More is not Always Better

The Impact of Relationship Functions on Customer-perceived Relationship Value

Thomas Ritter, Achim Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Customer–supplier relationships have been promoted as a source of value for customers and as a way for suppliers to differentiate. Customer-perceived relationship value (i.e., a customer's overall assessment of the benefits and sacrifices of a given relationship with a supplier) is driven by relationship functions (i.e., the co\ntributions a supplier makes to a customer's value-creation processes). Earlier research categorizes relationship functions into two groups: direct, operation-related functions and indirect, change-related functions. This research finds that indirect functions have less impact than direct functions. Given the widely discussed advantages of supplier involvement in customer innovation, and the importance of information, access to market actors and motivation, this study analyzes why change-related functions have less of an impact than operation-related functions. The empirical results reveal that change-related relationship functions have a non-linear, inverted u-shaped impact on relationship value, and that the degree of customer innovativeness moderates this impact. Thus, while an analysis of all relationship functions is necessary, suppliers wishing to optimize business relationships should pay particular attention to customer innovativeness. The non-linear impact of change-related relationship functions gives rise to several interesting avenues for further research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume41
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
ISSN0019-8501
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Innovation
  • Relationship Function
  • Customer Perceived Value
  • Customer Innativeness

Cite this

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title = "More is not Always Better: The Impact of Relationship Functions on Customer-perceived Relationship Value",
abstract = "Customer–supplier relationships have been promoted as a source of value for customers and as a way for suppliers to differentiate. Customer-perceived relationship value (i.e., a customer's overall assessment of the benefits and sacrifices of a given relationship with a supplier) is driven by relationship functions (i.e., the co\ntributions a supplier makes to a customer's value-creation processes). Earlier research categorizes relationship functions into two groups: direct, operation-related functions and indirect, change-related functions. This research finds that indirect functions have less impact than direct functions. Given the widely discussed advantages of supplier involvement in customer innovation, and the importance of information, access to market actors and motivation, this study analyzes why change-related functions have less of an impact than operation-related functions. The empirical results reveal that change-related relationship functions have a non-linear, inverted u-shaped impact on relationship value, and that the degree of customer innovativeness moderates this impact. Thus, while an analysis of all relationship functions is necessary, suppliers wishing to optimize business relationships should pay particular attention to customer innovativeness. The non-linear impact of change-related relationship functions gives rise to several interesting avenues for further research.",
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More is not Always Better : The Impact of Relationship Functions on Customer-perceived Relationship Value. / Ritter, Thomas; Walter, Achim.

In: Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2012, p. 136-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - More is not Always Better

T2 - The Impact of Relationship Functions on Customer-perceived Relationship Value

AU - Ritter, Thomas

AU - Walter, Achim

N1 - Available online 29 December 2011

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Customer–supplier relationships have been promoted as a source of value for customers and as a way for suppliers to differentiate. Customer-perceived relationship value (i.e., a customer's overall assessment of the benefits and sacrifices of a given relationship with a supplier) is driven by relationship functions (i.e., the co\ntributions a supplier makes to a customer's value-creation processes). Earlier research categorizes relationship functions into two groups: direct, operation-related functions and indirect, change-related functions. This research finds that indirect functions have less impact than direct functions. Given the widely discussed advantages of supplier involvement in customer innovation, and the importance of information, access to market actors and motivation, this study analyzes why change-related functions have less of an impact than operation-related functions. The empirical results reveal that change-related relationship functions have a non-linear, inverted u-shaped impact on relationship value, and that the degree of customer innovativeness moderates this impact. Thus, while an analysis of all relationship functions is necessary, suppliers wishing to optimize business relationships should pay particular attention to customer innovativeness. The non-linear impact of change-related relationship functions gives rise to several interesting avenues for further research.

AB - Customer–supplier relationships have been promoted as a source of value for customers and as a way for suppliers to differentiate. Customer-perceived relationship value (i.e., a customer's overall assessment of the benefits and sacrifices of a given relationship with a supplier) is driven by relationship functions (i.e., the co\ntributions a supplier makes to a customer's value-creation processes). Earlier research categorizes relationship functions into two groups: direct, operation-related functions and indirect, change-related functions. This research finds that indirect functions have less impact than direct functions. Given the widely discussed advantages of supplier involvement in customer innovation, and the importance of information, access to market actors and motivation, this study analyzes why change-related functions have less of an impact than operation-related functions. The empirical results reveal that change-related relationship functions have a non-linear, inverted u-shaped impact on relationship value, and that the degree of customer innovativeness moderates this impact. Thus, while an analysis of all relationship functions is necessary, suppliers wishing to optimize business relationships should pay particular attention to customer innovativeness. The non-linear impact of change-related relationship functions gives rise to several interesting avenues for further research.

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KW - Customer Perceived Value

KW - Customer Innativeness

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