Buyer‐seller relationship development episodes: theories and methods

Buyer‐seller relationship development episodes: theories and methods Purpose – For the benefit of those who want to address gaps in our understanding of business relationships, this paper seeks to conceptually frame investigation into critical interaction episodes that fundamentally strengthen or fatally weaken relationship development. It also considers the importance of non‐critical episodes in business relationships. Particular attention is paid to the enduring yet frequently modified critical incident technique associated with Flanagan. Design/methodology/approach – Episode relationship theory, the qualitative/quantitative debate, and the critical incident technique (CIT) literature are selectively reviewed and critically assessed. Findings – First, because business relationships tend to persist, episode research must advance beyond relationship dissolution studies and progress into investigations of how different types of interactions change relationships. New types of episodes need to be studied, such as the generative, degenerative, and neutral episodes discussed here. Also, functionally distinct characteristic and non‐critical episodes are conceptualized. Second, the methods review suggests that useful qualitative methods deserve more attention. Third, though CIT research is prevalent in the marketing literature, it is at present incompletely adapted to business marketing research and needs development along the lines suggested in this article. Originality/value – The interaction perspective on business relationships is given a dynamic framework at the interaction episode level while keeping the connection to the more macro relationship development models that conceptualize relationship states and processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing Emerald Publishing

Buyer‐seller relationship development episodes: theories and methods

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Volume 22 (3): 10 – Apr 17, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0885-8624
DOI
10.1108/08858620710741869
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – For the benefit of those who want to address gaps in our understanding of business relationships, this paper seeks to conceptually frame investigation into critical interaction episodes that fundamentally strengthen or fatally weaken relationship development. It also considers the importance of non‐critical episodes in business relationships. Particular attention is paid to the enduring yet frequently modified critical incident technique associated with Flanagan. Design/methodology/approach – Episode relationship theory, the qualitative/quantitative debate, and the critical incident technique (CIT) literature are selectively reviewed and critically assessed. Findings – First, because business relationships tend to persist, episode research must advance beyond relationship dissolution studies and progress into investigations of how different types of interactions change relationships. New types of episodes need to be studied, such as the generative, degenerative, and neutral episodes discussed here. Also, functionally distinct characteristic and non‐critical episodes are conceptualized. Second, the methods review suggests that useful qualitative methods deserve more attention. Third, though CIT research is prevalent in the marketing literature, it is at present incompletely adapted to business marketing research and needs development along the lines suggested in this article. Originality/value – The interaction perspective on business relationships is given a dynamic framework at the interaction episode level while keeping the connection to the more macro relationship development models that conceptualize relationship states and processes.

Journal

Journal of Business & Industrial MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 17, 2007

Keywords: Business analysis; Critical incident technique; Qualitative methods; Modelling

References

  • Developing buyer‐seller relationships
    Dwyer, F.R.; Schurr, P.H.; Oh, S.
  • Marketing, a critical realist approach
    Easton, G.
  • Critical incident techniques towards a framework for analysing the criticality of critical incidents
    Edvardsson, B.; Roos, I.
  • From dyadic change to changing business networks: an analytical framework
    Halinen, A.; Salmi, A.; Havila, V.
  • Partnering relationship activities
    Wilson, E.J.; Vlosky, R.P.

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