Purchasing processes and characteristics of industrial service buyers in the U.S. and Japan

Roth, Martin S.; Money, R. Bruce; Madden, Thomas J.
May 2004
Journal of World Business;May2004, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p183
Academic Journal
Despite the prominence of industrial services in the global economy, few studies have addressed the characteristics and purchasing processes of buyers in business-to-business markets or for services. Cross-national data is used to explore the extent to which national culture (based on the firms� national origin and its location of operation) and network relationships (organization buying experience, types of referral sources used) are related to the use of direct versus indirect purchasing processes for various types of industrial services. Our results show the presence of three unique market segments based on purchasing process��networkers� who are heavy referral users, �opportunists� who purchase services both directly and indirectly, and �independents� who are heavy direct purchasers of certain types of services. Interestingly, the segments are comprised of companies that are both American and Japanese, located in both Japan and the U.S., with and without previous buying experience. Furthermore, we identify the types of referral sources consulted depending on who and where buyers are and what services are being purchased. Implications for targeting national and global commercial service customers are discussed.


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