Call for Papers


Call for Papers

The core theme for this 2018 conference is one on everyone’s lips at the moment especially in the field of management: the pertinence, relevance and impact of research. Consideration of the links between research on the one hand, and education and industry impact and practice on the other, is a key issue and challenge.

Contributions which provide answers or illustrations to address associated questions are particularly welcome, be they empirical or conceptual in nature.

A special issue of the Industrial Marketing Management Journal is planned based on a selection of best papers from the conference.

Author Guidelines

Once your abstract has been accepted, we ask that you please submit on the one hand a 5 to 8 page condensed version of your paper for the purposes of the conference paper review process. This condensed version only of the paper will be included as an extended abstract in the conference proceedings with a view to avoiding future copyright issues for possible journal publication projects certain authors may have. Should you wish that your paper be potentially considered for publishing in the IMM special issue please also provide at the same time a full version of your paper.

In preparing your paper, please pay strict attention to the following guidelines:

  • Page 1: paper title, abstract, keywords, author name, competitive or work in progress paper
  • Manuscripts should be formatted for A4-sized paper
  • Further insights into concepts, theories and methods applied within the areas of industrial networks and inter-organisational relationships, based on interaction with leading scholars from the field
  • Set the page margins to 1 inch (2.54 cm) all the way around.
  • For the body text use "Times New Roman" font size 12, single line spacing.
  • Do not number the headings (capitals, Times New Roman, 12 pt, centered) and the subheadings (small caps, Times New Roman, 12 pt, centered).
  • Citing literature in the text and at the end of the manuscript: Use Harvard Citation Style. When citing in the text, the following style should be included: author's surname, year of publication, page number. Each citation in the text should have a corresponding bibliography entry at the end of the manuscript. The bibliography should not include works that are not cited in the manuscript.
  • The bibliography should be listed at the end of the manuscript.
  • The bibliography list should be in alphabetical order of (the first) authors' surnames. Entries by the same author should be in chronological order.
  • Condensed versions of papers should be 8 pages maximum.
  • Full papers where submitted should be indicatively 20 pages. Bibliographies and appendices are not included in the page limits.

Special Tracks

Alongside the core theme for the conference, we invite proposals for special tracks on specific themes. Should you wish to propose a special track please send a 15 to 20-line proposal to the conference organisers as quickly as possible and preferably before 30 november 2017.

We will post these on the website as and when we receive and validate them (see proposal below as example). Please indicate track organisers and a lead for each track.

To submit to a special track follow the standard enrolment and submission procedure. Papers proposed for and relating to special tracks will be identified as part of the standard paper processing system and transmitted to track leads by the organisers for review and processing as and when by the conference organising team.

Proposal - Special Tracks

Purchasing and Supply Management in an Interactive Business World

"There is growing awareness that the purchasing and supply management function (PSM), or process, is one of the important management activities by which organisations can realise their objectives”.

This quote is from Chapter 4 in the recently published IMP book – “No Business is an Island”, which claimes that the PSM function nowadays is increasingly involved in the revenue-generating efforts of firms as a complement to previous cost reducing activities. 
This broader involvement takes place in an economic world where substantial and multidimensional interaction is emphasised. Consequently, the scope of PSM has broadened considerably – also due to increasing technical complexity in what is exchanged among firms in terms of products, systems, and services. In turn, more intensive involvement and interaction with suppliers is required to leverage these relationships. As a consequence, the demands on the skills and capabilities of purchasing organisations have changed substantially as well.

Papers dealing within this broad area of purchasing and supply management are welcome, and in particular papers that explicitly address the interaction processes between buying firms and suppliers, between different suppliers, and/or between different functions within the buying company. Specific, possible topics include:

  • The sourcing of complex systems and solutions;
  • Supplier collaboration in product development and innovation;
  • Intra-organisational and extra-organisational coordination of (outsourced) logistics services;
  • Interplay between internal organisational features and supplier interfaces;
  • Interplay between contractual/legal aspects of relationship governance and more relational governance.

We also welcome papers that, within the field of Purchasing and Supply Management, emphasize methodological aspects either regarding data collection (e.g. use of novel types of data sets) or analysis (e.g. using analysis methods such as Qualitative Comparative Analysis or Necessary Condition Analysis).

Track chairs:

  • Björn Axelsson, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Lars-Erik Gadde, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
  • Håkan Håkansson, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo
  • Finn Wynstra, Erasmus University Rotterdam


 “Today, managers are not really interested in what we write about. A recent column in the New York Times (Kristof, 2014) supports this claim by arguing that the “most stinging dismissal of a point is to say: ‘That’s academic’. In other words, to be a scholar is, often, to be irrelevant.” (in Storbacka, 2014, p. 289).

Past work has raised the issue of the practical value of research for managers; not the least in the business-to-business field (Brennan, Tzempelikos & Wilson, 2014). Some conclusions claim for example that academic and managerial priorities differ, that practitioners care little about methodology and theoretical advances and that a gap exists between basic and applied research.

This theme is not new. However, it would seem imperative to re-address this issue appropriately given ever-increasing managerial pressure and associated trends within educational establishments. Indeed, the global acceleration and aggravated financialization of all activities in today’s world oblige a reassessment of the situation. 

The theme clearly is a broad one. Conceptual and empirical contributions can include  issues such as:

  • The academic/practitioner gap: myth or reality?
  • Does it really matter? Do we really care?
  • ‘You need to be two to tango”
  • Humility versus arrogance of researchers
  • Retrospective versus forward-looking research
  • Being a researcher in a liquid society (Bauman)
  • Research articles versus books
  • Researchers versus consultants
  • ‘Helping to understand’ versus ‘helping to act’

Brennan, R., Tzempelikos, N., & Wilson, J. (2014). Improving relevance in B2B research: Analysis and recommendations. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 29(7/8), 601-609.

Storbacka, K. (2014). Does publish or perish lead to stylish rubbish? Journal of Business Market Management, 7(1), 289-295.

Track chairs:

  • Luis Araujo, Manchester Business School, Manchester
  • Bernard Cova, Kedge Business School, Marseille
  • Robert Salle, EM Lyon, Lyon

Contact e-mail:

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