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Business Actor Engagement: Understanding Collaborative Business Initiative Outcomes
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4362-7711
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Business and service literature has recognized engagement as a crucial concept that influences the success of business initiatives beyond core transactions. Engagement involves various actors’ contributions like time, knowledge, and other resources that extend beyond contractual obligations. Engagement was initially studied in business-to-consumer (B2C) contexts, where its activities include word-of-mouth feedback and co-creating value propositions. As engagement research extended into business-to-business (B2B) contexts, engagement activities included customer referencing and participation in service development, with contributions like influence, time, and expertise. This thesis focuses on understanding engagement in B2B contexts – conceptualized as business actor engagement (BAE) – and offers practice-relevant midrange theory conceptualizations of collaboration in business initiatives beyond the contracted and regular transactions. The study employs a qualitative approach to studying Swedish real estate landlords and their efforts to involve commercial tenants in collaborative business initiatives (conceptualized as engagement initiatives) to deepen the understanding of BAE. The collaborative business initiatives in the thesis’ empirical setting address issues of environmental sustainability, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency. Despite providers using similar strategies to involve their B2B customers, the outcomes of these engagement initiatives vary, often due to hidden aspects affecting customers’ engagement. The findings are presented in four papers that offer insights on BAE such as how prerequisite factors, antecedents and manifestations impact customers’ BAE and consequently the outcomes of collaborative business initiatives. By exploring BAE, the study offers an understanding of the variety in outcomes from collaborative business initiatives, i.e., why some business initiatives succeed or fail. By understanding and managing BAE aspects, the study suggests collaborative business initiatives may result in achieving intended outcomes, such as goals related to addressing climate change and societal problems. Although the study centers on the real estate industry, the findings have broader implications for businesses striving to develop and adopt initiatives that will require their partners’ engagement to achieve intended outcomes and – by doing so – build strong, lasting relationships with their partners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2024.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 413
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-67898ISBN: 978-91-7485-672-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-67898DiVA, id: diva2:1878091
Public defence
2024-08-27, Gamma, Mälardalens universitet, Västerås, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-06-27 Created: 2024-06-26 Last updated: 2024-07-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Business Actor Engagement: Exploring its Antecedents and Types
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2021 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 98, p. 179-192Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Building on recent engagement research, this study contributes to a deepened understanding of business actor engagement (BAE) dimensions that includes both behaviors and emotions. Following a systematic combining approach, this study contextualizes and clarifies BAE. Through an analysis of dyadic data (providing firm and customers), we offer in-depth knowledge of the antecedents and types of BAE. This study identifies engagement disposition combined with engagement connectedness as the antecedents of an engagement initiative’s overall BAE. Building on these dynamics, we propose a conceptual BAE framework with a set of testable propositions that links BAE with its proposed antecedents. Finally, we use the empirical and theoretical insights to derive a BAE taxonomy consisting of four types that offers guidance on how to manage customers with different engagement characteristics in practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: , 2021
Keywords
customer engagement, actor engagement, engagement disposition, engagement connectedness, engagement initiative, valance
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-55624 (URN)10.1016/j.indmarman.2021.08.009 (DOI)000708437700015 ()2-s2.0-85113725717 (Scopus ID)
Projects
14891 Balanserad styrning av smarta fastigheter
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 46805-1
Available from: 2021-08-19 Created: 2021-08-19 Last updated: 2024-06-26Bibliographically approved
2. Identifying factors needed for business actor engagement in sustainable development goal (SDG) initiatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying factors needed for business actor engagement in sustainable development goal (SDG) initiatives
2023 (English)In: Journal of business & industrial marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, E-ISSN 2052-1189, Vol. 38, no 13, p. 195-210Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This study aims to offer a mid-range theory conceptualization of factors central to understanding and facilitating business actor engagement (BAE). Reports on a study of real estate companies and their sustainable development goal (SDG) driven business initiatives. The aim is to identify the factors that need to be in place to facilitate positive engagement amongst actors in business-to-business (B2B) settings. Design/methodology/approach: A case study of real estate companies (landlords of business premises) and their business customers (tenants of offices and warehouses) – comprising interviews and workshops – offer insights related to the factors that need to be in place to facilitate BAE types and outcomes. Findings: The identified central factors of BAE – needed to understand and facilitate positive engagement to unfold – are the actors’ perception of: willingness (to act), resourcefulness (to contribute and solve issues) and influence (to affect decisions) regarding solutions related to the business initiative at hand. Failing to facilitate these factors may result in negative outcomes of BAE where “engagement” merely constitutes perceived obligations and responsibilities. Research limitations/implications: The study offers theoretical and managerial insights on how to manage the factors needed for BAE. It also sheds light on how actors can use SDG-driven business initiatives to achieve sustainability goals. Originality/value: It contributes to the concept of BAE, by emphasizing the dynamics of engagement, from the motivational and behavioral dimensions specific to B2B settings. It offers insights how to managerially cogovern rather than control BAE. It presents central factors needed to include and capacitate customers, facilitating successful implementations of SDG-driven business initiatives to reduce absent or negative outcomes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Publishing, 2023
Keywords
Business actor engagement, Business initiatives, Case study, Green lease, Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-63991 (URN)10.1108/JBIM-03-2022-0156 (DOI)001034438300001 ()2-s2.0-85165896799 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-08-16 Created: 2023-08-16 Last updated: 2024-06-26Bibliographically approved
3. Business Actor Engagement and Perceived Initiator Roles in Platform Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business Actor Engagement and Perceived Initiator Roles in Platform Development
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abstract The implications of business actor engagement and industry-specific platform development within business-to-business (B2B) contexts requires more research. While existing literature provides some guidance on common engagement factors and their impact on value outcomes, it primarily focuses on consumer markets, overlooking the complexities of B2B markets. Recent studies highlight the need for mid-range conceptualizations of business actor engagement, emphasizing engagement’s role beyond the customer perspective. Understanding how responding actors perceive initiators in the BAE process is crucial, as it influences the overall engagement and value outcomes. This study addresses this gap by examining how the behavior and perceived role of initiating actors (in the study; Swedish real estate firms developing sustainability services for commercial tenants) impact responding actors’ engagement. Four perceived roles are identified and conceptualized: the diligent, negligent, steward, and dominant initiating actor. The results also offer insights into BAE role dynamics and suggest that digital platform components serve as business actor engagement role amplifier, shaping engagement and platform development

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-67924 (URN)
Available from: 2024-06-27 Created: 2024-06-27 Last updated: 2024-06-27Bibliographically approved
4. The Transcending Business Case for Sustainable Services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Transcending Business Case for Sustainable Services
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent research underscores the advantages for incumbent firms in developing services that addressglobal challenges. However, the pursuit of such strategic service innovations often faces obstacles asfirms rely on a predefined, structured decision-making process known as the business case to guidetheir investments in pioneering sustainability initiatives. The traditional business case approach todecision-making has drawn criticism for its limitations in fostering transformative services thatredefine value propositions and propel markets toward sustainability. This study develops analternative business case model for evaluating the potential of innovative sustainability services basedon a service-dominant (S-D) logic foundation, emphasizing systems change through effectuation and abroader stakeholder perspective. By adopting an abductive approach centered on challenges andinsights articulated by managers in the Swedish real estate industry, we develop a model that offersdirectional guidance for both evaluating current and new services for sustainability. The result – atranscending business case model – represents an early S-D logic artifact, enabling incumbent firms todevelop new services in a manner akin to their assessments and implementation of existing services.The model carries significant theoretical and managerial implications into how researchers and firmscan contribute meaningfully to addressing grand challenges.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-67926 (URN)
Available from: 2024-06-27 Created: 2024-06-27 Last updated: 2024-06-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2024-08-06 08:00
Available from 2024-08-06 08:00

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Anastasiadou, Elena

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1234561 of 6
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