Leveraging consumer behavior research to forge new insights into B2B buyer behavior: Contextualizing extant research and developing a research agenda
Industrial Marketing Management
Business-to-business (B2B) buying consists of a complex set of activities and processes involving numerous stakeholders and touchpoints that have attracted robust scholarly inquiry for several decades. This research extends the current knowledge on the B2B buying phenomenon by undertaking a broad literature review and offering a comprehensive agenda for future research. In particular, the paper focuses on the emerging use of concepts, theories, and frameworks from the consumer behavior (CB) literature to explain B2B buyer behavior. This approach represents a much-needed evolution in B2B buying research that breaks from the traditional research perspectives that have guided B2B buying research to date. Hence, this research addresses three goals: First, it reviews B2B buying studies in specialty B2B marketing journals and FT-50 marketing strategy journals to identify the predominant themes that guide the research in this stream of literature. Second, it assesses the use of CB theories and frameworks in grounding empirical examinations of B2B buying phenomenon. Third, the paper sets out a prospective agenda that highlights various research propositions related to B2B buying by leveraging key themes in the CB literature that are relevant to B2B buyer behavior research.