out with real organizational buying centers. Herewith, buying decisions are simulated in a dynamic choice setting which leads to the fact that individual preference shift of buying center members can be analyzed. On the basis of several indirect preference measurements that are conducted at different points of the overall reconciliation process, various types of behavioral interaction patterns are identified. Above that, the author sheds light on empirical reasons for the existence of individual preference shift of organizational buying center members. It is revealed that organizational buyers do not act purely rational, but are also prone to boundedly rational behavior. Based on the extensive analysis of empirical data, important implications for business marketing practice and business marketing academia are given.

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