Organizational buying as muddling through: A practice–theory approach
This study provides a complementary perspective to conventional rational models of organizational buying behavior (OBB) by applying Lindblom's (1959, 1979) notions of muddling through and disjointed incrementalism to OBB. In doing so, the study develops a novel practice–theory framework of the organizational buying process. The qualitative field study of a family-owned food-processing company is based on this practice–theory framework. The results suggest that OBB is a boundedly rational exercise in muddling through, rather than a completely rational and well-planned goal-oriented process. OBB involves interplay between various enduring structures and various situational events on different contextual levels. The study provides empirical evidence of the validity of the notions of muddling through and disjointed incrementalism, and their relevance to the organizational buying processes.
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