- Relationship transitions between SAS & CPH Airport -
by Janus Lykke Aarup
This paper looks into the hub airline-airport relationship between SAS and CPH Airport, with SAS as the focal company. Dwyer’s et al. (1987) four phases of buyer-seller relationship development is employed to capture the dependence and collaboration between CPH Airport and SAS through time. The concept of strategic orientation is added to Dwyer’s et al. (1987) five sub processes of relationship development, since it has a major impact on collaboration and dependence. Furthermore, Dwyer’s et al. (1987) dyadic approach is combined with the network –and macro environmental level, which exhibit a substantial influence on airline-airport relationships. The case of CPH Airport and SAS shows that airline-airport relationships do not necessarily develop progressively from transactional arm’s lengths relationships towards close collaboration, as the model by Dwyer et al (1987) prescribes. Additionally, an anomaly to the model is apparent, when it comes to hub airlines and their base airport, since interdependence is significant, both when it comes to transactional- and relational exchanges. Finally, it is concluded that the competitive advantages of SAS and CPH Airport seem to stem from inter organizational activities, where mutual inputs are significant & consistent.
Prevailing buyer-seller relationship theories suggest a progressive direction of relationship development, where the relation moves from transactional exchanges towards increased interdependence and collaboration (Ford, 1980; Dwyer et al., 1987). The case of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Copenhagen Airports (CPH Airport), with SAS as the focal company, will clarify whether this, generally, holds true for airline-airport relationship development. Additionally, this paper takes the network perspective into account in order not to fall into dyadic atomization. Moreover, it is an important research agenda to illuminate, whether periods of intensified collaboration between SAS and CPH Airport, led to any competitive advantages compared to periods characterized by transactional exchanges.
The IMP school of thought
The IMP – Industrial Marketing Purchasing – Group was established in the mid 1970’s, with a research agenda that sought to explain the anomalies in standard economic exchange theory. Contrary, to what classical and neoclassical theories prescribed, many business-to-business relationships spanned over a long period of time and were characterized by high interdependence (imp.org). Scholars from the IMP group concluded, from extensive empirical research, that transactions were to be analyzed as embedded and dependent interactions based on the buyer-seller relationship. Thereby, emphasis was laid upon business networks. According to Anderson et al. (1994) a business network can be defined as connected business relationships between two or more firms. Firms are either directly or indirectly connected to other companies through their networks, which Anderson et al. (1994) characterize as primary and secondary functions.
Strategic network identity, network image, and network positioning From a network point of view, a company’s identity is formed by its interactions with the primary actors in its network (Håkansson and Snehota, 1989). Hence, the interactions between hub carrier and hub airport play an essential part in crafting the identity of these two actors. Anderson et al. (1994) employ the term network identity to describe the desirability of a company as an exchange partner, both from the perspective of other actors in the network and from the viewpoint of the company itself. The term strategic network identity is, on the other hand, strictly related to the focal company’s own evaluation of its level of attractiveness (Anderson et al., 1994). This paper will, however,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document