How to recover B2B relationships after a failed online reverse auction

Roberto Mora Cortez*, Wesley J. Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explore the possible scenarios after a failed reverse auction to continue a current buyer–seller relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The authors developed a further understanding of reverse auctions through the examination of a longitudinal case study in the mining industry based on grounded theory. Findings: The study indicates that losing a reverse auction is not a death sentence for the current supplier. Four factors influence the potential scenarios: buyer factors, supplier factors, buyer–seller factors and contextual factors. If the overall evaluation favors the current buyer–seller relationship, the supplier can continue the business interaction by full renegotiation or discrete step-by-step reconsideration. Conversely, the buyer–seller relationship would reach a state of dissolution. Originality/value: This manuscript contributes to the understanding of reverse auction, an under-researched theme in organizational buying behavior theory. This paper is the first attempt to link buyer–seller relationship dissolution and reverse auctions. The authors suggest that more academic endeavors are needed to study online reverse auctions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)551-563
Publication statusPublished - 3. Jun 2019


  • Longitudinal case study
  • Organizational buying behaviour
  • Relationship dissolution
  • Relationship marketing
  • Reverse auction


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