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Paper info: The Relationship Paradigm Conceptualisation and Operationalisation


The Relationship Paradigm Conceptualisation and Operationalisation


Phillipe Portier
EM Lyon
Phillipe Portier

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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Relationship as a quiproquo on mutual promises
This research focuses on relationship as an exchange dynamic in networks systems. Relationship isdefined as a quiproquo on mutual promises independently from exchange. Relational promises areperceived through four a priori dimensions: political, social, economical and individual (LISEModel). The local content of the promises is identified using the typical ideal methodology. Thequiproquo intensity between suppliers and customers is measured quantitatively and qualitativelyusing relationships gaps tools. The main results of an implementation on a sample of customers andsuppliers in the automotive industry are presented.Interaction, relationships, networks encapsulate historically the major research thrusts of the IMPGroup (Turnbull, Ford, Cunningham, 1996).The attention and interest in networks today is explained by the fact that networks correspond to amore efficient articulation between the complexity linked to a hyper-division of work and theintegration of resources used in value creation. This revolution makes connection and relationship theprinciple dynamism in networking. (Easton, 1992, Möller, Wilson, 1995 ; Turnbull, Ford,Cunningham, 1996). Therefore the agenda for the researchers is to understand the nature ofrelationship (Turnbull, Ford, Cunningham, 1996).This work-in-progress paper proposes to operationalise the concept of relationship in order todescribe, explain, anticipate and resolve the relational issues linked to the different degrees ofcommitment or of the withdrawal on behalf of the suppliers and / or clients in a relationship.The operationalisation of this concept will be done in four different stages :
a) Defining relationship as a quiproquo on mutual promises independently from exchange (Weber,1922 ; Grönross, 1994).
b) Demonstrating how these promises are perceived through four relational dimensions: political,social, individual and economical (LISE Model).
c) Showing how the local content of these promises could be described as being ?typical-ideals?.
d) Evaluating relational gaps using different research methodologies.
The results of an implementation are presented evaluating the relationship between OEM's, firstrange suppliers and second or fourth range suppliers in the automotive industry in France.