Keys to relationship marketing: In microcreative firms?

Nicolas Verhelpen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Operating under a functionalist paradigm, this research follows deductive reasoning whereby a literature review provides the ground for a theoretical framework put to the test through two case studies of micro creative firms. Interviews were used in order to collect the data serving for the implication and analysis of the established framework. Project based creative firms are surrounded by uncertainty, not only found in their production process but also in the markets they operate in, where many small producers share risk through collaborations and outsourcing. Given the uncertainty inherent to creative industries and projects as a means to produce cultural goods, this thesis seeks at understanding the implication of relationship management in this modern context, as well as how these interrelate with projects and the network. Furthermore, through practical application of the developed theoretical framework, this research aims at providing keys towards more effective management of the said relationships. It was found that relationships, projects and the network interrelate in that projects are the value creation process that fuel the exchanges of the buyer-seller relationship but also, in that relationship management helps reduce the uncertainty and risk inherent to the project based production process. Furthermore buyer-seller history and past experiences are found in the market place, in other words within the network, which affect desirability and attractiveness but also enables access and control to critical resources needed along the project based production process. Using portfolio management and analysis to strive towards more effective relationship management, viable short term suggestions were made for both case studies, however given the complexity and the context surrounding the identified relationships, portfolio management is judged to simplistic for long term strategical planning.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages202