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The impact of discontinuity on firms' business relationship behaviour
Uppsala University.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9009-3575
Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för hållbar samhälls- och teknikutveckling.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-7438-2764
Uppsala University.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3322-437X
2012 (Engelska)Ingår i: European Business Review, ISSN 0955-534X, E-ISSN 1758-7107, Vol. 24, nr 2, s. 134-150Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: With a comparative aim, the purpose of this paper is to challenge the general assumption behind relationship longevity. The question under attention is whether firms' relationship of a discontinuous nature is different from continuous relationships and if so what this diversity entails. In the essay, a conceptual view is developed and tested statistically. The ambition is to add new knowledge to the field of business relationships. Design/methodology/approach: The essay's theoretical foundation rests on relationship theory and employs the four relationship behaviour elements of trust, commitment, cooperation and adaptation. Differences/similarities in the effects among these elements are tested for two types of relationships, i.e. those of continuous and discontinuous exchange, using data from 353 Swedish firms. Findings: The results show that a firm's behaviour in continuous relationships rests on incremental change, in the sense that the relationship elements of trust, commitment, cooperation and adaptation display sequential and progressive effects. This supports the common notion of a gradual strengthening of the business relationship resulting in longevity. Contrary to this, a firm's behaviour in discontinuous relationships is guided by the level of trust, which thus forms the base for the remaining elements. The absence of incremental change in the relationship behaviour and the pivotal role of trust mean that these relationships are weaker and are faced with interruptions and interference from competitors. Thereby business firms are confronted with different marketing challenges. The differences in the relationship behaviour of the two types signify that the view of relationships indeed needs advancement. Originality/value: Falling from a continuous to a discontinuous business relationship is becoming more common due to reasons such as market crises, business or firm crisis or because of the nature of the businesses as such. While earlier research studied the relationships' continuity and discontinuity separately, this paper enriches the earlier efforts and compares the two types. Understanding the differences between the two types of relationship can enrich the knowledge, not only for researchers but also for business managers.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2012. Vol. 24, nr 2, s. 134-150
Nyckelord [en]
Adaptation, Business cycles, Channel relationships, Commitment, Cooperation, Market crisis, Project marketing, Sweden, Trust
Nationell ämneskategori
Samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-17897DOI: 10.1108/09555341211204008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84857733208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-17897DiVA, id: diva2:588351
Tillgänglig från: 2013-01-15 Skapad: 2013-01-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad

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Hadjikhani, A.Lindh, CeciliaThilenius, Peter

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