Market Driving in B2B Markets


Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management; Deadline 1 Feb 2022

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Selma Kadić-Maglajlić


Call for Papers

Market Driving in B2B Markets

Deadline for submission: 1st February 2022

Overview and purpose of the special issue

Market orientation has emerged as a cornerstone concept of the marketing discipline in the last 30 years (e.g., Kohli & Jaworski, 1990; Narver & Slater, 1990). Conventional marketing wisdom has adopted a market-driven approach that largely emphasizes the need to learn about, deeply understand, and respond to stakeholders in an existing market structure (Jaworski, Kohli, & Sahay, 2000). However, there is a growing recognition among scholars that markets are malleable (Nenonen, Storbacka, & Windahl, 2019), and innovating companies can transform entire market structures (Day, 1994).

Slater and Narver (1999) make a distinction between being customer led (i.e., responsive to the existing market) and being market oriented (i.e., proactive in the future market). They argue that being customer led implies addressing current customers’ expressed needs, while being market oriented entails satisfying customers’ expressed and latent (i.e., unmanifested) needs. The objective of this special issue is to further the dialogue on market driving—an important and largely underexplored topic of critical theoretical and managerial importance.

The marketing literature reflects a preponderance of research on how the customer-led perspective leads to unintended consequences, such as parity (discoverable market knowledge eventually leads to imitation) and fierce competition based on price rather than differentiation (Kim & Mauborgne, 2005; Narver, Slater, & MacLachlan, 2004). A focus on current customers’ existing needs has been found to preclude our understanding of latent customer needs, which limits the potential for radical innovation (Narver et al., 2004; Schweitzer, Palmié, & Gassmann, 2018). Thus, in today’s rapidly changing environment, sustainable competitive advantage requires a company to build and develop a current and future market orientation (Danneels, 2003; Gotteland, Shock, & Sarin, 2020; Schweitzer et al., 2018).

Jaworski, et al. (2000) further expanded on the idea of a future market orientation, and introduced the notion of market driving, i.e., “changing the composition and/or roles of players in a market and/or the behavior(s) of players in the market” (p. 47). Market-driving companies actively shape markets’ future direction by influencing customer preferences, designing business networks, and re-designing the value proposition (Hills & Sarin, 2003; Humphreys, 2010; Nenonen, Storbacka, Sklyar, Frow, & Payne, 2020).

Market-driving literature has developed several theoretical frameworks (e.g., Jaworski et al., 2000; Kumar, Scheer, & Kotler, 2000). Recent research provides insights into the ways companies shape markets individually or collectively (Baker & Nenonen, 2020; Maciel & Fischer, 2020), intentionally or unintentionally (Ekman, Röndell, Kowalkowski, Raggio, & Thompson, 2021), and focusing on functional or cultural market-driving approaches (Jaworski, Kohli, & Sarin, 2020). Humphreys & Carpenter (2018) show the relevance of market-driving activities that involve not only the typical market participants (competitors, customers, suppliers) but also players beyond the usual value chain (e.g., critics, media, influencers). Most research on market driving investigates manufacturing companies as initiators of market driving in downstream markets (e.g., Ghauri, Wang, Elg, & Rosendo-Ríos, 2016; Jaworski et al., 2020; Maciel & Fischer, 2020), whereas a few papers take alternative approaches; for example, by focusing on consumers as initiators (Diaz Ruiz & Makkar, 2021) and companies as shapers of supplier markets (Ulkuniemi, Araujo, & Tähtinen, 2015). Despite these initial insights, we still lack a systematic and comprehensive exploration of the market-driving phenomenon, in terms of its antecedents, consequences, processes, and boundary conditions.

We encourage submissions from a variety of theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological perspectives. Given the focus of the journal, authors are urged to make sure that submissions have particular relevance to business markets. A broad range of topics will be of interest to the special issue, including but not limited to:

Conceptualizing and measuring market driving

  • What are the key characteristics of market driving practices? What innovative methods or approaches can be used to conceptualize, capture and study different aspects of market driving? For example, how can we measure functional and cultural market driving (Jaworski et al., 2020) or intentionality versus non-intentionality in market-driving behavior (Ekman et al., 2021)?
  • What new methodological approaches (e.g., Berger, Humphreys, Ludwig, Moe, Netzer, & Schweidel, 2019) can we apply to market driving which, by its very nature, is not likely to yield large sample sizes? How can we creatively use existing approaches (e.g., unstructured data, AI, game simulation, and social media) to gather and analyze empirical data and develop insights into market driving?
  • What insights could be developed by synthesizing, measuring, and comparing methods/approaches use to drive markets; as well as the success of different types of market driving activities in various contexts? For example, can scales appropriately measure the way in which companies identify latent needs when driving B2B markets?

External antecedents and consequences of market driving

  • What role do prevailing industry structures play as antecedents to the market-driving behavior of companies? Which external factors necessitate individual versus collective market-driving approaches (e.g., Baker & Nenonen, 2020; Maciel & Fischer, 2020)?
  • What influence do external shocks (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters related to climate change, political movements) have on market driving activities? Do new practices, patterns, or coalitions develop, or existing ones become more/less effective under such circumstances?
  • How can companies that sell to barricaded buyers (Chase & Murtha, 2019) drive markets? What are the specific consequences of different market-driving approaches in B2B markets in terms of a company’s competitive posture, financial performance, and innovation success?

Internal antecedents and capabilities of market driving

  • What kind of organizational resources (Barney, 1991; Helfat & Lieberman, 2002) and capabilities are required for organizations to be market driving (Jaworski et al., 2000, Nenonen et al., 2019)? What role, for example, do internal reward systems (Malek, Sarin, & Haon, 2020) and customer integration (Schweitzer, Van den Hende, & Hultink, 2020) play in market driving?
  • What cognitive mindsets, managerial decision-making styles, and information-processing styles are beneficial to market driving? For example, would a paradox mindset (Liu, Xu, & Zhang, 2020), or an intuitive style (Roeth, Spieth, & Joachim, 2019) be more conducive to market driving?

Processes and patterns of market driving

  • Which combinations of activities do market-driving companies use? Under what conditions are some activities more successful than others? Are there different market driving possibilities, patterns, and practices in B2B versus B2C contexts; start-ups versus mature companies; or regional/national versus global companies? What other boundary conditions or contexts effect market-driving activities and success (e.g., Hills and Sarin 2003)?
  • How do B2B companies compile a network of ecosystem partners to drive markets (e.g., Jaworski et al., 2020; Reid and de Brentani, 2010; Reid et al., 2014)? How can B2B companies gather market and customer insights during market-scoping and market-shaping to uncover latent customer needs?

Preparation and submission of paper and review process

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be about 6,000-8,000 words in length. Copies should be uploaded on Industrial Marketing Management’s homepage through the Editorial management system. You need to upload your paper using the dropdown box for the special issue on VSI: Market Driving in B2B Markets. For guidelines, visit:

Manuscripts falling within the scope of the special issue (as described above) or poorly written manuscripts will be desk rejected. Manuscripts deemed to have a reasonable chance of conditional acceptance after no more than two rounds of revisions will enter the review process. Suitable manuscripts will be subjected to a double-blind review; hence, authors must not identify themselves in the body of their paper. Please do not submit a Word file with “track changes” active or a PDF file.

Important dates

  • Open for submission: December 1, 2021
  • Deadline for submission: February 1, 2022

Guest editors

Fiona Schweitzer (, Department of Marketing, Grenoble Ecolde de Management, France.

Stacey L. Malek (, Department of Marketing, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University, The Netherlands.

Shikhar Sarin (, Department of Marketing, Boise State University, USA.


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