This paper aims to explore how senior business to business (B2B) marketing managers within a collectivist culture, contribute to knowledge development by interacting with staff in customer organizations to produce a co-owned marketing strategy.
A qualitative research strategy incorporating an open-ended questionnaire was used to collect data from 15 senior B2B marketing managers in three Korean companies that deployed the customer-centred approach. The grounded theory technique (Strauss and Corbin, 1998) and the mind map method (Burgess-Allen and Owen-Smith, 2010) were used to show how senior Korean marketing managers’ thoughts are processed and knowledge transfer occurs.
The findings show that a governance mechanism is instrumental in guiding interactive communication that results in knowledge being used that benefits the members of a partnership arrangement. The knowledge development process is enhanced by mutual trust and emotional bonds that are established through socialization. Cyclical interaction through socialization and frequent (in)formal meetings facilitates the process of turning explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge and vice versa, and encourages new knowledge to be developed. Socialization also helps to reduce learning myopia and contributes to the innovatory processes that result in customer needs being met.
The paper provides insights into the importance of boundary setting that facilitates cooperative marketing action, which results in a B2B integrated marketing intelligence and planning process.