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Industrial sales people as market actors

Geiger, S. and Finch, J.H. (2009) Industrial sales people as market actors. Industrial Marketing Management, 38 (6). pp. 608-617.

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We develop the concept of boundaries in the context of sales personnel and their counterparts encountering and negotiating these while they undertake work to shape markets and build relationships. Drawing on a case study from production chemistry, we show that market shaping implies a mutual development of relationships, goods and services exchanged, and boundaries. In particular, we show that while relationships can submerge and obscure parts or dimensions of boundaries to other market actors, normal business activities such as testing new products and adapting products to changes in environmental legislation make visible some material dimensions of the exchange object, which can attract attention from other sellers. Visibility finds an expression as those market objects are exchanged, such that objects can be devices by which other actors join in and position themselves and their objects within markets.