Strategic Business Partnerships in the Consumer Technology Industry - A Case Study on Partner Selection Criteria and Their Influence on the Outcome of Value Constellations
Abstract: Thesis purpose: To identify relevant criteria underlying the partner selection process in a leading company in the consumer technology industry, as well as to subsequently analyse the influences which those criteria have on overall outcome. The intention is to draw valid implications for future research as well as for actors in similar market environments. Methodology: The researchers of this paper have chosen to conduct exploratory research within the particular case company. An interpretivist epistemological position has been selected by orienting the emphasis on understanding the social world by specifically analysing participants in that world. A qualitative approach was chosen so that individual’s opinions, thoughts, perspectives and expressions can provide insight into this world so that findings can inductively establish justifiable theory. The focus is to assimilate reliability and validity into the qualitative research with little change of meaning other than playing down the salience of measurement issue. A highly interactive process was used as it would provide the researchers with an idyllic tool with which the necessary data can be accumulated. Theoretical perspectives: The main theories are based on previous literature of collaborative concepts, value constellations and business partnerships. This research study investigates important partner selection criteria in value constellations and discusses how these influence the outcome of such initiatives in the consumer technology industry. The chosen case company is seen as a good setting to examine the phenomena as it is one of the first companies to anticipate different expectations between business and private customers. Conclusions: This study contributed to a framework explaining the competitive advantages of value constellations. Namely ten key partner selection criteria and ten respective influences were empirically discovered in the focal company. Seven of these criteria were found to clearly correspond with the underlying theoretical framework of this thesis, whereas three criteria were not explicitly referred to as key criteria in standard literature, although their importance for the case company was found to be significantly high.
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