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  • 1.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Industrial selling: case studies of Swedish manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises2002Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The research problem in this thesis has been formulated as: How can industrial selling performed by Swedish manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises in the different selling situations be characterized? The research problem has been further developed in forms of three research questions dealing with selling activities, individuals involved in selling, and selling processes in the different selling situations. The selling situations included are; new selling task, modified selling task and routine selling task. Selling in this study has been defined as the activities performed by any individual(s) for the purpose of doing business at an individual customer level. Further, small and medium-sized companies have been defined as companies with 10-249 employees. The intention with this research has not been to quantitatively describe and generalize findings to all Swedish manufacturing SMEs. Instead, an exploratory and descriptive perspective has been adopted. The ambition, however, have been to begin to understand how Swedish manufacturing SMEs perform industrial selling. The approach for this study is to be considered qualitative. In order to address our research problem and research questions, four case studies in two different industries were investigated. Within the manufacturing industry, one small and one-medium sized company was selected. Similarly, one small and one medium-sized company in the electronics industry were identified. Personal interviews were used in order to collect data. Totally, we have interviewed 19 respondents in different positions within the selected companies. The findings indicate that selling activities performed by the manufacturing SMEs in this study are complex and includes a variety of different activities. In addition to activities included in the conceptual framework, a new class of activities was identified, where the selling company was engaged in developing the customer's operations fundamentally. The individuals we found to be involved in selling were many and represented several different functions within the selling company. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the studied companies included external individuals when performing their selling. Finally, we also found that the performed selling activities could be described in several selling processes. Our findings indicate that the selling processes vary from rather simple and transaction-oriented selling processes to more complex processes dealing with both long-term customer relationships and single transactions.

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  • 2.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Personal selling and relationships: a review and explorative essay2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall scope of this doctoral thesis is focusing on selling. The thesis contains two studies; Study A is a synopsis of a licentiate thesis published in 2002, while Study B contains three journal articles. Study A examined industrial selling in Swedish manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The research addressed three research questions dealing with selling activities, individuals involved in selling, and selling processes in three different selling contexts. Study A adopted a qualitative research approach; it used a case study research strategy and collected the primary data through personal interviews. The study included four cases, interviewing a total of 19 respondents in various positions within the selected companies. The study's findings indicate that selling activities performed by manufacturing SMEs in this study are complex and include a variety of activities. The numerous individuals found to be involved in selling represented several different functions within the selling company. Furthermore, the findings indicated that the studied companies included external individuals when performing their selling activities. Finally, the performed selling activities could be described in several selling processes. These findings suggest that the selling processes vary from rather simple and transaction-oriented selling processes to more complex processes dealing with both long-term customer relationships and single transactions. Study B examined relationships in selling in the financial services industry, looking specifically at the relationships between members of a sales force and other members of the same organization as well as relationships between salespeople and customers. All three articles included in this study applied a quantitative research approach. The first article, "The Impact of Incentives on Interfunctional Relationship Quality: Views from a South African Firm," sought to discover the extent to which different functional groupings perceived the incentives an organization offers its personnel as being "fair." The setting for the research in this article was a small- to medium-sized marketer of financial services in a South African context. Data were collected using questionnaires; 141 usable responses were received, representing a response rate of 81 percent. The findings from this article provide evidence that small but significant differences exist in the perceptions of the fairness of incentives provided. The second article, "Trusting Relationships. How Salespeople View the Quality of Relationships with Friends and Customers," as well as the third article "Personal Acquaintances and Salespeople in Financial Services: Differences Between Customers and Friends," deals with the relationships between salespeople and friends, salespeople and good customers, and salespeople and bad customers. However, the two articles used different scales to measure these relationships. In the second article, relationships were measured using the Trusting Relationship questionnaire; in the third article, relationships were measured using the Personal Acquaintance measure. Data from both articles were gathered from a large Swedish firm in the financial services industry through questionnaires sent to salespeople. The questionnaire resulted in 119 usable responses for both articles, corresponding to a response rate of 60.1 percent. Based on the results presented in both articles, salespeople do not perceive relationships with friends in the same way as they perceive their relationships with customers. Similarly, both articles provide evidence that salespeople perceive relationships with good customers to be different from those with bad customers.

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  • 3.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Trusting relationships: how salespeople view the quality of relationships with friends and customers2008In: Bestuursdinamika, ISSN 1019-567X, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 20-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Friendships between customers and salespeople are frequently unquestioned phenomena. The marketing and sales literature suggests that the relationships between salespeople and their customers often develop into close friendships. Moreover, salespeople are often encouraged to treat customers like their best friends. What if this exhortation rests on a false premise and customers are not the same as friends? This study sheds light on the nature of friendship between salespeople and their customers. A survey was undertaken of the sales force of a large Swedish financial services company. Contrary to the literature, salespeople do not perceive the relationship quality with customers in the same way as they view relationships with friends. Furthermore, there are significant differences between how salespeople view relationship quality between "good" and ''bad'' customers. These findings have important managerial and research implications.

  • 4.
    Bäckström, Lars
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Berggård, Glenn
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Gedda, Oskar
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Persson, Anders J
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
    Prellwitz, Maria
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Health and Rehab.
    Weber, Hans
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Wikberg-Nilsson, Åsa
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
    Det uppkopplade samhället och högre utbildning2014In: NU 2014: Umeå 8-10 oktober : abstracts, Umeå: Umeå universitet. Pedagogiska institutionen , 2014, p. 123-Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 5.
    Bäckström, Lars
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Nel, Deon
    Deakin University, Melbourne.
    Trusting relationships and personal acquaintance: implications for business friendships2009In: Journal of General Management, ISSN 0306-3070, E-ISSN 1759-6106, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 37-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Friendship is very often a component of business relationships. Organisations frequently have relationships with their suppliers, customers and collaborators that could be described as 'friendly'. However, there is little comparative evidence concerning the extent to which business friendships resemble true social friendships. This article illustrates some differences that may exist between social and business friendships, with particular reference to the extent that interpersonal relationships are trusting, and are based on the nature of personal acquaintance. This means that managers need to understand the differences between business and personal friendships and adjust the type of interactions they, and those who report to them. have with customers, suppliers, collaborators, and the like.

  • 6.
    Bäckström, Lars
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Pitt, Leyland
    Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Campbell, Colin
    Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Nel, Deon
    University of the Witwatersrand.
    Personal acquaintances and salespeople in financial services: differences between customers and friends2009In: Journal of Financial Services Marketing, ISSN 1363-0539, E-ISSN 1479-1846, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 26-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The existence, benefit and management of customer-salesperson relationships in the marketing of financial services are topics of increasing interest. Much of the sales and marketing literature implies that because of time spent together, salespeople and some of their customers develop close relationships that are akin to friendships. Evidence from social psychology confirms that strong relationships are founded in deep knowledge of others gained over long periods after sharing personal information. This paper reports on the results of a study of salespeople's assessments of their personal acquaintance with customers and friends in a financial services setting. The results indicate that salespeople do not classify customers as friends on all the dimensions of personal acquaintance. Furthermore, the nature of personal acquaintance differs between 'good' customers (those salespeople enjoy serving), and 'bad' (those they do not), with the exception of the personal acquaintance dimensions of interaction frequency and personal disclosure. We discuss the implications for practice and make recommendations for future research

  • 7. Foster, Tim
    et al.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    e-MBA: the program that WOM built2007In: Building Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century: Fulfilling the Mission of Marketing Education. 2007 Conference Proceedings / [ed] Barbara L. Gross; Brian K. Jorgensen, Marketing Educators' Association , 2007, p. 110-113Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 8.
    Foster, Tim
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sattari, Setayesh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Brand Personality of a City: Identity vs. Image2011In: The Sustainable Global Marketplace: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science, Coral Gables, FL USA May 24-27, 2011 / [ed] Mary Conway, The Academy of Marketing Science, 2011, p. 440-442Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the perceived destination image and identity by applying the concept of brand personality and empirically examines their effects on loyalty towards a city as a brand. This affords a deeper understanding of how branding works in this context and provides a framework by which local governments can manage such loyalty.

  • 9.
    Foster, Tim
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sattari, Setayesh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Brand personality of a city: identity vs. image2015In: The Sustainable Global Marketplace: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science, Coral Gables, FL USA May 24-27, 2011 / [ed] Mary Conway, Cham: Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology/Springer Verlag, 2015, p. 440-442Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the perceived destination image and identity by applying the concept of brand personality and empirically examines their effects on loyalty towards a city as a brand. This affords a deeper understanding of how branding works in this context and provides a framework by which local governments can manage such loyalty.

  • 10.
    Kazeminia, Azadeh
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Pitt, Leyland F.
    Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Enjoy now or Later: An Explanation of Elderly Recipients’ Preferences Regarding Luxury Gifts2017In: The Customer is NOT Always Right?: Marketing Orientations in a Dynamic Business World / [ed] Campbell, Colin L, Cham, 2017, p. 425-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    More than 100 billion dollars are spent annually on gifts in the U.S., which makes gift-giving behaviour an important area of study. Belk (1996) describes a perfect gift as a luxury good which is exclusively relevant to the recipient. By means of selecting and transferring gifts, the giver is aiming to convey an important symbolic massage (e.g., love, admiration, appreciation, reciprocity), which needs to be perceived precisely by the receiver. Consideration for the recipient’ perception of the luxury gift may address the need for the gift to be exclusively relevant to the recipient. Aging and demographic changing trends led to a growing number of elderly people who on average enjoy a higher level of wealth and are more capable of engaging in gift-exchange relationships. While the elderly as gift givers have received considerable attention, very little research has been done regarding the elderly as recipients, and many things are left to be said. Recent studies in the field of gerontology suggest that motivational changes in old age cause the elderly to give higher value to emotional well-being which might have some bearings on their behaviour. The current study will attempt to conceptually explain how the emotional state of the elderly affect the types of luxury brands they prefer to receive as gifts.

    Berthon et al. (2009) argue that luxury is more than a characteristic or set of attributes and therefore should be thought of as a concept consisting of three value dimensions -the functional (the physical attributes the brand possesses), the symbolic (what the brand means to others), and the experiential (what the brand means to the individual). In an ontological classification, they distinguish two categories of luxury brands: enduring and transient. Enduring luxury brands were defined as expensive lasting possessions that bring prestige and social status to the owner. The pleasure of an enduring luxury item, either one that requires only money to be bought, such as a Gucci bag, or that which requires both money and expertise, such as an antique painting, is based on a sense of valuable enduring possession. However, transient luxury brands are a kind of experience that are not possessed, rather are consumed and bring the consumer evanescent enjoyment. This can include the superficial pleasure of having dinner in a luxury restaurant or the deep taste of the moment by tasting a rare black truffle; however, what is common in consuming such luxury brands is the sense of ephemeral pleasant experience.

    According to Socio-emotional Selectivity Theory (SST), as soon as older adults perceive that the time left is limited, their goals shift from future-related goals to emotional ones such as goals related to emotional satisfaction, the feeling state, and drawing meaning from life, since these have more immediate payoffs. A focus on present-oriented goals makes them attend more to “experiences occurring in the moment” and gaining more positive feeling from life. Drawing on SST, it can be concluded that the age-related change in goals may shift the locus of luxury from symbolic and functional aspects to experiential one. Since older adults are more motivated by emotional goals and seek more emotional satisfaction by taking pleasure in each moment of their remaining life, they may place less value on the functional and symbolic aspects of the luxury brands. Instead, becoming more present oriented may lead them to prioritize the experiential aspect of luxury and assign higher value to the pleasure of experiencing a luxurious moment. Along with future-oriented goals that become less salient, gain of social prestige through possessing a luxury good becomes irrelevant. This statement might be witnessed through previous findings, which suggest that older adults are tending to give their cherished possession to their relatives. As a result, we believe it is reasonable to suggest that older people would prefer transient gifts over enduring ones. In other words, they prefer the gift that brings them a deep sense of pleasure in the moment and that improves their emotional wellbeing. As they perceive the time left to be too short to save the items to enjoy one day in the future, they may prefer to be invited for a dinner in a luxury restaurant and to have a pleasant time with their close relatives rather than receiving a Givenchy perfume or a Louis Vuitton bag. Thus, the research proposition for this study can be formulated as older adults prefer to receive a transient over an enduring gift.

  • 11.
    Peighambari, Kaveh
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sattari, Setayesh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Farshid, Mana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
    Salesperson's personality and the relationship quality: Differences Between Customers and Friends2011In: The Sustainable Global Marketplace: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science, Coral Gables, FL USA May 24-27, 2011 / [ed] Mary Conway, The Academy of Marketing Science, 2011, p. 102-104Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper sheds light on the quality of relationships between salespeople and their customers and friends as well as how their personality traits affect these relationships. The findings revealed that salespeople’s personality traits do not influence relationship quality with customers in the same way as with friends, and significant differences exist

  • 12.
    Peighambari, Kaveh
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sattari, Setayesh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Farshid, Mana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
    Salesperson's personality and the relationship quality: Differences Between Customers and Friends2015In: The Sustainable Global Marketplace: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing Science, Coral Gables, FL USA May 24-27, 2011 / [ed] Mary Conway, Cham: Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology/Springer Verlag, 2015, p. 102-104Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper sheds light on the quality of relationships between salespeople and their customers and friends as well as how their personality traits affect these relationships. The findings revealed that salespeople’s personality traits do not influence relationship quality with customers in the same way as with friends, and significant differences exist

  • 13.
    Peighambari, Kaveh
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sattari, Setayesh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Styvén, Maria Ek
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Salesperson’s personality and relationship quality: Are you a friend or a customer?2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the quality of buyer-seller relationships from the seller’s perspective, by addressing the influence of salespeople’s personality traits on the quality of the relationships with customers as compared to friends. Results indicate that the personality traits of salespeople influence both of these relationships, but in different ways.

  • 14. Prinsloo, Mélani
    et al.
    Bäckström, Lars
    Salehi-Sangari, Esmail
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    The impact of incentives on interfunctional relationship quality: views from a South African firm2007In: Total quality management and business excellence (Online), ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 18, no 8, p. 901-913Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interfunctional relations and their impact on organizational performance have long been a concern of management and marketing scholars. Similarly, the use of incentives, and how they motivate individuals toward performance, has been a perennial focus of management researchers. Curiously, the effect of incentives on interfunctional relations has not received the same attention in the literature. The research in this paper sought to discover the extent to which the incentives an organization offers its personnel are perceived as being 'fair' by different functional groupings. The results of a study are presented in which the perceptions of a large sales function of the fairness of a series of incentives are compared with those of the rest of the organization. The implications of these findings for the quality of interfunctional relationships are discussed.

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