Is it possible to re-activate a business relationship? : A study of the Swedish automotive industry

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen


Re-activation of inactive business relationships has been given rather limited attention in the IMP literature. With this as a background the purpose of this thesis is to increase understanding of re-activation of previously inactive business relationships. This is done by applying a resource perspective. Through a single case study a focal relationship, consisting of a customer-supplier relationship, in the Swedish automotive industry was investigated in relation to an acquisition of a bankruptcy estate. The study focused on three different time-phases of the relationship (active, inactive & re-activation) and four interacting resources (relationships, business units, products & facilities).

Based on our results we propose that a re-activation is: “when a business relationship changes from inactive to a mutual active resource exchange”. Deliberately, this definition does not say much about how the focal re-activation will evolve. From our case it is possible to see that due to changes in the relationship, facility and product dimension, the focal relationship is not possible to restore to what it once was. Finally, this thesis proposes a revised and more nuanced model of re-activation where the re-activation process is divided into pre re-activation, re-activation and re-configured phase.

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