Organizational Relationship Termination Competence

A Conceptualization and an Empirical Test

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Most firms are involved in a number of customer relationships that drain the firm's resources. However, many firms are hesitant to address this problem. This paper investigates customer relationship termination at the organizational level. We develop and analyze the organizational dimensions of organizational termination in order to improve our understanding of the management of termination. The impact of these termination dimensions on the percentage of unwanted customers is developed and tested using PLS on data gathered from a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. We find that a firm's percentage of unwanted customers decreases significantly as acceptance of termination increases, if the firm's definition of unwanted customers is well understood, and if a firm has clear termination routines. In addition, general focus on profitability and external constraints on relationship termination are found to significantly affect a firm's relationship termination competence. The findings suggest that managers should regard termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to decrease the number of unwanted customers, managers must accept termination as a valid option, clearly define the types of customers that the organization does not want to serve, and implement termination routines within the organization.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume40
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)988-993
ISSN0019-8501
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Relationship Termination
  • Competence
  • Termination Acceptance
  • Profit Focus
  • Unwanted Customers

Cite this

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title = "Organizational Relationship Termination Competence: A Conceptualization and an Empirical Test",
abstract = "Most firms are involved in a number of customer relationships that drain the firm's resources. However, many firms are hesitant to address this problem. This paper investigates customer relationship termination at the organizational level. We develop and analyze the organizational dimensions of organizational termination in order to improve our understanding of the management of termination. The impact of these termination dimensions on the percentage of unwanted customers is developed and tested using PLS on data gathered from a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. We find that a firm's percentage of unwanted customers decreases significantly as acceptance of termination increases, if the firm's definition of unwanted customers is well understood, and if a firm has clear termination routines. In addition, general focus on profitability and external constraints on relationship termination are found to significantly affect a firm's relationship termination competence. The findings suggest that managers should regard termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to decrease the number of unwanted customers, managers must accept termination as a valid option, clearly define the types of customers that the organization does not want to serve, and implement termination routines within the organization.",
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Organizational Relationship Termination Competence : A Conceptualization and an Empirical Test. / Ritter, Thomas; Geersbro, Jens.

In: Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 40, No. 6, 08.2011, p. 988-993.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - Most firms are involved in a number of customer relationships that drain the firm's resources. However, many firms are hesitant to address this problem. This paper investigates customer relationship termination at the organizational level. We develop and analyze the organizational dimensions of organizational termination in order to improve our understanding of the management of termination. The impact of these termination dimensions on the percentage of unwanted customers is developed and tested using PLS on data gathered from a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. We find that a firm's percentage of unwanted customers decreases significantly as acceptance of termination increases, if the firm's definition of unwanted customers is well understood, and if a firm has clear termination routines. In addition, general focus on profitability and external constraints on relationship termination are found to significantly affect a firm's relationship termination competence. The findings suggest that managers should regard termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to decrease the number of unwanted customers, managers must accept termination as a valid option, clearly define the types of customers that the organization does not want to serve, and implement termination routines within the organization.

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