Prior research has shown that new ventures can complement their capabilities and extend their limited internal resources by drawing on suppliers. Yet, our knowledge of the supplier mobilization process in new ventures is limited. In this paper, we take a relational perspective on the mobilizing process, which entails investigating the scope for mobilizing suppliers in new ventures and new ventures’ attractiveness to suppliers. Drawing on three new venture cases, we posit that for new ventures the scope for mobilizing suppliers: 1) ranges from the use of suppliers for the procurement of well-defined existing inputs to the co-development of various resources and capabilities with suppliers; 2) varies across ventures, reflecting the new venture’s distance to market; and 3) depends on the supplier’s assessment of the new venture’s attractiveness as a customer. We also argue that the attractiveness of new ventures as customers to the suppliers is based on elements that differ from those found in studies of ongoing businesses, and include: 1) stimuli to innovate and develop new competencies, 2) reputational benefits and prestige, and 3) personal satisfaction.
- customer attractiveness, new ventures, supplier mobilization, supplier relationships