Understanding demand and supply paradoxes and their role in business-to-business firms

Ismail Gölgeci, Fahri Karakas, Ekrem Tatoglu

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31 Citations (Scopus)
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In this paper, we explore paradoxes firms face when managing demand and supply activities and managers' experience of coping with and transcending these paradoxes. Following an exploratory research approach and based on the analysis of interviews with executive managers, documents from, and observations of 19 business-to-business (B2B) firms, we develop empirically grounded propositions. We first find and explain three major demand and supply paradoxes, namely collaboration-competition, concord-conflict, and integration-differentiation. We then expand on the handling mechanisms B2B firms employ to respond to these paradoxes. We find that B2B firms that understand, balance, and transcend demand and supply paradoxes achieve greater synergy between demand and supply activities and leverage both demand and supply approaches as overarching guiding principles for their strategy. Our study informs B2B marketing and marketing strategy by exploring the nature and role of paradoxes that shape the relationships between demand and supply activities. In doing so, it also offers an empirical account of the discrepancy between the theory and practice of demand and supply integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date25 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Demand-supply interface
  • paradox
  • demand and supply activities
  • qualitative research

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