Business-to-business professional service relationships under multiple logics
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Trends toward service standardization and formalization appear to be contradicting rather than supporting service-dominant logic. Few studies have tried to understand how organizations deal with these contradictions. This paper explores the presence of contradicting logics in business-to-business professional service relationships. Based on 78 interviews with buyers and sellers, the study shows that the nature of the relationship is defined by the need to balance the contradicting logics at both the individual and firm levels. While individual relationships have traditionally been intimate, more instant relationships and knowledge of context is replacing intimacy under increased formalization and goods-dominant logic to ensure co-production. At the firm level, parallel rather than single relationships are used under a more formalized and goods-dominant logic. These findings add to existing knowledge about the integration of service- and goods-dominant logics and suggest that a revised conceptualization of client–professional relationships is needed.