Relationships in B2B Marketing

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Journal of Internet Business

Issue 6 - 2009

How Buyers and Sellers Value B2B Relationships: A Relationship Value Continuum for Internet Based Exchange

Michael D. Clements University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia .

About the author Dr. Michael Clements is a Senior Lecturer and coordinates the Supply Chain Management and logistics programs in the School of Management and Marketing at the University of Wollongong. He is also the Director of the Commerce Internship program and Deputy Director of the Centre of Applied Systems Research at the University of Wollongong. His primary research interest involves the integration of supply chains through strategic relationship alignment to create value between buyers and sellers for enhanced supply chain performance. Mike also has over 21 years industry experience in various senior management roles in logistics, distribution and marketing functions. These various management roles were in Defence operations, the electrical, chemical and FMCG food industry sectors – sectors in which he now provides a consultancy service.

Corresponding Author Mailing Address, Phone and E-mail

Dr. Michael D. Clements Centre for Applied Systems Research School of Management and Marketing University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia Tel: + 61 2 42 215497 E-mail:clements@uow.edu.au

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Journal of Internet Business

Issue 6 - 2009

How Buyers and Sellers Value B2B Relationships: A Relationship Value Continuum for Internet Based Exchange

Michael D. Clements University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Abstract The internet as a vehicle for engaging two parties around a transaction is more prolific than any previous information system. With the speed and accessibility of information on products and services available at the touch of a button, it is the awareness of open information sharing, the acceptance of moving customer loyalty, and the changing of buyer/seller relationships that is the focus of this research. This paper introduces and proposes the concept of a relationship value continuum between buyers and sellers in business to business relationships, as an important mechanism for maintaining and developing buyer/seller relationships both off and online. It is argued that embracing this relationship value continuum will provide B2B partners with an understanding of how relationship values change, enabling them to develop appropriate B2B relationships based on the value they want from the relationship. This multi –disciplinary review provides internet oriented organizations a platform to understand the value of the relationship as an enabler of continual transactions. Keywords: relationship value, buyer/seller, Internet, continuum

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Journal of Internet Business

Issue 6 - 2009

Introduction
Effective business to business relationships (in the supply chain management context) are of core importance for organizations to enhance their own ability to be more competitive in the marketplace. Academics and practitioners commonly agree that a firm’s ability to survive in a competitive market is to some extent based on its business relationships and their combined resourcefulness in creating sustainable competitive advantage. It is no longer organizations that compete on their own strength but supply chains that compete with each other (Christopher and Jutner, 2000). In today’s business environment more and more transactions are mediated between suppliers and customers over the internet.

Electronic commerce has changed the way organizations communicate and is referred to as the glue that holds together the structure of all businesses (Lord and Collins, 2002). Much of this thought surrounds the ability of information to create closer relationships by enabling chain members to participant together in an variety of functional activities which in turn, enhances organizational performance and competitive advantage (Langfield-Smith and Smith,2005;...
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