Frontpage  About
Paper info: Customer-Firm Business Relationship and Network: the case of retailers/IT


Customer-Firm Business Relationship and Network: the case of retailers/IT


Amjad Hadjikhani
Uppsala University
Amjad Hadjikhani and David Sörhammar

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.


Download paper
(247.6 kb)


During the last decade's information technology and its impact on business relationship has occupied the attention of researchers. The interface between two actors has been discussed to be either digital, "physical" or/and a combination of the both. In this paper we tackle the issue of what makes customers conduct their exchanges with firms on the internet and what make most customers still carry out exchanges in "traditional" stores. The study relay on business network and focuses on the concept of business relationship strength. More specifically, the relationship is explained not only by the focal relationships but also through connected actors' impact on the digital or physical business relationship.To investigate this issues a questionnaire were sent out to 5000 respondents. The receivers of the survey were asked to answer the questionnaire in a position of a customer. 1243 questionnaires returned which equals with a response-rate of 24.86 %,. These respondents then become separated into two types, those who prefer making exchanges on the Internet and those who prefer to make exchanges at a physical store. A framework for customer - firm relationship strength is developed from the statistical analyses, and discussed against current theory and practice. The emerging framework is presented with regard to three main dimensions of relationship strength, exchange, behaviour and the impact from connected actors.