Business-to-business and self-governance practice in the digital knowledge economy: learning from pharmaceutical e-detailing in Thailand

Ronan de Kervenoael*, Alexandre Schwob, Inci Toral Manson, Chatlada Ratana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigates self-governance within business-to-business (B2B) in the digital knowledge economy. To do so, we elicit the engagement of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and medical science liaisons (MSLs) with “for-profit social media technology” (FPSMT) in e-detailing. Using data from 23 in-depth interviews with HCPs (physicians and pharmacists) and MSLs in Thailand, we show that e-detailing fosters self-governance as a practice. The data identify how FPSMT, as privatized social media managed by large firms, represents a tool for self-governance that is articulated by expert professionals along three cognitive frames: aspiration, regulation, and responsibilisation. Through FPSMT, professionals in highly regulated B2B ecosystems engage in self-governance practice to develop pooled views that are influenced by personal and collective rules. The perspective on self-governance as a practice that is offered allows to understand how B2B network governance rely on professionals’ engagement to foster aspirations for the collective agenda, beyond the narrow pursuit of sales’ objectives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Business and Management
Early online date30 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • B2B
  • Healthcare
  • Network governance
  • Self-governance
  • Social media technology
  • Technological framing
  • Thailand

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