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Journal Article

Industrial buying during the coronavirus pandemic: A cross-cultural study

Industrial Marketing Management 88: 195–205
Johannes Habel, Viktor Jarotschkin, Bianca Schmitz, Andreas Eggert, Olaf Plötner (2020)
Management sciences, decision sciences and quantitative methods; Marketing; Strategy and general management
Coronavirus, COVID-19, industrial purchasing, national culture, Hofstede
With the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, industrial suppliers are increasingly challenged to close their open sales opportunities and keep generating business. Against this backdrop, the authors of this study investigate which offerings industrial customers are most likely to purchase as the pandemic progresses. Drawing on positive decision theory and empirically investigating 31,353 sales opportunities across 57 countries, the authors show that the coronavirus pandemic significantly decreases industrial customers' purchase probability, especially for high-priced offerings. In countries with low uncertainty avoidance and strong long-term orientation (e.g., China, India, Singapore), purchase probability is less affected by the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic even increases purchase probability for offerings with low prices in countries where cultures are simultaneously uncertainty-avoidant and short-term oriented (e.g., Argentina, Brazil, Mexico). This is presumably because customers safeguard their operations in the face of impending supply shortages. Consequently, this helps suppliers focus on the right sales opportunities to secure their business during exogenous global shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic.
With permission of Elsevier
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