Uncle Sam Rising: The Government’s Share of a Firm’s Customer Portfolio and Financial Performance Outcomes

Brett Josephson, Ju-Yeon Lee, Babu John Mariadoss, Jean Lynne Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article uses multimethod approaches to develop a conceptual foundation for and empirical evidence of the performance implications of business-to-government (B2G) relationships. In-depth interviews reveal unique characteristics that differentiateB2G exchanges from commercial exchanges (e.g., procurement mission; regulations and oversight; scale, scope, and planning horizon) and highlight the resultant cost–benefit trade-offs for firms in this environment. Empirical longitudinal analyses of secondary data show that a firm’s government customer emphasis (firm revenue dependence on B2G relationships) exerts a positive nonlinear effect on firm value but also increases firm risk (idiosyncratic and systematic). Government customer breadth and depth are two critical customer portfolio characteristics that moderate these effects. High government customer breadth creates more costs associated with an increasing government customer emphasis, mitigating the positive nonlinear effect on firm value. However, breadth provides diversification benefits that alleviate the increase in idiosyncratic risk that comes with greater government customer emphasis. Deep B2G relationships give firms key customer domain knowledge and insights, which help counteract the increased idiosyncratic and systematic risks of government customer emphasis. The authors discuss the implications for marketing theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-72
JournalJournal of Marketing
StatePublished - Dec 2019


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