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Paper info: Relationships and Relationship Marketing: An Interdisciplinary Perspective


Relationships and Relationship Marketing: An Interdisciplinary Perspective


Joao Proenca
University of Porto
Joao Proenca and
Teresa Fernandes
University of Porto
Teresa Fernandes

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.


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This is a conceptual paper that discusses and presents a research project concerned with relationships and relationship marketing. The paper shows that the concept of relationship marketing is in the early stages of development, besides the huge amount of books written about the subject. We highlight that the boundaries of relationship marketing are permeable and elastic. Relationship marketing consists of a fragmented sort of different approaches, partly independent partly overlapping, inspired by different theories, with a multitude of aggregation levels and several units of analysis. We clarify the scope of this domain and we present a number of critical issues that remain unresolved. Is the concept of relationship marketing ubiquitous and can it be applied to any context? Are relationships alike whatever the market considered? The paper reviews some approaches and theories that are consider relevant: the IMP approach to business relationships, the Nordic approach to services relationships and the one-to-one approach of database marketing, related with IT and CRM. Finally, we present a research project that questions the legitimacy of this domain extension and the nature of relationships in consumer markets.Keywords: relationships, relationship marketing, interactions, business-to-business markets, consumer markets