Managing in Uncertainty
Management is to a large degree to cope with uncertainty. This is in the IMP perspective taking a very special meaning compared to the traditional market perspective where uncertainty is related to either market complexity or market dynamics. Instead, based on the assumption that interaction is the substance of business world the uncertainty is considered to be related to the development of business relationships. Traditional view of the market conceives "relationships as an exception to the norm" thus, within such perspective, companies and managers are assumed to use business relationships in particular situations as a mechanism to make the most of the situations of general uncertainty that has to be reduced and controlled. In contrast, IMP view of business relying on the idea of interaction being of substantive nature, always implies that actors cannot control, plan, forecast, govern or unilaterally manage business relationships to achieve planned objectives. Indeed, actors are coping with evolving and changing business relationships in time and space, constantly trying to adapt, and react to unexpected developments. This means that uncertainty is inherent to the unpredictability of business relationships development in interaction. One consequence is that the management of relationships become of vital importance. Given the problems with the uncertainty in management of relationships this task is certainly challenging. This is well illustrated in the four papers presented in this e-book. They all deal with business relationships development as a main issue in the interactive business landscape, shedding light on the way actors are constantly coping with this. Three of the four papers are empirical papers with interesting case studies from different industries and contexts.
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