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How do relationships begin?


Ann-Charlott Pedersen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Ann-Charlott Pedersen , Ariane von Raesfeld,
Elsebeth Holmen
Norwegian School of Information Technology
Elsebeth Holmen , Kaspar Roos, Luitzen de Boer and
Magne Kallevåg
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Magne Kallevåg

Place of Publication

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


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In this paper we address the issue ‘How do relationships begin?’ Based on a review of work within theIMP Approach on stage and state models of relationship evolution, we conclude that very littleattention has been paid to beginnings of relationships. We discuss why this might be so, and why theissue deserves more consideration. Based on a case study, we make a first start at discussing how wemay conceptualise and discuss relationship beginnings. Furthermore, we depict a firm’s ‘relationshipinitiation profile’ and suggest that a firm may benefit from examining its profile and the costs andbenefits associated with it. Lastly, we propose issues which may be pursued in further research.Keywords: relationship evolution, stage model, state model, beginning, relationship initiation profile