Satisfying Users with Buying Centre Decisions for Complex Products and Services

Program Code: 
Description of Work: 


Most firms use ‘buying centres’ – groups of representative individuals – to make purchase decisions on behalf of the firm. These individuals exercise purchase authority on behalf of the firm as a whole and so this raises an important agency problem: do they serve all stakeholders’ interests equally well? This study seeks to investigate the degree of stakeholder perceived justice present in buying centre September 2014 15 decisions. Three perspectives are of interest in this study. First, the formation of the buying centre shapes decisions, particularly in terms of membership stability, the definition of responsibility scope, and the parameters of the decision-making process. Second, the nature of the product/ service may influence the buying centre decision process; more complex products are likely to require greater expertise; services are likely to be more subjective. Third, user evaluations are likely to focus on engagement with products and services over time. These usage experiences are separate from the purchase process.

Description of Work:

  • An initial literature review
  • A qualitative phase involving interviews and/ or case studies
  • A quantitative phase involving survey development, administration, and analysis of results using structural modelling or regression-based techniques
  • Potentially an experimental design

Desirable Applicants:

To apply for this project, applications should meet the criteria for admission to a PhD at UNSW; have industry experience in business-to-business interactions and excellent writing skills.


Dr Daniel Prior (