Interaction between active, individually significant and interdependent actors is a central concern for research within the IMP tradition, which emphasises that it is what happens between a company and others that constitutes the core of business. Nevertheless, it is also recognised that our understanding of the nature of interaction and its implications for business remains limited. This paper develops a theoretically grounded understanding of how business actors orient themselves towards each other in relationally-‐responsive interaction. Amongst other things, this understanding offers a more satisfying conceptualisation of identity than that found in the IMP literature, which argues that identity is determined by resources and activities. Another important contribution is the distinction made between two kinds of challenges, which business actors face in their day-to-day activities: logical problems and difficulties of orientation.
business actors; interaction processes; orientational difficulties; problems; relationally-responsive interaction
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27th Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Conference, 2011