Is there a dark side of close relationships?

The September issue of the Journal of Marketing features a paper co-authored by Corine Noordhoff.

10/10/2011 | 3:52 PM

Under pressure to release more innovative products faster, firms engage increasingly in joint innovation projects with their business customers. Simultaneously, many new product development managers consider joint innovation projects with supply chain members as a potential source of hazard, them being known to cheat or to turn into a competitor before one even realizes what is going on. The default managerial response to such threats of, amongst others, information leakage would generally be considered to include building close, reciprocal bonds with the partner. Doing so, however is not a guarantee for success as witnessed in the dismal 70% failure rate of B2B innovation alliances. Consequently, larger corporations amongst whom Philips, FedEx and Cisco even have established Alliances Offices to reduce the large chances for failure by accumulating and centralizing knowledge and expertise. In their paper, Noordhoff, Kyriakopoulos, Moorman, Pauwels and Dellaert discuss the conditions under which the dark side of close relationships between supply chain partners emerges and which tools can be applied to turn the dark side into a bright side.

Noordhoff, Corine S., Kyriakos Kyriakopoulos, Christine Moorman, Pieter Pauwels, and Benedict G. C. Dellaert, (2011), “The Bright Side and Dark Side of Embedded Ties in Business-To-Business Innovation”, Journal of Marketing, 75 (5), 34-52. [pdf]