Essays in business-to-business customer relationships
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My dissertation focuses on effective management of Business-to-Business (B2B) relationships for better supplier innovation performance and customer engagement. I examine these relationships from the supplier firm’s perspective. In the first essay, I investigate the effect of multiple B2B ties (ie., relationship multiplexity) between customer and supplier firms on supplier firm innovation. Unlike Business-to-customer domain, the revenues and relationships of a B2B firm are highly concentrated among fewer customers, who also affect the firm’s ability to innovate. In examining these B2B relationships, I find that relationship multiplexity with a firm’s major customers has a significant adverse effect on its innovation. Furthermore, I propose and find support for several supplier firm strategies to overcome the adverse effects of relationship multiplexity on supplier innovation. In the second essay, I examine the combined role of personal selling, digital marketing and social media channels in enhancing customer engagement across different buying stages. Using a combination of exploratory and confirmatory research, I identify preferences for communication channels across buying stages, together with important attributes underlying effective utilization of a communication channel.