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When it pays to have a friend on the inside: contingent effects of buyer advocacy on B2B suppliers

Justin M. Lawrence (), Andrew T. Crecelius (), Lisa K. Scheer () and Son K. Lam ()
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Justin M. Lawrence: Oklahoma State University
Andrew T. Crecelius: Iowa State University
Lisa K. Scheer: University of Missouri
Son K. Lam: University of Georgia

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2019, vol. 47, issue 5, 837-857

Abstract: Abstract As organizational buying systems grow more complex and sophisticated, suppliers increasingly rely on buyer advocacy: an individual buyer’s efforts to influence his/her colleagues such that the supplier’s standing is improved. Drawing from cognitive response theory, the authors hypothesize an inverted U-shaped relationship between a buyer’s advocacy for a supplier and the customer’s purchases from that supplier. They theorize that this effect is moderated by the advocate’s industry experience and customer–supplier relationship characteristics. An analysis of multisource data from a B2B service provider (Study 1) supports the predicted inverted U-shaped relationship, while a unique dataset from a large industrial supplier (Study 2) provides broad support for the hypothesized moderators. Finally, a randomized experiment (Study 3) replicates key findings and corroborates the theorized cognitive response mechanisms. Findings contribute to the limited literature on buyer advocacy within the organizational buying domain and offer practical implications for suppliers and buyers.

Keywords: Buyer advocacy; Organizational buying; Cognitive response theory; Relationship marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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