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Paper info: Relationship Portfolios - Past, Present and Future


Relationship Portfolios - Past, Present and Future


Judy Zolkiewski
Manchester Business School
United Kingdom
Judy Zolkiewski and
Peter Turnbull
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
Peter Turnbull

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 16th IMP-conference in Bath, U.K in 2000.


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Since the 1980s the concepts of portfolio management have been adopted within the contextof understanding business markets. Academics on both sides of the Atlantic haveconceptualized and empirically tested a variety of customer and supplier portfolio models.More recently the concept of an indirect portfolio of relationships and its management hasalso been introduced. This paper reviews the role of relationship portfolios: customer,supplier and indirect in the context of business-to-business markets. We critically assess themost significant models, map their evolution and consider what the future holds forrelationship management. We then discuss the manner in which portfolios and network canbe integrated in order to provide a practical guide for marketing management. In conclusionwe recognize the importance of conceptualizing the network as a set of portfolios (customer,supplier and indirect) and suggest that, in the context of business-to-business marketing at thevery least, portfolio analysis provides the key to successful relationship management andimportant inputs to strategic management.