Crises in business markets: implications for interfirm linkages

  • Grewal R
  • Johnson J
  • Sarker S
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In the global economy, firms link with customers and suppliers through a complex nexus of strategically critical interfirm relationships. Due to the diversity of environments and networks involved, these linkages are increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic disruptions, also referred to as "crises." The authors offer an advanced conceptualization of crises and explicate the interplay of crises and interfirm relationships. On the basis of literature and qualitative data from 27 interviews with executives in 13 firms, the authors develop a process model of crisis that consists of five phases: (1) awareness and acknowledgment, (2) sensemaking, (3) response design, (4) response implementation, and (5) reconciliation in the aftermath. In discussing the model, the authors emphasize the influence of crisis on interfirm relationships and conversely highlight the role of the interfirm relationships in crisis management.

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  • Rajdeep Grewal

  • Jean L. Johnson

  • Suprateek Sarker

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