Supervisor: Professor Richard Wilding

In recent years the focus of network theory and research into networks has shifted from intra-organisation (within one organisation) to inter-organisation (between organisations) relationships.  New vocabulary such as 'co-opetition' (competing and collaborating) has emerged to deal with this new business-to-business landscape. Sometimes the collaboration issue is vertical, about collaborating upstream or downstream in the supply chain.  Sometimes it is horizontal, collaborating with competitors or with third parties.

This is a relatively new field that offers some intriguing areas for doctoral research:

  • How do companies select their collaboration partners?
  • Is collaboration a more profitable approach than traditional adversarial approaches?  Why/why not?
  • How are successful collaborative relationships managed?
  • How is success measured, in collaborative relationships?
  • How is value shared between partners who have unequal power in business-to-business collaborations?

Candidate Details

Candidates should ideally have at least three years of managerial experience, perhaps in marketing, sales or supply chain management; however, candidates from other disciplines will be considered.  A Masters degree is desirable but not obligatory.  Candidates with interests in this area are invited to make contact with Professor Richard Wilding (r.d.wilding@cranfield.ac.uk), setting out a preliminary research agenda as a guide to discussion and indicating what reading you have so far done around your topic.