Thought leaders in the field of B2B relationships

Research Agenda

Our on-going research programme is conducted with executives from organisations including AMEC, Skanska, Shell, Siemens, Manchester United, Nike, Coca Cola, Atkins, BAA, TfL, ABN AMRO, Balfour Beatty, The Highways Agency, Metronet, Mott MacDonald, PwC, KPMG, BAE SYSTEMS, Singapore Airlines, First Direct, Innisfree, MoD, Slough Estates, National Grid Transco, SCA Packaging and Stanhope. It leads to innovative findings which are published regularly in leading academic and practitioner journals.

While many forms of inter-organisational relationships from contracts, alliances, projects, programmes, partnerships and joint ventures to outsourcing, mergers, acquisitions, R&D coalitions, licensing agreements and networks have been identified, we have established that there are only two types –“Transactional” and “Strategic”. Both are valid, though they are managed and measured quite differently. These terms are in common use but are frequently misunderstood; we prefer to refer to the two types as “Arms Length” and “Arms Linked.”

We have developed an overarching framework of seven measurable dimensions of inter-organisational relationships which both individually and collectively make a difference to them. The seven dimensions, which are valid in all sectors, encapsulate and organise the many criteria that are found in the literature to describe business relationships. If these dimensions are managed professionally and consistently a relationship will take off; if any one is ignored a relationship is likely to crash.

Our current research agenda embraces:

  • Approaches to the Measurement of Relationships

  • Quantifying Return on Relationships, and

  • Management of Relational Risk in Major Projects

If you would like to take part in one of our research programmes and/or keep up to date with our progress please contact us.

Experience, independence and credibility