Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal
Chapter 21: The Organizational Buying Center: Innovation, Knowledge Management and Brand
Wesley J. Johnston and Jennifer D. Chandler Management of the organizational buying center (OBC) is among the fastest-changing aspects of contemporary business and marketing. Driven largely by rapid technological innovation and the dispersion of global management teams, OBC management has evolved in many ways since its inception more than 40 years ago in the marketing literature. The purpose of this chapter is to review existing OBC knowledge and to identify the most critical practice and research issues facing OBC managers and theorists alike. According to the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (2010) research priorities, the most pressing OBC management issues include (but are not limited to) the formation of the OBC, prediction of OBC preferences and decision-making criteria and the role of brand and electronic media in OBC processes. These are closely related to the 2010–2012 Marketing Science Institute (2010, p. 5) research priorities that articulate the importance of customer-focused organizations developed ‘through the motivation, engagement, management, and appraisal of teams of employees working in collaborative environments’. This includes examining how employees and teams catalyze complex solutions that effectively innovate across product platforms, business models and marketing processes. This chapter sheds some light on these issues. We begin by reviewing existing OBC knowledge. Then, we identify current B2B marketing trends that relate specifically to OBC management. Finally, we outline future areas of research and practice that might be improved with closer scrutiny of contemporary OBC issues. EXISTING OBC KNOWLEDGE What Do We Already Know about the OBC...
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