Wallin, Johan. 31.3.2000. Doctoral  dissertation.

 This study explores how firms constantly question the way they work and, occasionally, change the way they operate. Particularly the focus is on changes in which the firm decides to increase the emphasis on cultivating and developing existing customer relationship, or become more customer oriented. The research problem of the dissertation is formulated to answer the question: What are the interrelationship between the adoption of a more customer-oriented business model and competence building?

The dissertation presents an overview of previous literature on competence-based strategic management, interatice strategy and relationship marketing. Based on the literature study, a tentative model of implementing a more customer-oriented business model is outlined. The concept of an offering I sused to conceptually tie together the value-creating potentials of the firm with the building and leveraging of competences. The notion of capabilities is used to operationalize competences. Altogether eight hypotheses are developed to focus of three specific issues. First, in which context(s) should firms decide to increase the emphasis on cultivating and developing exisiting customer relationships. Second, how should firms implement the decision to deepen the customer relationship. And third, what implications does this deepening of customer relationship have on competence building. The hypotheses are studied in seven longitudinal cases in each of which a new, more customer-oriented business model was implemented.