Use of References in Industrial Bidding – A Decision Process Analysis

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Abstract:

The utilisation of references is an important marketing practice in international industrial marketing. Yet, studies concerning the utilisation of reference information do not seem to exist. The purpose of the article is to describe and analyse the use of written reference information in an industrial bidding process. The study consists of the analysis of a single case study made by using Decision Systems Analysis. The results of the study are shown as a flowchart description of the decision process of reference use and ten decision gates in that process. Theoretical conclusions of the study deal with the contingency character of the decision process, the role of reference information in bidding decisions, and utilisation of reference information as marketing signalling. Finally, managerial conclusions as well as the limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are discussed.
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