Towards an Empirically Based Taxonomy of Buyer-Seller Relations in Business Markets: Cluster Analysis of the IRRP data base

Curtin Univerisity of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the Third Meeting of the IMP Group in Asia, 2007, pp. 1 - 11
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In order to develop appropriate theories of relationship management we need to understand the types of relations that can exist and the types of problems they pose for the firms involved. We report the results of research to develop an empirically based taxonomy of buyer-seller business relations based on a database that includes both buyer and seller firm perspectives. Cluster analysis is used to identify different types of relations using measures of relationship atmosphere and the resulting types are compared to other schemes proposed. The database and methods overcome some of the problems and limitations of previous studies and enable us to extend and refine existing typologies. We show how different types of relations can exist even though their relationship atmospheres are similar and that forcing relations into pre-existing, theory based categories can obscure subtypes with quite different characteristics. We end by discussing future research challenges and opportunities.
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