Market Behind the Markets

(Foto Michael-Theis)
(Foto Michael-Theis)

Institutional Communication Service

20 September 2017

Prof. Ivan Snehota, Full professor of Marketing at the USI Faculty of Communication Sciences, gave his farewell lecture on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, in the Auditorium at the USI Lugano campus. In his lecture "Market behind markets", professor Snehota revisited his research on business markets (B2B) over more than 40 years, of which the last 15 at USI. At the end of the lecture, Prof. Snehota was conferred with the title of Professor Emeritus. 

Features and dynamics of business markets where customers and suppliers are businesses and other organizations, are relatively little known both among the general public and rather neglected by scholars of business studies and economics. Yet, the value of transactions in these markets is greater than that of consumer markets and such markets have a major role in innovation and development of economies. Prior research has evidenced several features that make functioning of business markets peculiar, like the continuity of customer supplier relationships, interdependences that confer to these markets features of networks, and ubiquitous interaction processes. Research community, of which Prof. Snehota is one of the founders (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing - IMP), has carried out extensive empirical research on these markets that resulted in 250 PhD theses, nearly 3000 published research papers and several dozens of books. The interactive character of business markets implies, among other, centrality of interactive communication processes, sense-making and narrative for development of businesses and the formation of business markets. Challenging the idea that exchange takes place in single exchange episodes in an ‘atomistic’ structure of independent actors, the IMP stream of research evidenced empirically the interactive nature of business markets and continues to explore the implications for management, economic policy and research, outlined also in a recently published volume "No Business is an Island".

Snehota obtained his PhD in Business Administration at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, where he taught from 1971 to 1977. From 1978 to 1990 he worked in industry in management positions and as management consultant. During this period he was also lecturer in Marketing at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, and at the Univerity of Turin Business School. In 1991 he returned to the University of Uppsala as Associate Professor, and in 1996 moved to the Stockholm School of Economics where he was coordinator of the Department of Marketing, Distribution and Industry Dynamics, a position he held until 2001. In the year 2000, he was appointed Professor of Marketing at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at USI.